It’s the weekend. You managed to stay awake through 15 credits worth of lectures. You read a chapter or two. You wrote a paper, a lab report, and an email to your mom asking for some cash. It’s time to let loose! Only problem: there are so many freaking options! Holler for a Dollar at the university pub, or a toga party at the craziest frat house on campus? Let’s break it down.
If you show up to a party that you heard about from a friend of a friend of a friend, it can be a tad awkward when you first walk through the door, unless it’s a frat party where you pay at the door. (Show them some money and you’re always on the guest list.)
Of course, at a bar, you always belong. The bartender serves as the host. You always know where to find the him, and he is always willing and able to open the liquor cabinet and serve you. At a house party, the host can be hard to find once they’re mingling with other partygoers, or on the front porch begging the cops not to shut down the party. You don’t want anything to come between you and your booze.
Typically, the house party falls into two price categories: $5 a cup, or the cost of the booze you bring yourself. In either case, it’s cheap.
Obviously, the bar is going to be pricier, unless it’s a college pub offering nickel night, fifty-cent pitchers, or some variation thereof. If that is the case, the bar isn’t such a problem, but generally one or two drinks at a bar will cost you more than a whole bottle at the liquor store.
Besides, as someone who gained notoriety for spending $75 at “Ladies Drink Free” night, I can attest that once you get buzzed, you’re bound to spend more than you intended, even when the pub’s practically forcing the booze on you.
Point: House Party
The bar is lined with bouncers. The party is lined with drunk guys who think they can serve as bouncers if any trouble erupts. Furthermore, many bars have coat checks so you can leave your coat, and even your purse, once you’ve slapped down a credit card and barked, “Keep it open.” At a house party, people filter in and out of rooms, and it’s easy for someone to snatch your stuff.
The bar usually consists of no more than one type of entertainment: a live band, karaoke, or a dance floor. Smaller pubtype places usually only feature a jukebox and maybe some foosball.
A raging houseparty often has different drinking games in every room: A**hole in the living room, flip cup on the porch, beer pong in the basement, plus a whole open backyard to mingle. Many college bars are stepping it up a notch by hosting beer pong tournaments, and there are plenty of multi-level clubs, but it’s way easier to room-hop at a houseparty. Besides, you can’t shotgun, funnel, or ice luge at a bar.
Point: House Party.
I’m going to generalize here, but you run into more people you know at a party than at the bar. I’m talking about house parties, after all, not frat parties, so usually the guest list is confined to friends and friends of friends.
If you and your girls are looking to get skankified and find some new meat, usually you’re going to head to the bar. There’s never the same guestlist twice at a bar. Besides, if you wear a cute miniskirt and stilettos to a house party, you might sink into the ground when you pop a squat in the woods.
The Bathroom Situation.
The house party will have a line. The bar will have a line. However, chances are the host at least tidied up the bathroom before the shindig began, and often people are respectful enough at a house party to NOT piss all over the seat. Come 1 a.m. at a crowded bar, and you’re going to walk out of the bathroom in need of a Tetnis shot.
Bonus: You can always head to the woods if you can’t wait in line anymore at the house party. You may encounter a problem if you head to the parking lot of a bar and pee next to a car. Trust me.
Point: House Party.
If the crowd at a party peaks at 10 guests, it’s not going to go down in history as Party of the Year. You might even call it a flop. The same goes for a dead bar.
So what if the place is too crowded?
If the bar so crammed that the line to the bar is at least five people deep all around, and you’re so squished that you can’t lift your glass without elbowing a stranger in the back, it can be quite the buzzkilll.
If the basement of the house party is too crowded, you can wander upstairs. If the living room is too crowded, you can hang out on the porch. If not the porch, the backyard. Variety and lack of sweaty people rubbing up against you definitely leaves the house party on top.
Point: House Party.
Well, folks, that’s my general breakdown. Personally, I prefer bars to house parties every time, but to each their own. And there’s always an exception to every rule. If you are on the bartender’s good side, a night at the pub can feel like your own personal house party. Sometimes you may just want to slap that Financial Aid money down on the counter for an overpriced, watered down drink.
Sometimes, a Monday night can be more memorable than a Saturday, and it’s those unexpected sh*tshows – wherever they may occur – that live on in your memory (or lack thereof) forever.
It’s the weekend – take your pick. And remember, you’re only young once so make it count.