Sherman Ave Freshman Guide: How to Party Like a Wildcat

22 Aug

NOTE: According to the Illinois Liquor Control Act of 1934, no person under the age of 21 years old may purchase, drink or possess any alcoholic beverage. Therefore, I would like to ask anyone under 21 years of age to stop reading this post and go back to watching Dora the Explorer or whatever the fuck you children do. I would also like to point out that while this post is intended for incoming freshman, I am assuming that the vast majority of freshman took three consecutive gap-years (The Gapfecta) and are currently 21.

Now then. Care to Party Rock?


You see, every year hordes of freshman pour into the finest learning establishment in Cook County’s northern suburbs, ready for a land called “college.” They enter expecting a place where the booze runs freely and the parties rage continuously. In short, they’ve likely visited their friends at the University of Iowa sometime over the last six weeks.

But no amount of college visits can quite prepare you for the rage-a-thon that is Wildcat Welcome Week.

In their infinite wisdom, the Wildcat Welcome Board of Directors (my friend request has been denied by them twice, btwz) created a week before school starts during which all freshman and a healthy number of upper classmen are on campus with no class, no homework, and nearly no expectation of sobriety. This is the week when you will learn how to party right. But you want to be prepared before this all begins so you can be “the one other normal kid in my PA group” when others are talking about you. For that reason, LISTEN UP MAH FRESHMAN BITCHEZZZ. Here’s some crucial knowledge to use responsibly when raging at Northwestern:

Perhaps the biggest shock to incoming freshman is that sometimes you will have to search for the party. Very rarely is it in the dorm across the hall from you. And, if it is, if you were wanted you probably would have been invited.

Hey bro, where's the party at?

Unfortunately, Welcome Week is included in the heinous “Freshman Freeze”. The Freshman Freeze is a policy at NU whereby no freshmen are allowed in any on-campus fraternity house for the first three weeks after move-in. While the Freshman Freeze has been called the biggest infringement on the rights of Drunk-Americans since the infamous Illinois Liquor Control Act of 1934, penalties can be harsh for houses that violate it and many frats adhere to the rules in this case fairly strictly.

Don’t worry, however, because most frats have some sort of off-campus house where the seniors live and the ragers happen during the first few weeks. You’ll learn these locations all too well over time (Fridge, you’ve made it impossible for me to go to the refrigerator in my house without giggling about my Dillo Day shenanigans) and quickly be accustomed to the lengthy walk.

Odds are, unless you have an extraordinarily cool and gutsy PA, you won’t know where the parties are your first night or two. Try asking your friends who live in Bobb or anywhere up north; they often get clued in on these things first. If that fails but you’re still jonesing for some alkeehall, you can always just get a small group and wander off into the nearby residential area. You’ll likely run into other groups and you can ask where they’re headed. Many good discussion section bonds have been formed this way.

Getting into the party

Some people are a bit more naturally gifted at this than others

While this is less common during Welcome Week than the rest of the year, there is often a brother at the door of a fraternity house (on campus or off) who will ask you if you know anyone in the house to see if he should let you in. There are basically two schools of thought here. If it’s during Welcome Week, you probably won’t know anyone, the guy will probably expect that and he’ll let you in anyway, so just tell him you don’t. Or, if you heard a group in front of you get in with a name, give that a shot (Or any common name. There are plenty of Brads in the NU Greek system).

One way to up your odds of getting in is to come with more girls than guys, because — as you’ll quickly find — breaking stereotypes is not all that high up on the list of importance to the NU social scene. In a separate but related point: put said girls up at the front of the group so the doorman doesn’t have to look too far to spot cleavage. That can be soooo tiring for him.

Deciding what to drink
Once you’re in the party you’ll likely have an array of options. During Welcome Week there will be more than a few keggers, and while learning how to pour to minimize foam and bonding with your peers around a massive metal container of an inebriating substance is a lot of fun, you might find the wait excessive and wish to head to another alcohol source. There will probably be a few cases or bins full of crappy beer. Pounce on dat shit. Many parties will also have a limited bar where you can go take awesome shooters with your awesome friends. Some will even have soda (….or pop? Anyone? ANYONE?!) to mix with your hard liquor if you have no testicles.

5 gallons worth of bad decisions

But often the most appealing — and most dangerous — choice is the Jungle Juice. Jungle Juice is a concoction that usually contains some combination of soda (…or fountain drink? Anyone? 1950’s?! ANYONE?!?), fruit juice, hard alcohol, grain alcohol and sugar. And although “this totally doesn’t even taste like there’s like any alcohol in here guys!!!!!!!” just a glass or two of Jungle Juice can really get a future sorostitute drunk. Girls will want to be careful with this stuff as it can very quickly get them fucked before they realize what’s going on. Much like Levi Johnston, we’d assume.

Finally, you may stumble onto a party that has some sort of terrible, boxed wine. This is what we here at Sherman Ave like to call a “fresh” situation. Basically, wine is easy to drink, quick to get you drunk, and you get to feel like you’re still classy as you stumble down Sheridan Road. It’s the best of all worlds!

What to do at the party
Uhhhh, idk. Get drunk and stuff? Make terrible life choices? Eye-bang the girl from your Gender Studies class? Just do whatever the hell drunken idiots have been doing for millenniums.

Typical Kellog students on a Wednesday night

If, however, you choose not to imbibe, I will treat this topic with a little more seriousness. Many Northwestern students do not drink and they will report they have plenty of fun anyway. Being sober at a party can be quite delightful as you are afforded the opportunity to watch the normally coherent future business leaders of the world get mad sloppy on the dance floor. Or, some other sober sisters and brothers have found they get a bit of a contact drunk off everyone else. I’ve been told it’s quite nice. Too afraid to try that stuff myself, though. I prefer a nice SoCo drunk instead.

