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The Greyhound

The Greyhound

The Student News Site of Loyola University Maryland

The Greyhound

College Etiquette: How to keep it classy at parties

So you’ve been invited to a party—congratulations! No snack food and Netflix for you tonight. Not that that’s not an excellent way to spend an evening, because it totally is. But tonight you’re going to go and be social, so let’s try to do it right.

Dress Smart

No, don’t put on a pair of fake glasses or something. What I mean is, wear something you can wear. Is it too big? Too tight? Too long? Too small? Then don’t wear it. The last thing you want to worry about while partying into the wee hours or trudging all the way back home is keeping your pants pulled up or wondering if your dress is going to cut off your circulation. I don’t care how good you think you look. If it doesn’t fit right, the only thing you are looking is uncomfortable.

This goes double for shoes. I can rock five and a half inch stilettos with the best of them, but sometimes I just don’t feel like it. And if you hate heels, don’t wear them. One of the best decisions I made recently was wearing ballet flats to Senior 250s. (I was also covered head to toe in fake blood, but that’s another story entirely).

Know the Sucker Rule—And Your Limits

There’s a saying in poker that if you can’t tell who the sucker at the table is, it’s you. Think about how that applies to a party, and then don’t be that person. Stay classy, Loyola.

Another way to think about this is that you don’t want to be the most talked-about person the next morning, because no one talks about the polite, charming, well-dressed individual who held it together all night and offended no one. They talk about … well, the sucker.

If you are drinking, know how much is enough and how much would be too much. No one likes too much; too much leads only to heartbreak, regret and truly questionable late-night snacking decisions. When you need to slow down, water looks exactly like alcohol when you put it in a Solo cup. It can be your little secret.

Be a Gracious Guest

The party host is not some elusive, faceless concept that provides a bounty and retreats into the night. They’ve allowed (hopefully invited) you into their space, and they didn’t have to. The least you can do is seek them out and thank them, even if you’re tagging along with a friend and don’t really know the host. It’s a good way to get invited back. Plus, crappy guests lead to no fun parties.

Leave with Who You Came with, or Have a Plan

Getting stranded at a crowded party by friends who neglected to mention that they were leaving—does that sound like fun? No? Good, you’re keeping up with me. “Leave with who you came with” is always a good policy; it ensures no one gets stranded or waylaid, and it minimizes the potential for those pesky regrets I mentioned earlier.

But sometimes you might have a couple of people who are fading fast while you’re still going strong, and while they want to go to bed, it’s the last thing on your mind. Always talk over leaving, making sure that you and all of your friends have a safe way back home. Definitely don’t just step out and crawl immediately into bed unless you want people checking nearby ditches for your body because you didn’t tell anyone you were leaving.

If it’s a walkable distance, make sure no one is walking alone. Same if someone (sober and responsible) drove you—if they’re leaving, leave with them. The designated drivers of this world are unsung heroes, and they deserve your respect. If you’re on campus and really in a bind, call for the escort van, and while you’re waiting, think about how you get to go to sleep in your very own bed that night instead of curled up in someone else’s bathtub.

Know What You’re Drinking

Whether you’re sipping cocktails or just trying to decide if Mountain Dew mixed with Cherry Coke would be awesome or just gross, only take drinks from people who have a vested interest in keeping you safe, preferably drinks you watched them make. Fringe benefit: if it’s super delicious, you’ll know how to make it again. Heard this one before? Good. It’s worth repeating. No, there’s no joke here. Stay safe, y’all.

If you do all of this right, your Netflix account might get lonely from you being out and making friends all over the place. Have fun, but don’t forget: the Internet still loves you unconditionally.

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College Etiquette: How to keep it classy at parties