Our kids may party. They may party hard. And — what if some useful learnings may result from unlikely places?
This isn’t saying we should start handing out free party passes for irresponsibility — learning to handle ourselves thoughtfully and responsibly is mission critical for safety, health, and general well being. However, perhaps it’s also useful to be realistic that partying may happen (I’d be kidding myself if I pretended that I never once partied hard), as well as that we learn through all experiences — and trying out a party may be part of our teen’s process in becoming their own anchor. And maybe, just maybe, they may find the best in others in unexpected places.
Here Comes Trouble: Talking “Party Schools”
“This is a party school. You can find a party any night of the week if you look hard enough.”
Before college started, this is something I heard about my soon-to-be home and I can’t really dispute it because, well, it’s not wrong.
I never partied much back home. In fact, I can tell you right now that I went to two parties in my entire time pre-college. This means that I never really got a taste for what the party scene was like in high school, so I can’t comment much on it. Into college, it’s more present, so I guess I’m getting a different view.
As I move into talking about “rage state,” you’re likely expecting stories of everyone drunk everywhere, except for the occasional stoned person breaking the mold. I’m not going to say that that doesn’t happen, but I’m finding it’s not as simple as that when we’re discussing party culture. This culture has endless layers. Yes, there are many off-putting aspects to partying, but I’d actually like to discuss some of the positives I’ve seen to balance out the stumbling, puking, and bad decisions that typically go along with parties.
Something surprising I’ve found is that even though it sometimes brings out the worst in people, it also brings out some of the best in people, too. Girls who frequently spit venom and tear into each other suddenly become each other’s biggest fans, complimenting every aspect of each other’s appearance and personality. People make friends with people they never would have in any other situation.
Guys (who can get a bad rap) actually have it far worse than most if they aren’t involved in Greek (i.e., fraternity) life. There’s nothing guys can do to get into a party if they aren’t in frats to begin with, so they stay home and bond together through their exclusion. Those who do get in pleasantly surprise often as well. Girls who really shouldn’t try to get home alone can be seen often being walked home by boys, but not in a way that makes your skin crawl. These boys will be supporting the full weight of a girl and making sure she gets home safely to someone who can take care of her.
Going to a “party school” has opened my eyes to so much about party culture, including the positives and negatives of such a culture, because there certainly are both. I can’t even begin to fit it all into one post, but here is a volume 1 of the party culture chronicles. More another day.