It has been quite a minute. In the meantime things have changed a lot. The snow melted! I redecorated my apartment probably three tines since we've talked, and I got my nose pierced. Oh and broke my ankle. And went to Arizona. Just the usual!
I thought, as I am almost half way through my college career, I would pull a story from the vault as my first of 2021. This story comes to you from my second month in college, back in 2019. My first ever big college experience, (besides living my Zoey101 dorm room dreams) seeing a frat house.
DUHN DUHN DUHHHHNNNN!!!!
Now, you may be wondering, "Aren't you a quiet book-loving girl who stays in her room all day and loves to hang out with her mom on the daily?"
You may also be wondering, "Danika? What do you have to say about frat houses???"
Nothing good, I can assure you.
Don't get your knickers in a twist, I didn't do anything bad. I just thought I'd share a little of the real college life coming from (At this point, pre-covid) a college freshman.
In the movies we see college fraternities as party warehouses, places where you drink until you can't walk, either get roofied or taken advantage of, and play beer pong. While these are all correct, it is definitely (as sad as this may be) glamorized.
Picture me: Fresh out of high school, a doe-eyed bambi look in my eyes about everything "college". (this is also before the depression hit!) I had roommates who were the same way. And we wanted to go to a frat. I mean who didn't? My creative decorator soul already lived it up decorating my brand new dorm room, so it was on to the next big college thing. Seeing what all the fratness was about. We had all never been to one, and weren't sure what to expect. I was expecting a big house with a huge kitchen, bottles of various illegal liquids everywhere, dancing on tables, red solo cups, and lots of free floating conversations looming about.
Boy was I wrong.
Wait, it's now 2021.
Girl was I wrong.
Though I do not plan on ever entering greek life as I somewhat think they exert cult-like energy, I will deign from naming said fraternity, but just know it was huge. It had giant white pillars in front, which gave me the impression that it would be almost fancy. This was the building that, growing up, we would drive by cruising on University Ave. I used to glance out the window and think all these big houses were mini mansions with weird letters on top. Where else in Grand Forks was there white pillars guarding the front of a house?
This happened to be Halloweekend. This is the infamous weekend where, not unlike other normal weekends in frats, there are endless parties. These however, require a costume. They also happen to be about twice as packed. I will provide a picture of my roommates and I in our last minute costumes. (I happened to decide I wanted to go 30 minutes before we left.)
I went as a female Waldo from the childhood search books, "Where's Waldo". It was very awkward when there was a guy dressed as Waldo who tried to hit on me solely because I was female Waldo. yikes. I wasn't sure who the girls in the back were, but they were nice.They were friends of my suitemate. I think they went as 'girl in shredded bloody t-shirt'. Very infamous. My roommate Kelsie went as a VSCO Girl, which unless you were born from 1998-2008, you probably wouldn't get the reference. My suitemate Makenna went as a glittery mermaid (who also happens to wear converse) and my other suitemate Kait went as a hockey player who couldn't find their pants. (Yes this was on purpose.) Gosh. I think I was the only one who could actually find their pants that day!
We thought we were soooooo cute. And I think we were! At this point I had no knowledge of what goes on when you party, what you do there, how you prepare, etc. I mean come on, I didn't so much as go near a party in high school. I only knew what happened in movies, so that was what I was going off of. Little Danika learned what it means to "pre-game" that night. for those of you that are unaware, to pre-game, you and a few close friends drink some a- uhm I mean juice before going to the place you intend to party. We drink apple juice at one of our apartments or dorms, just to uh, prepare for the night ahead! Gotta get that fiber!
I didn't understand the point, as I thought that were already copious amounts of said juice at frat parties, in red solo cups waiting to be filled with some sort of mild altering drug that would have you naked on the roof in no time! I was also wrong here. The typical is to bring a water bottle, pop bottle, or fast foot cup with your juice inside and bring for yourself only. NO ONE likes sharing their alcohol. (Unless they're trying to hit on you.)
After a good few servings of apple juice, this is when we head to the frat house. I wasn't sure what to expect. I probably should have been more careful now that I think about it. All I knew is that I wanted to have fun. It was obviously October, and because we live here, it was ice cold outside. I would have worn a coat, if it weren't for the fact that there actually isn't a doorman waiting to take your coat at the door, then to give you a number to which you would give back later for said coat. Whoda thunk?
My sweet boyfriend Camden, bless his heart, offered to drive us. He hates parties, and anything of the sort. But, he understood that I wanted to see what all the fuss was about, and spend time with my roommates. Thank god for him, or we would have been running down University, no pants, water bottles in tow, to a frat house. We probably weren't the only ones. Regardless, he dropped us at the front doors, and wished us luck.
At the front there is one dude. I later learned that he was the "sober brother" for the night. He stands on top of an old picnic bench with said frat letters engraved on top. My vision of the inside was then shattered. There was an open cooler beside the door, no doubt filled with more apple juice. There was a grill tipped on its side, garbage and charcoal astrew everywhere. Makenna just told the door guy we knew Alex, and he let us in. (I still don't know who Alex is.) I then walked into what I would find is the grossest house I have seen. The entrance greeted me with a hot bursting wave of the smell of sweat and vape juice.
