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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Lessons to learn before partying at UA

At age 12, I was in sixth grade, and meth was a huge deal. The year before, a friend of mine was taken into protective custody by Child Protective Services because his parents had a meth lab in their house. Fifth grade was wild. My teacher performed in a live-action pirate ship reenactment.

Obviously suburban, white pre-teens are the most at-risk demographic for hardcore drug use, so while most of us were summarily scared straight, some kids were scared drug-curious.

My biggest takeaway from the Drug Abuse Resistance Education program (beside the song forever to be trapped in my head) was that if you were going to do something stupid, and probably illegal, you should at least not be a dumbass about it.

I’m not going to tell you the abstinence corollary of drug and alcohol education; abstinence is whack and not fun and you’re statistically likely to try drugs at some point. College should be a fun and exploratory experience, but, like anything, there are ways to do it that are better than others. (Hint: Do it smart.)

For the love of anyone—yourself, your resident assistant, the police, your parents, your GPA—DO NOT DRINK OR DO DRUGS IN YOUR DORM, or someone else’s dorm, or the library or the mall… You get the point. Just go off campus.

If you are in the dorms and underage, you will get caught drinking or smoking or selling cocaine out of your room—I got to meet some lovely Drug Enforcement Administration agents once—because you’re a freshman, and your RA isn’t.

Honestly, you should save your minor in possession for the inevitable moment when your toga gets caught on a fence post as you’re running from the cops.

In the residence halls, you might think you are being sneaky. I was an RA my sophomore year, and my kids were great (you know who you are and I love you,) but they were not subtle at all. The boys directly next to me were the least subtle. You two know who are you are, and you made some classic and memorable mistakes: inviting me into your room WHILE drinking, inviting me in while you had a keg in your room and smoking with your door open. Hey kids, don’t do that.

Some helpful tips for mitigating your party-presence in the dorms:


Drink elsewhere. You don’t want to hate your otherwise-super-cool RA because they are contractually obligated to bust you—and they don’t want to bust you. If the only friends you have want to drink in your 200-square-foot dorm room, you need new friends.


Blasting loud music after 9 p.m. on a Thursday, Friday or Saturday is a dead giveaway you are pre-gaming.


Don’t yell phrases like, “Pour me a shot!” or “Pass the beer!” or, “We are so f*cked if the RAs walk by right now.” The third one happened three times in a year, and I died a little bit more each time.


All of the ventilation in most buildings filters into a communal space or upward through the building. If you are smoking marijuana in your room, someone can smell it, and someone will report it. It’s a fire hazard, it’s illegal and it’s really annoying to deal with for staff.


Make friends who have a place off-campus. I was lucky enough to meet people who threw great parties and invited me until they graduated. When you meet these friends, offer to help out with buying stuff, and try to avoid puking on them or their stuff.


If you’re going to drink in the dorms, buy cheap alcohol. When you inevitably get caught, your RA has to pour it out, and it’s really depressing to pour out good stuff. (It’s even worse to pour out an entire keg, because that takes forever, and you won’t get your deposit back.)

DARE to not be a dipsh*t. Really you should just wait until your 21st birthday, but that’s unrealistic. Be safe, don’t get a minor in possession and try not to get evicted. It’s actually really hard.

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