And on a final note, it is also worth… noting? (shit. I didn’t plan this sentence very well. Fuck it, it’s 1 a.m., ok? You coherence demanding assholes. You’re not better than me!… Wait… I’m sorry. I love you guys. Best readers in the world. When we get to campus, awesome shooters for everyone!) that this is mainly a review of frat parties at NU. This is because Greek life is in many ways the center of the Northwestern party scene. For information on bars, head over here. There are, however, a good number of apartment parties as well. If it’s a small thing and you know the person hosting, you should be fine acting as you normally do. If it’s a larger party, the same rules apply as for frat parties but you may be asked to chip in for the beer as well. Don’t be a dick, do it. What would Morty think of a freeloading freshman? I’ll tell you what he’d think. He wouldn’t be angry, just disappointed. And pretty angry.

So that should be all you need to know to have a rage-tastic week. I would, however, encourage incoming freshies not to attend any Welcome Week activities drunk. This can quickly lead to unfortunate labels such as “that puking kid” and “no, I don’t want to dance there’s not even any music playing you freak” being applied to you.

11 Responses to “Sherman Ave Freshman Guide: How to Party Like a Wildcat”


  1. Sherman Ave Freshman Guide: Hooking Up « Sherman Ave - August 22, 2011

    […] STEP 1: GET YOUR SWAG ON Mental preparedness here is key. Going into affairs like this with the sole intention of hooking up with an 8 (using the Attractiveness Standardized Scale, or A.S.S.) or better can be a recipe for disaster. Rather, try to remain flexible in order to best meet the unexpected contingencies Cupid might throw at you, like suddenly losing the ability to remember your target’s first name or making the ill-advised decision to put Velvet Underground’s “Heroin” on at a frat party. […]

  2. Sherman Ave Freshman Guide: How To Not End Up in the Back of Some Guy’s Van « Sherman Ave - August 24, 2011

    […] Dance floor hookups are so not fetchGet a posse Your posse does the opposite of a wingman’s job. They ensure that any creeper who approaches you is removed in a polite but timely manner. The key here is to set a strict time limit (I recommend roughly 6 minutes). At that point, the creepee should signal (I recommend using the hand motion from Zoom) to the posse that she has come in contact with a creeper, and the posse should surround the creeper until he feels uncomfortable and leaves. If the creeper’s true identity is not yet obvious and the creepee begins to hook up with him, it is also the duty of the posse to check on their friend within the first 10 minutes of said hookup to save her. It is worth noting that it is most helpful if your posse consists of females. Males tend to abandon you in the presence of a creeper and try to high five you as you emerge, humiliated, from an awkward dance floor hookup (looking at you, Sir Edward Twattingworth III). […]

  3. Sherman Ave Freshman Guide: Dorm Life « Sherman Ave - August 26, 2011

    […] tolerance that they can invent a passable alibi off the top of their head, even whilst hammered (Sir Edward Twattingworth III is generally considered a master of this […]

  4. Sherman Ave Freshman Guide: Evanston « Sherman Ave - August 30, 2011

    […] immersing yourself for a few weeks in the infamous college lifestyle, you’ll be surprised to discover that – just a few blocks from that wall of Jones on which you […]

  5. Sherman Ave Freshman Guide: Making Friends « Sherman Ave - September 4, 2011

    […] Parties – When the social lubricant starts to flow, your number of facebook friends starts to grow! In their relaxed and amicable state, most NU students are keen to befriend others during the interminable wait for a turn at the beer pong table. Careful though, as bonds forged as the party devolves into manic skinny dipping can be stronger than you’d think. […]

  6. Top 10 Least Advisable Halloween Costumes « Sherman Ave - October 26, 2011

    […] going to a party with a “heinous” theme, you should probably avoid dressing up as Sir Edward Twattingworth III. As much as we’d love to see our fans don Twattingworth’s characteristic Ed Hardy […]

  7. Five Things to NOT DO with Your Prospective Student « Sherman Ave - April 23, 2012

    […] DO NOT blackout Sure, your prospective student wants to witness Northwestern’s social scene firsthand. And yeah, maybe you want to take the little one to a shindig of sorts (avoid the douchey […]

  8. Sherman Ave Freshman Guide: Sobriety « Sherman Ave - August 15, 2012

    […] Go to parties. Fun story: being sober at parties can be an absolute blast. You get all the fun of hanging out with friends, dancing like an asshat, making a fool of yourself and meeting new people, all without the crippling hangover the next day. As an added benefit, if you make too much of an asshat of yourself (think assbonnet) there’s a pretty good chance that no one will remember it because they were all blacked out. So rage on my sober friends, rage on. […]

  9. Season 1. Episode 2: Syllabus Week | 4 Baby Sitters - February 14, 2013

    […] Photo by: […]

  10. Sherman Ave Freshman Guide: How to Use Facebook for Newly Admitted College Students | Sherman Ave - April 23, 2013

    […] DO: Research Your Classmates People stalk the members of these group for a variety of reasons: Because they want to find out more about their new peers, because they are looking for potential hook-ups, because their parents blocked the “no-no sites” on their computers, etc. Whatever the reason, everyone is doing it – so why shouldn’t you be in on the fun. […]

  11. Sherman Ave Freshman Guide: Everything Else | Sherman Ave - May 18, 2013

    […] you in on the best dining halls, the characteristics of the two sides of campus and what the party scene is like. Even The Flipside will take the opportunity to desperately grasp at readership by printing […]

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