“Whatever it is you’re seeking won’t come in the form you’re expecting.”
— Haruki Murakami
Have you ever found yourself in a fraternity house in the ripe early hours of morning? When the sun has just risen behind the tree tops, shedding morning light on the muddy footprints, grimy countertops and drunken decisions; the stale stench of cheap beer permeating. Whether it's with mussed hair and heels dangling from one hand, or purely for the sake of exploration— a frat house in the day time is an enigma of sorts.
If only the peeling, floral wallpaper (that most likely has not been “groovy” since the late seventies) could talk. Chances are, its seen more love, hate and heartbreak than any daytime soap opera.
As I dodged discarded red solo cups like orange cones on a freeway, I instantly flashed back to an early August morning before my freshman year of college. I was pulling out of my suburban driveway, my Mom’s Toyota packed to the brim, as my Dad called out: “Whatever you do, don’t drink the jungle juice.” I smile at the distant memory.
In the moment of it, fraternity parties can be summed up as a blur of neon, sweat and high-heeled boots, caked with mud. But the next morning, as the thrills of the night before evaporate, we’re left only with the bruises and empty Cookout bags to prove it even happened at all.
Personally, I think that the college nightlife culture has been given a bad rap.
Sure, there is a lot of bad that can come from a hundred sweaty college kids packed into bass-radiating houses with names like “Titty City” and “Palace,” but let’s be real here: people who slam partygoers with the same force as convicted murderers need to rethink their argument.
College party-goers from Santa Barbara to Boulder can agree with the notion that aside from providing sheer bliss in the moment, parties truly have the power to fill up a part of our souls that we didn’t even realize was running dry.
Its the random girls sitting on the grungy linoleum floors of the bathroom with you, dabbing your tear-stained eyeliner with the hems of their crop tops, feeling the wind in your hair on those 3 a.m. rides to Cookout in the back of a shiny pick-up, sensing the entire room radiate with passion as you scream the lyrics to a ‘Killers’ track, gripping hands with a perfect stranger.
I’ve experienced more revelations at fraternity parties than my 10:30 a.m. philosophy class could ever evoke. Even artist Andy Warhol, who's works go for the modest price of roughly 100 million a pop, appreciated a good party in order to maintain his sanity. “I have to go out every night,” Warhol once said, presumably between puffs of a cigarette. “If I stay home one night I start spreading rumors to my dogs.”
Granted, I’m not condoning the act of pursuing the act of going out with the same rigor as a Bachelor’s degree, but in the words of Fergie, “a little party never killed nobody.” There is nothing wrong with wanting to live rather than simply exist. If that, to you, is sticking your nose in a textbook on Friday nights, power to you! But at the same time, there’s nothing wrong with choosing an alternate path.
No matter what you do in this life, I’ve found, someone is going to judge you. At first, I was enraged by this— “they don’t know me! they don’t know my story! I’m not an idiot!” But, don’t you see: that is precisely what they want. ‘They,’ (also known as ‘society’) want for you to react with angst. They want you to play the ‘crazy, horny college student’ card.
The world is going to judge you no matter what, so you might as well live the way that you want to.
After all, nobody looks back on their lives and reflects most fondly on the nights that they got plenty of sleep.
Photo courtesy: http://cdn.trendhunterstatic.com/thumbs/dance-all-night-pillow-case.jpeg