Ever go to a college party and feel like a fish out of water? When someone comes up to you, do you worry about how to act, even though they are just trying to have a normal conversation? Here is a short-and-sweet guide to help you go from feeling like the fish out of water to feeling like the coolest fish in the school:
1) Greet, respond, etc. to everyone who does the same to you.
It’s not like the person is trying to bite you (I would hope)! So, be you; you know how to talk, so have a conversation. If you feel flustered and can’t find anything to talk about, it’s pretty easy to talk about how bad/good the weather has been, what classes you are taking, how much you like/dislike a particular professor, or whatever. If you meet someone truly interesting, the conversation will flow naturally.
2) Don’t like to drink? Don’t sweat it.
At college parties, many students feel pressure to drink alcohol. If you don’t want to drink, simply don’t! Who’s watching you so closely that they’re going to notice? If you want to use an excuse, you can mention anything from athletics to religion. Or, keep it simple (though this can sometimes be unconvincing) by saying, “I have a paper due/test/early class tomorrow.” Whatever it is, pick your reason, and stick to it.
3) Don’t get there when the party starts.
This is extremely important. If the party is scheduled to start at 10 p.m., don’t get there before 10:30 p.m.; 11 p.m. in this situation would be the prime time to go. People will have strolled in by then, and if it’s a good party, everything will already be “bumpin.’”
4) Find out if it’s a themed party.
You don’t want to show up to a themed party (toga, army, hats, etc.) and be the only one who didn’t dress up. To prevent this, you can ask your friends about what they’re wearing – just in case you got the theme wrong.
Hopefully you won’t be totally shell shocked when entering a party at college now. Following these tips can lead to a largely successful night (or day)!
Laura Devinsky is a student at Guilford College. She is tweetable @LauraDspotoftea.