How to have fun in college without frat parties

Photo of a party
Vyacheslav Argenberg/Creative Commons

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Waking up late Sundays with gut-wrenching stomach pains and a hazy recollection of the previous night is getting old.

We’ve all been there — it’s Saturday night, and you reluctantly find yourself in the disgusting bathroom of a party you somehow finessed your way into, and as you ferociously wash the frat off of your hands, you glance up at the lopsided mirror above the sink, only to be bombarded with various thoughts. First and foremost, you claw wildly at the imperfection in your hair that only you can notice before reminding yourself that the rooms are so dimly lit it doesn’t even matter anyway. But as the thumping bass pounds menacingly outside the door, you start to question every decision that led you to this exact point.

Do I really find flailing my limbs to repetitive house music in a sweaty sea of people packed in so tightly it’s nauseating fun? Was admittance really worth the time it took to convince those seven girls to come with me? 

And then you shrug off any doubts you have about your own enjoyment because everyone around you seems to be having fun, and inclusion feels nice. 

It’s true: Inclusion feels great. That’s part of the reason why getting lost in the frenzy of frat parties is so common and particularly easy. As college students, we love to feel like part of some exclusive group that boasts fun and excitement as main selling points while also making members feel special. However, the mystifying appeal of frat parties wears off pretty quickly. If it’s a weekly activity (as it is for many), it becomes less of an activity and more of a routine — work during the week, frat parties on the weekends. You become trained to enjoy specific things, and even your leisure time becomes formulaic.

The weekend should be a time not only for relaxation but mental cleansing as well. You’re a busy UC Berkeley student; your weeks are packed with classes, studying, club meetings and endless assignments — it’s easy for exhaustion to build up along with the countless coffee cups that litter your trash can. 

Your weekends should be a time for you to rest your mind a little and ease off the overperformance UC Berkeley asks of you every day. You might find that a simple beach trip with friends is enough, or maybe it’s that day trip to San Francisco you’ve always talked about. Regardless of what it is, make sure it’s something that makes you smile and allows you to be at peace with yourself while spending quality time with those around you. For me, it was exploring and adventure. I can’t tell you how many nights I’ve spent on Google Maps, searching for the next abandoned complex or nature preserve to go check out with my friends. 

I would encourage you to take advantage of your weekends by doing things you’ll one day smile upon. I like to think of it like this: Every weekend presents innumerable opportunities for exciting new memories to be made, so why frequent frat parties just to be thrown the exact same scenarios in ways you won’t even care to remember? 

So, this Sunday, I hope you wake up energized and refreshed, glad you spent the previous two days however you did.

Contact Sebastian Colie at [email protected].