Whenever I feel just the right amount of unfounded recklessness and self-hatred, I go to a frat party. And usually, I’m going to be honest, it turns out to be absolutely incredible. I’m talking better than giving Mickey Mouse a high five at Disneyland, better than perfectly sliding your anecdote about the time you met a celebrity into daily conversation and better than frolicking through a baby sloth-shaped vat of ice cream.
I must admit, I’m a little embarrassed. My column is supposed to be giving advice about college, and I am ashamed that it has taken me nine weeks to finally get to my No. 1 piece of wisdom: Go, right this second, immediately, whenever possible, to as many frat parties as you possibly can during your four years at UC Berkeley.
Monday: Oh no, the school week is just starting, I could really go for some blinding strobe lights and vodka that sears my esophagus at a frat right about now. Tuesday: Wake up, drank. Wednesday: Am I honestly doing homework instead of doing the stanky leg to a Kesha song in a musty basement riddled with termites right now? So on and so forth, you get the point.
First, the exhilaration I feel is unparalleled when one of the coolest guys on campus who has jealousy-inducing biceps bursting out of his tank top determines my squad to be fly enough to enter his fraternity kingdom. I really do not give one flying Fudgsicle that you landed a six-figure job right after college — there is no better feeling of validation than when I gain admittance to a bumping party at the best frat on a Friday night simply by having the correct ratio of seductive lady friends with me. I am on top of the world, and I strut into that bitch feeling like freaking Jay Z. Anyone who’s anyone is there, and if you aren’t there, you might as well, oh, I don’t know, write a letter home to your mother saying she fricked up real bad with raising you.
And the forest of wonder that greets you! Imagine a nice hammock slung between palm trees on a remote island in the Pacific. The clear ocean water gently ebbs and flows across the warm, white sand, a thousand pina coladas sparkle in the sun and an attractive person waiting to give you a massage stands to the side. Enrique Iglesias is there, too, and he gives you a private concert. Now multiply the amazingness of all that by at least 40 and you get the basement of a fraternity in the midst of an absolute banger.
They hook it up, bro. The five dollar vodka endlessly flows like the elixir of life in Dixie cups that deteriorate into oblivion in your hand like magic. And you feel incredibly safe while you are there, especially because they make sure the floor is impeccably sticky so everyone’s feet are stuck to it like siamese twins so that there is a zero-percent chance of anyone ever slipping and getting hurt. Honestly, that level of consideration is near saint status.
I look around and know that everyone, regardless of race, gender or sexuality (and trust me, there is a lot of diversity there), probably has the same mixture of other people’s sweat and god-knows-what-else all over them just like me. It makes me tear up because it is such a beautiful moment of human unity.
As an appreciator of leather-bound books and all things artistically pretentious, hearing one of the frat brothers give me his soliloquy about his love for their brotherhood and how they’re different from every other frat is undoubtedly one of the highlights for me. Honestly, the love they have found through eating raw meat out of each other’s buttholes during hazing is more inspiring than drinking a kale smoothie while watching a sunset on a swanky Caribbean cruise. And the prose they tell it in! It is pristine and innovative, reflecting the poetic prowess of Whitman, Dickens and Tupac while putting an elegant, contemporary twist on it with hip words such as “bruh,” “v chill” and “lit.” One time I accidentally spilled my peculiar mixture of strawberry shortcake-flavored vodka and mango juice on the frat brother’s Sperrys because I was in such awe of the beauty. I felt terrible, but it turned out to be 100 percent cool, man, because he was probably one of the chillest people in existence.
Then, there’s the way the frat brothers talk about the young ladies at the party, which renews my faith in both our humanity and male chivalry. I even saw one dude, out of the goodness of his heart, latch right onto the back of a dancing girl and start gyrating along with her to keep her company because she looked a bit lonely. What a considerate guy. And I saw another dude lead a drunk girl upstairs to selflessly and nobly offer her his bed to stay for the night because she was obviously not feeling too well. It was all just so sweet.
Honestly, I am a little surprised that you made it to the end of this column. If I were you, I would have thrown my computer or newspaper aside and been at a frat party five minutes ago, but your resistance to temptation is admirable, and I applaud you.
Taran Moriates writes the Monday column on the dos and don’ts of college. Contact him at [email protected].