Partying may seem like a no-brainer, but here at UConn we take our fun very seriously. It takes practice to master the perfect night out. Luckily you have me, your party guru here to help answer all those questions you’re too afraid to ask. After all, UConn upperclassmen are already killin’ the game and making it look easy can be intimidating. Keep reading to discover everything you need to know about the UConn party scene!
1. The Preparation.
For guys, the preparation is easy: make sure you don’t smell, throw on literally any half decent outfit, and start drinking wherever your friends are, whether that’s your dorm or a frat house down the street. For girls, things are a little more complicated.
Timing is everything. Grab an early dinner (don’t even think about skipping you will regret it) and then hit the shower. Hair and makeup are easy (you know how to look hot), but what you wear is a tad trickier. Find the balance between dressing for the weather and showing some skin because you never know when you’re going to be stranded outside waiting for a ride. If it’s a chilly fall night, stick to those cute jeans that make your butt look good and that crop top you’ve been dying to break out.
Keep in mind that it will be hot af where you’re partying so don’t even think about bringing a jacket because you will take it off and you will lose it. Wedges are acceptable while heels are less so (but hey if you have the confidence go for it). Practically speaking, you’re going to have to walk at some point during the night so there is no shame in wearing converse or gladiators. Just keep in mind there’s a high possibility they’ll look like someone ran them over in the morning. Once you’re presentable, find your friends and get those insta worthy pics out of the way because once you’re drunk it’s a lost cause.
2. The Pregame.
Next comes the pregame. Pregaming at UConn plays a vital role in the party experience. The simplest form is the “Dorm Pregame” which is pretty self explanatory: pick one of your friends’ rooms, grab a chaser and your alc (put it under your shirt), and haul ass into that room before an RA walks by. Don’t get too comfortable people, because the minute you do, a roaming RA will catch you red handed with a full bottle of Ciroc, make you pour it down the bathroom drain, and send you to an alc edu class which costs $175 (in case you haven’t figured it out, I’m talking from experience).
If you’re in a sorority, they’ll probably invite you to a mass pregame and sometimes frats will host an official pregame to their party. In this case, pregaming the pregame is 100% a thing. Now for those of you wondering “what’s a pregame?” I’ll try not to judge you too hard. A basic pregame is the act of consuming alcohol before arriving to the party. Music is a must at a pregame and for the love of God don’t pregame alone, that’s sad. Take some shots with friends or make a mixed drink but remember: you most likely will be drinking at the party and nothing is more of a waste than blacking out before you even get to the real fun.
3. Getting There.
This is where it starts to get stressful. For the unlucky squad member who gets tasked with finding a ride to the party, start searching as early as the getting dressed phase and you better make damn sure that your ride is locked down by the middle of the pregame. If you don’t, things will start to get chaotic and people will start to get testy. There are multiple options to finding a ride; here I will list them in order of reliability.
- Find a guy down the hall who loves your squad, isn’t going out, and therefore doesn’t mind dropping you off and picking you up. This guy will probably refuse to take your money but still offer him 2-3 dollars a head, tell him you love him, and that he’s the best. He doesn’t want to feel bought but occasionally shove those dolla bills in his pocket anyways because he has literally been your savior one too many times.
- The Facebook Page. UConn Buy or Sell is where the majority of people post Sober Rides. Sober Rides are unofficial. Anyone with a car on or around campus looking to make a few bucks can post their number on this page and easily make 100s of dollars picking up and dropping people off at various party locations. Better call when they first post because these rides get booked up quick.
- Uber and Sober Express. These companies are on the pricier side, but they are generally more reliable because of it. Yes availability is limited and it could be a 40-minute wait, but a ride is a ride.
- Frat sober drivers. These are exclusively posted on the Facebook pages created for the specific party by the frat whose hosting. It’s a group of 4-5 unlucky pledges who have to spend their whole night getting ordered around by their drunken older brothers. These rides are near impossible to get. If a brother calls screaming saying he needs to be picked up asap, you better believe that kid is picking up the brother instead of you and your squad. Your only saving grace is if you happen to know the pledge driving, are tight with that frat, or the holy grail, are dating a brother in the frat. It’s an unfair system but that’s the way it works. Odds are you call, they say 30 minutes and then never show.
All in all, plan for your rides in advance, have small bills on you, and avoid walking at all costs. Nothing is a bigger freshman give away. When it’s nicer out it’s less judge worthy, but when fall gives way to early winter, shivering people clomping down the sidewalk in their 5 inch wedges is a sad sight.
4. Guys: What to Expect
Unfortunately I feel like I’ve led you men on. Truth is, it’s almost impossible to get into a party if you’re not in a frat. And even then, you’re only really secure at your own parties. “Having a good ratio will get you in,” is a lie. One guy can show up with 10 hot girls and yeah maybe you’ll get through the door but once those girls leave your side, you’re out buddy.
