Partying at college is often seen as a rite of passage, with many people assuming that you can’t have any fun at all if you aren’t into partying. While you can have lots of fun at college if partying isn’t your style, it’s also totally fine to admit that you like partying with your friends on weekends to celebrate surviving another week of classes. What’s important to note here is that you get to make your own decisions now: whether partying is or isn’t for you, whether you will drink alcohol or whether you’d rather steer clear, and how partying stacks up against your own values.
The most important key here is that you need to make these decisions before you’re pressured into going out. Knowing what you want to do ahead of time takes the stress off of you in the moment, and helps you make wise decisions instead of decisions based on alcohol or peer pressure. Sit down with yourself and take a good hard look at what you plan to do. The obvious question is whether you will or won’t drink alcohol. Try to decide ahead of time how many drinks you’ll have, because when you reach that level at the party you’ll be more likely to stop yourself. It’s very easy in the moment to say “Well, I’ll just have one more.”
Second, if you plan to go with friends, make sure you know what the plan is before people start drinking. Know who your designated driver is going to be, and make sure you know whether or not you are all planning to leave together. The last thing you want is to be running around at 3 AM looking for one of your friends. With that in mind, make sure you hold onto your phone, keys, and license. If you do happen to lose your license, do not panic! Wait until the next day and call the bar or the party host. Often people drop their licenses, and during clean-up they are piled up in a stack for the people who will call to collect them. If you’re at a bar and you paid with a credit card, make sure you close your tab before you leave. That way you will get your card back and know how much money you spent.
Regardless of what you choose, be aware of how the choices you make can affect your future. Remember the lesson about “The Internet is Forever,” and be very careful about posting pictures that show you being drunk or behaving in a way you wouldn’t want a future employer to see. While partying can certainly be a lot of fun, you do not want to regret it in the morning.