Animal house: Going to parties feels like I’m observing wildlife


It’s Friday night. You’re done with class for the week and you want nothing more than to lie down and watch Netflix.

Then you get the dreaded phone call: “Yo bro, where you at? There’s a party tonight. We’re picking you up.”

You quickly give in to the peer pressure. No matter how old we get, we all dread earning the title of ‘flake.’

You scramble to get ready, and you head out with your friends. You get to the party and after a while they all seem to be the same: dark, damp, hot and dirty – of course. In bad cases, the party is also extremely crowded.

Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy a party from time to time, but there aren’t many things worse than being in a packed, hot basement where your feet are stuck to the ground.

In my three years of being a college student, I’ve noticed there are archetypal party-goers that seem to come out full force during these overly crowded functions.

First, you have the heavily intoxicated person who uses everyone in their vicinity as a handrail to guide them to wherever they need to go. This person tends to be pretty obnoxious and is quick to get on everyone’s nerves. They will apologize profusely for breaking any social norm, no matter how slight. Oh, and they love calling you ‘bro.’ Usually a less intoxicated friend of theirs is close behind fixing whatever mess they made.

Then, you have the cohort of girls who insist on forming a human chain the length of the whole entire party.

Don’t even bother trying to get past them while they’re walking. It’s almost like they put superglue on their hands before walking through. Also, one of them will spill something on you.

Next, you have the people with balancing issues who use you to prop themselves up while they’re grinding on someone. Not only is some sweaty stranger touching you, he or she seems to expect you to just stand there and wait for him or her to finish dancing. When this happens, you have to follow the words of the greatest rapper of all time, Jay-Z, and ‘brush your shoulders off.’

Last, but certainly not least, you have perhaps the most annoying person at the party: the really sober one who threw the party and is trying to shepherd people from place to place. You can identify them from their extremely fed-up facial expression and their booming voice, which no matter where you are in relation to them sounds like it’s coming from right behind you.

“Guys, you can’t stand around here, keep going,” is their favorite phrase. What these people don’t seem to realize is that we both have the same goal: to get past this mob of people. What is shoving me going to do? I’m literally 3 inches ahead of you. You should be yelling at the people standing around 20 feet ahead of us, or the group of girls holding hands to get places like they were the line leaders in elementary school.

Lastly, I didn’t pay $5 at the door for you to tell me where I can and cannot stand. Come to think of it, $5 is a lot of money just to deal with all of these people. I don’t think I’m going to go out anymore.

Who am I kidding? I’ll probably go out next weekend.

James Battle is an assistant features editor and can be reached at