It’s a Wednesday at 9:00 p.m. and third floor Dunne is full of loud planning for the night’s activities as the distinct smell of cheap booze wafts down the hallway. Shouldn’t students be studying or reading? Or at least pretending to be studying or reading? Maybe that’s acceptable at some schools, but not at Santa Clara. As 9:30 rolls around girls finish putting on their mascara as boys pull out one of their nicer button-down flannels and get ready to start the night. Quietly, students hide their fifths of $15 Smirnoff in their shirts and walk down the hallway to a friend’s room where the party begins.
“Pre-gaming,” defined by Urban Dictionary as “[drinking] alcohol before attending an event or social function (especially of a person who is underage),” is a crucial part of going out for any college student, ensuring that the night will be one you wished you could remember the next morning. Before leaving, students down a handful of shots, intending to drink more when the actual party begins. As 10:30 passes, students begin to pour out of the dorms ready to seize the night, unconcerned about making it to their midterm the next morning.
Victoria (who asked that her real name not be used), a first-year social butterfly who is in a sorority and lives in Dunne, was surprised by the volume of partying on campus. There is a party somewhere on most nights, and she said there’s a sense of FOMO, or fear of missing out, that compels students to participate.
As Friday rolls around, mixers between the sororities and fraternities take up a large part of the party structure. Girls are seen walking together in clumps wearing their finest cheetah print or most authentic ‘80s ski gear.
On your typical Friday night, students leave between 10:30 and 11. Unless you have a specific place to be such as a mixer or a party you were invited to, you are most likely wandering Bellomy, or Santa Clara’s very own unofficial Greek Row. More often than not you will find yourself walking into someone’s open front door, implying that all are welcome.
Worried that your buzz is wearing off, you walk to the bar and grab some jungle juice, or if you’re feeling ambitious a shot of what tastes like rubbing alcohol. Confident, that you’ve done all you can to keep up your current level of intoxication you wander in the hopes of finding someone new to talk to, or perhaps to the dance floor in order to make a true ass of yourself before the night is over.
Sometimes, for those less fortunate, you might find yourself out of luck after wandering around the street, lurking outside of what seems to be a lit up house. Once you finally feel embarrassed enough, you might walk back to your dorm, or to The Bronco, to grab a piece of pizza and curly fries in order to soak up all of that wasted alcohol.
“I think the large majority if not more than half [of SCU students] go out. I The parties are never out of control, but there is a lot of underage drinking there’s a lot of drug use, but it’s never excessive to where things get out of control,” says an SCU first year “I think people like the culture here.”
The morning after, a truly wonderful experience, where your best bet is to wake up in your own bed with only a mild headache. The worst? Waking up three blocks from campus on a couch in a house that does not belong to you, still drunk. Hoping that you didn’t do anything too regrettable last night, you walk back to your dorm thankful that it’s a Saturday and that you can sleep off the night during the day. You climb into bed, knowing that you’ll need it because you have exactly twelve hours to get it together before the whole process begins again.
Image: taken from the movie: “Neighbors” http://www.gannett-cdn.com/-mm-/9a6176b313f2a6b6de1df3f3fb9b41ca92a2768e/c=0-157-6048-3568&r=x1683&c=3200×1680/local/-/media/USATODAY/USATODAY/2014/03/09//1394342156000-2425-D005-00368R.JPG