Best advice: join a frat, team, or make some key connections.
5. Girls: What to Expect
Getting into any party is a breeze, the guys hosting want to see a huge hot turnout so be friendly, remember names, and you’re sure to make a good impression. Unfortunately safety is always key so the buddy system is your best friend. Don’t you dare leave a party alone (especially walking) and always have a group chat with your friends for the night so you can update your location. Things can get pretty chaotic at any party so it’s important that you watch out for your friends and they watch out for you.
6. Frat/House Parties
Names like Casa, Grey House, Duck House, Tree House, and so many more will become commonplace in conversations leading up to the weekend. That’s because each frat has party houses and every party house has a seemingly unrelated name. These houses are not nice. And if they are, they will quickly be destroyed. I’m talking windows broken and door handles missing. I’m letting you know right now, there will never be any toilet paper in the bathrooms.
At each party house you will find the classic grimy frat basement where some poor guy on the aux is forced to please an entire crowd. Depending on the mood, dancing might not be so big one night as it is another, but there is always a good mixture of dancing and mingling. Best way to mingle is to have a friend introduce you to someone else they know. Mutual friends are the lifeblood of the UConn party/social scene. That super sweet girl you met in line for the bathroom that one time might just happen to be in one of your discussions.
7. “The Bar”
“The bar” represents not a specific bar, but the act of going to one of the several bars in general. You have the classic Huskies (which is now sadly located where Final Pour used to be), Teds, and then you have Sports Bar. Huskies is easily accessed on campus and is home to the infamous Nickel, as well as basically every bar night ever. Thursdays is when the bar is majorly the move, but Fridays are popular too depending on what else is going on. Nickel is a drink special where you can buy 4 drinks for a dollar. Needless to say the line is out the door from well before it begins at 7pm to when the special ends at 9pm (times are subject to change).
Bar nights are when a specific frat or sorority rents out the bar for a night. Meaning that if for example, ZBT hosts a bar night, the vast majority of the guys in there will be ZBTs. Keep in mind that specific frats have informal partnerships with other frats so that some of that frat can be let in as well. Tickets are then given to sororities and girls outside of Greek life. These nights are great because it’s 18+ so everyone is welcome to tear up the dance floor or grab a booth and chill. If you plan to drink, you need to show an ID at the door and they will stamp you.
8. Darty Szn
Darty Szn (more like darty weekend), is a great time. At UConn, we experience all types of weather. When spring comes around after a cold ass winter, nothing can quite explain the excitement in the air as dartying (day partying) becomes acceptable. Outfits are always on point because people can actually see them for once.
Beer is in abundance and music is blasting. No one sits, and you basically hop from one group of friends to another. On crazy darty weekends there will be one Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. A typical darty day goes in this order: wake up, eat, shower, get darty ready, pregame, darty, go home, eat, nap, wake up at 6 or 7pm, and get ready for your night out. Craziness doesn’t even being to describe it.
9. The Scene
At first it feels like every time you go out you see people that you will never see again in your life. These people are nameless strangers. You feel brave, who cares what you do if you’ll never see them right? Wrong. If going out is your lifestyle you’ll quickly realize that the partying scene is pretty small, even smaller if you’re in Greek life. That rando you made out with last night? You think you just spotted him coming out of the gym so you awkwardly avoided eye contact at all costs.
On any given night out, you will get hit on more times than you can count. The sources of these encounters will be various frat stars, an occasional hottie that you’ll mourn when he leads with “I don’t go here I’m just visiting a friend,” un-affiliated, and the more rare sports players. Witty conversations are usually not what’s on these young men’s minds. It’s harder than you think to build genuine friendships from just partying, but the more you see someone, the easier it becomes.
10. Getting Busted
Having the party shut down by cops is not an uncommon occurrence. The more hyped up a party gets, the more likely it is that it’s on UConn Police’s radar. Certain weekends like Spring Weekend and days like Freshmen Friday, are riskier than most. The police are on the prowl, looking to set an example. Luckily for us, they aren’t really out to get your average party-goer. Just be cooperative and polite, and don’t be an idiot and walk by them with a drink in hand. The people who live in the house that gets busted are really the ones that take the fall. Fines are given and Landlords are not too happy when that happens.
11. Facing Reality
Sadly, every party must come to an end. I’ll be honest, that next morning will be rough. You’ll roll out bed, pop a couple of Advil, and trudge down the hall to your best friend’s dorm where the rehashing begins. “Who did we talk to again?” “Wait we went to Wally’s??”And so on. It’s elaborate, chaotic, and crazy, but are you ready to do it all again next weekend? Hell yes.