From house parties and dorm room get-togethers, to fraternity/sorority parties and kickbacks – college campuses are the mecca to all things social. Arguably, all of these parties are different in their own way. They all have their own rules, but there still lies a common theme of alcohol and having a good time. I won’t claim expertise on all of them, but black frat parties are sort of my thing. I’ve been to enough to confidently share some ins-and-outs that will undoubtedly help you survive a night of shenanigans that is bound to ensue.
Clothing: Keep it Classy, but Not Too Classy
Do: Keep it simple. The classic t-shirt and jeans combo is all you need, along with a pair of closed toed shoes. This is a function for Converse or Air Force Ones, so you can dance without feeling the pain in your feet the next day.
Don’t: Bring your award-winning beauty pageant gown. You’re at somebody’s house, not a gala. This is likely a corner-street house function, don’t try so hard to impress. However, wearing sweatpants is not acceptable either. You’re at somebody’s house, not your dusty basement. So no, your 6-inch tall, Christian Louboutin’s are not okay. It’s going to be dark, so no one is going to care very much either way.
Dancing: Eh…Just Grab Another Drink
Do: Twerk, twerk, twerk it up! There will be a very rhythmic communal head-banging, so stay on the correct beat. Fraternities will be stepping (I mean the actual dance, not walking) and if this happens to be the case (which it will be), just move out the way and let it happen. In a room that’s obviously not big enough, they are going to take up about a third. The best thing for you to do is slip past the mass of dark bodies and get another cup of Jungle Juice until it’s all over. It’ll all end soon…unless the other fraternities start to challenge them. In that case, go to the kitchen area and try and find someone who’s sober enough to have a conversation.
Don’t: Fist pump and risk someone hitting you in the face. Also, resist the urge to break dance. That’s not a thing. Do not flail your arms around like you’re at a rave club. Keep those impulses contained and those inhibitions inhibited. Imagine you’re in very small, personal box—stay in your box.
Staying Cool: Keep That Hair Up
Do: Wear a fishtail braid if you have long hair. It’s going to be 750 degrees of hell in there. So do what you can to stay cool and keep your hair from sticking to your neck. Honestly, regardless of what you do, your hair is going to stick to you. If you don’t move too much you won’t be as hot.
Don’t: Spend 2 hours in the mirror trying to lay your edges and pick your curls. They’re going to sweat it out as soon as you walk through the door. If you have shorter hair, whatever you do, don’t give in to the struggle ponytail: the ponytail that isn’t actually long enough to be called a ponytail. They look more like suffering stumps waiting to be uprooted and put out of their misery. I’m sorry, but you’re just going to have to deal with the heat.
Touching vs. Groping: Know the Difference
Do: Expect to brush shoulders with people and even have your feet stepped on a few times. Expect to be a little uncomfortable from the lack of space and unfortunately, expect to have your buttocks rubbed against. Most people don’t do it on purpose, but it’s sort of inevitable to squeeze between two bodies and not have parts touching.
Don’t: Intentionally grope people. The house is going to be packed, you’re going to be constantly moving against other people, so don’t deliberately grab someone else without expecting consequences. I’ve been groped more times than I’d like to admit. Not only is it rude, but it’s sexual harassment.
Breathing: You Have to Survive the Night
Do: Go outside to breathe if you need to. It’s going to be hot and smell like sweat and butt, so breathing might become a challenge after a while.
Don’t: Constantly run in and out of the house. You’re may be at a party, but you’re still at someone’s house. My momma wasn’t about all of that rushing in and out the house business; either you stayed your behind in the house or outside the house. Pick one.
These tips are essential to any Black frat party. If you follow them, not only will you be that much more prepared to broaden your horizons, but you also won’t be that awkward person in the corner wishing you could leave as soon as possible.