The walls were chipped, scraped, and dented. As if they let rowdy dogs run wild through the house. I guess you could easily compare a college boy to a rowdy dog, so it makes somewhat sense. The floor was littered with empty cans and bottles, covered in sand from the sidewalk. You could hear the thump from music somewhere in the house. The only shoes I happened to bring to college were a pair of tennis shoes (Not frat cool in 2019 btw!) and a pair of little black boots. So that's what I went with. One thing I thank myself every day for is that, 1. These boots happen to be rubber. and, 2. Drinks were definitely spilled, therefore I saved my shoes by picking the rubber boots. Let's just say my friend's converse did not survive that night.
There was a white folding table, with a notebook on top, where they were having people write their full name and student ID number. Two guys were sitting behind the table, passing a bottle of something back and forth. I was expecting very intimidating, brooding tough looking guys, but they just looked like normal chill dudes. I mindlessly filled out the sheet, as everyone else was, but I couldn't think why they were having us do this. Don't worry, I didn't put my real info. They should have just assumed my name was Waldo! After scribbling our fake names and fake numbers on the notebook, we headed towards the noise, which happened to be in the basement.
We had arrived at around midnight, so the party had only started about an hour ago. The perfectionist in me thought it would be best to arrive early, but I had to remind myself this was a college party, and not a childhood birthday party. So I ended up being fine with coming an hour late. (Did you know they didn't have start times to these things? How unprofessional!) So, because we had come a good hour into the party, there were already some preeeeety apple juiced out people there. On our way to the basement, there were groups of people talking, drinking, and conversing along the corners and hollows of the house. Some were asleep on the floor, some were running past us, or shoved in our way. The line to the bathroom was probably six or seven people long. (To which I found out later did not have soap OR toilet paper.) If this frat was listed on yelp, it would be getting a -0/5 star review. balletaddict00 does not approve.
As we make our way to the basement, there is a staircase that wraps downward. The walls itself are covered in spray paint, sharpie, and stains of colored liquids. We learn in school science that heat rises, but as we descended the staircase, the heat grew a lot more sticky and dreadful. And we weren't even wearing pants! Think of the poor souls that did have pants on...
When we finally reach the basement, we are greeted with a sight more like the movies. There is a beer pong table, covered in glow in the dark paint and tape, game in the midst, juice sloshing from the cups. The floor covered in sticky liquid so much, it sticks to my rubber boots. There are neon lights everywhere, and cheap halloween decorations too. Though it was quite gross down there, I do have to say that the music was great. There was remixes of todays hits, and also halloween songs too. I can't tell if they happened to just be playing a playlist from Spotify on a speaker, or if there was a real guy working the table. The crowd was too big. So I'll just give them the benefit of the doubt.
This was where we were supposed to party I guess.
It may seem like I'm making this out to sound like it was the worst time of my life, as it was gross, disgusting, hot, and littered with apple juice filled people.
It was really fun.
Much to my own dismay, it was really really fun.
Let's be honest. Everyone looks at their college days as some of the most fun. My mom tells me of the days she used to have the best, craziest time at parties. She says it was some of the funnest times that she has had, that and high school. Though, the apple juice of choice was very different then, but the point I am trying to make is that YOLO, and you're only in college once.
So over the course of the night, my roommates and I had the best time, and we may have drank a little to much apple juice, danced so hard our feet hurt, and screamed a little too loud, but it was one of the best halloweekends I have ever had.
(*psst!* Look at me! I used a college term! Halloweekend!)
At this point, I decided I wanted to go home. All four of us had been partied out, and had been there for a good couple hours or so. I was definitely ready to leave. My feet hurt, someone had spilled juice on me, and I was tired. I called Camden, and he said he would come pick me up. My roommates decided they were going to walk to another frat next door. One thing I learned this night though, is that it is extremely hard to get out of a frat party.
The UND police are very active at night. They loom in alleys, and drive by in HOPES of catching half naked college kids running out of frats. They feast on the smell of alcohol, and have fur that is green and white. When aggravated, sirens of red and blue flash above their horns. I knew if I wanted to make it out alive I needed to be fast. I look down at my phone and see that Camden is here, in the parking lot across the street. I knew I had to be quick. (It is also snowing and the road is covered with ice.) I run across the street. I see his neon orange jeep in view and make my way across. Right as I get into the jeep, The police car drives by and I am suddenly so happy I decided to run.
And that was my night!
The next day wasn't so fun. Too much fiber from that juice.
I am happy I went and can convey this story to all of you! Maybe you can leave me a comment about your best college age party. Maybe you had a better night than me! (If you wanna keep it secret, e-mail it to me! I'd seriously love to know. Or, tell me about your post-high school days!)
A college partier.