It is Saturday night once again, and the more reserved of you college students who stayed in to watch a movie and read Cosmo magazines on Friday night are most likely sitting around your freshman hall’s lounge in anticipation of a socially appropriate hour to leave for the fraternity parties (I refrain from the colloquial use of “frat” as I have been told by several fraternity members that “frat” has negative connotations). Take careful note that before departure, your hair should be sufficiently fried on curling and straightening irons, your face should be heavily masked in with makeup, and your feminine wiles should be properly accentuated. Boys, of course, who will take less time to get ready for lack of feminine wiles, may change these instructions to better suit their needs. Generous application of Axe and a nice pair of party shoes should suffice. Once your appearance is complete, you will have nothing left to do but wait while time and internal heating take their course on your elaborate efforts—melting your makeup and odorizing your body.

Once 10 or 10:30pm rolls around, your  fellow freshman class  should line up  near the exit to head over to that night’s carefully-selected fraternity’s living quarters (See: “A Freshman’s Guide to Choosing Fraternity Events” for more information). The fact that you have all been waiting since after dinner for this moment will only add to the excitement.

When your pack is totally herded, you should begin yourmarch through the below-freezing Rochester weather to arrive at your destination. Upon entering, the welcoming smell of smoke, sweat, and alcohol wafts into the cold night air until the door is shut behind you. IDs must be shown, of course, and small black “x”s will be drawn on your hands so that for the next week, all of your comrades know you have effectively been experiencing new things.

A central part of all parties is dancing. Usually the girls and guys alike, with or without a designated dance partner, will make their way through the residue of spilled drinks and loneliness to the dancing area and begin to jump up and down, arms flailing and will provocatively move their pelvic muscles. If you’re lucky, eye contact will be made with an attractive member from across the room, and that eye contact will be seductive enough to evoke further contact. Once the guy and/or girl approaches, anything is fair game. Sometimes spontaneous mouth-to-mouth contact can occur, but if you’re going to be serious about your outing, you might as well take it all the way. If you’re worried about sexually transmitted diseases, just think of them as a sort of collection to have, like stamps or lucky elephants, for instance.

Remember, you can’t fully have an opinion on something unless you experience it firsthand. I would therefore encourage anyone to have sexual encounters with every person who responds positively to a seductive across-the-room look.

Hopefully, if you play your cards right, the opportunity to smoke marijuana will arise at such gatherings, in which case you may “cross-fade,” or mix substances in order to feel at your best. Yes, this sometimes results in black-outs, hospitalization and possibly death, but the experience you gain from the traditional college night is invaluable.

In my one semester at Rochester thus far, I’ve seen only three hospitalizations, or in U R terms, “MERTed” people. They all turned out okay, so as long as you moderate your black-outs responsibly and always apply the buddy system (hey, this is a good time to use your seductive-eye-contact-companion!). Just make sure your buddy is only either drinking, or smoking. We can’t have the blind leading the blind.

Sometimes the very best part of Saturday nights is the return to the residence halls. You and your inebriated, high and now aroused freshman buddies will return, usually in groups of two or three and sit around the lounge snuggling and holding hands with members of your flock. Once enough time goes by, you will all begin to take inventory of members of the pack, and if some are missing go through great efforts to figure out where they ended up and how they got lost.

The faithful shepherds usually figure out where everyone went, express ideas about who ended up with whom, and then panic about the one person who did not, in fact, come back coherent or come back at all. Obviously this would be quite terrible, but really, how will you learn if other people don’t make the mistake first? If situations such as these arise, it is best to put on your most concerned face, suggest people who may know better what to do and say something like, “This isn’t fun anymore.”

Of course you never want to make that assertion! Saturday nights are the best nights of the week. You can, on these nights, go wild and have fun, lose your individuality and make all of the same choices other college freshman make across space and time, thus uniting yourself on a higher level with the totality of 18- and 19-year olds. Sure, you feel like someone piled up common household appliances and turned them on in your stomach, and your head feels like someone is periodically wringing it out to wash a sharp plate and you are gripped with this unavoidable sense of loneliness that actualizes into an existential crisis about why anything or anyone matters, but at least you can still say you had fun.

Just remember, most importantly, that Saturday nights are a valuable part of the college experience. 

McAdams is a member of
the class of 2017.

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