I don’t know if you’ve ever seen the movie “Tangled,” but when my parents left me all by my lonesome on the prestigious Bowdoin campus two weeks ago, I felt pretty much how I imagine Princess Rapunzel did when she left her tower: struck by a mix of horror and absolute freedom. 

Indeed, these past two weeks as a first year have been a blur. I picked potatoes in Presque Isle Maine while others biked 50 miles, I saw countless speeches that inspired me to do new things and meet new people and soak up all of Bowdoin’s awesomeness; and when Interhouse Olympics came around, you can bet I was there awkwardly trying to incite a deep passion for my affiliate house (even though I kept forgetting its name). 

Needless to say, Orientation was long. It was confusing, it was fun, but now it’s over. Now, real college is kicking in and yes, that does mean classes are kicking off, but it also means something else…so are the parties. 

Last weekend I went to my first college party. I’m not going to lie to you. I was pretty darn excited for it. I don’t know about you all, but I came from a strict boarding school that kept me on a tight leash. One whiff of alcohol and I would have been out of that place. 

So, when I showed up to my first social house soiree and realized I could drink beer despite the fact that there was a poorly drawn black X on my hand, I felt  liberated. I proudly sported a red Solo cup and strutted around the room pretending I was a master of flip cup and beer pong even though, in reality, I had only seen such antics in clichéd movies. 

I was having a lot of fun and the night seemed pretty promising, at least until the end of the first hour when we all realized that the keg was tapped out. Most of us first years had only gone through a beer or two at this point, and the mood of the room suddenly shifted. It seemed everyone around me started saying things like, “let’s go to Ladd”, or “I hear Baxter’s insane.” 

Before I knew it, I was out the door on to the next College house. Unfortunately, we soon realized that being “tapped out” was a phenomenon spreading quickly across campus. This brings me to the first lesson I learned about college parties: if you actually want to party, being cool and fashionably late is not always the way to go.

But don’t feel too bad for me and my youthful friends, because Saturday is great for second chances. This time we had learned our lesson and the real fun began. We decided to go to Burnett House and when we arrived the feel was already different. For one thing, the house was packed. I don’t think I can count the amount of gross sweaty dudes I saw, which brings me to college party lesson number two: even the really cute boy you’ve been eyeing in your German class will be gross and sweaty at a College House party. Don’t worry though, you can totally have a super fun time dancing to that “Party In The USA” remix with him. 

Remember not to get too distracted. The next shock of the night came when I looked up and realized that a sea of sloppily-making-out couples had replaced all of my friends. I tapped one of them politely on the shoulder and asked if they would move over so I could escape and find my roommate, but I guess they didn’t hear me. From this experience, I learned college party lesson number three: for the love of god, don’t lose your friends. 

Anyway, the night turned out to be pretty fun. I met a couple of new people, I danced like an idiot and I lost hearing in my left ear; so, overall a pretty successful night.