How to survive a UoB house party, by a UWE veteran
Bring your rolling kit and best deep chat
Going to a Bristol house part as a UWE student can be pretty daunting.
As the local poly, it’s generally our duty to show our Russell Group neighbours how to behave riotously, have fun and perform smoke tricks in a grotty kitchen.
That’s all easy enough at our own parties, but the rules change in posher, more academic UoB environments. We can’t simply turn up and misbehave. We have to maintain a degree of anonymity while still trying to have a good time.
It can be a difficult balance to maintain but, once again, the Tab is here to help those in need with an informative guide.
Dress like you’re at a music festival
Obviously, it’s hard to blend in sometimes when you don’t own a Canada Goose or Barbour jacket. But this isn’t the end of the world. Bristol is changing, and the kind of UoB kids throwing parties have adopted with the “Wavey Garms” trend for some time now – no doubt in an attempt to shake off their red chino childhood at a renowned private school.
Grab your Adidas zip-up and some Sauconys, or some kind of shit flowery shirt and you’re on to a winner. Dress like you’re an idiot at a festival, but never go so far as to wear sunglasses inside. It’s never acceptable.
Prepare to travel to a dull and boring residential street
This is where a UoB party becomes much more strenuous than anything we do. As we should, we host our parties around the social/edgy hub that is Gloucester Road, branching out through Stokes Croft, Bishopston, Horfield and more. But when we are called out to party with the other uni, we become stuck where we really don’t want to be.
Redland is just boring. The endless residential streets make into more of a sleepy village than party central, so anything that goes on there is doomed to fail. Clifton is even worse. Firstly, it’s miles from anything other than tacky clubs, and when you finally find a house party there everyone moves around carefully and uses coasters because they’re afraid to wreck their expensive carpets. Of course, wrecking a massive house is great fun, but reality and guilt set in before anything fun happens.
Keep the music ambient
Grime isn’t really an option here. If it’s an iPod party and you’ve got the balls to step up and stick on a tune be very careful. Tame Impala is acceptable. Jungle is a grey area. Stormzy is an absolute no. You don’t need to act like you’re fresh back from Coachella, but an air of sophistication never hurt anybody. Nobody here wants to shout “feed them to the lions” or do their best Tempa T impression. When the part really gets going stick to some sophisticated, ambient electronic such as Jon Hopkins or, if you really want to impress, Jamie xx.
Talk about your course and other deep shit
The weirdest thing about UoB parties is that they talk about their courses. While you’re having a roll up don’t expect the usual discussion of clothes, football or how you’re secretly banging your house mate. Prepare to be bombarded by Plato’s Republic, Napoleon’s domestic reforms and the complex processes behind rock formation. You won’t be laughing about embarrassing yourself in a club, you’ll be having a serious, intelligent conversation. Of course, this is beneficial to us all, but it can leave us somewhat thrown in at the deep end, so get swatting up on that Introduction to Philosophy you never read for that seminar. If in doubt, throw in references to David Foster Wallace and Camus and you’ll be fine.
There will be a lot less drama than usual
A characteristic of any UWE party is drama. Inevitably, a couple will get into an argument, some guys will bump into each other and have a fall out, and even the strongest of WhatsApp groups will feel the cracks. In this sense, or so I have observed, UoB parties are a bit better. In general, fewer people will become agitated, and you don’t run the risk of trying to chat up someone else’s girlfriend.
Show off your rolling skills at the after party
If you’ve got this far you’ve done well. You’ve hidden your identity, or somehow convinced your fellow man that UWE students aren’t the spawn of Satan. Now you have to conquer the dreaded fear, as well as continue to blend in. Having got here, you’ve clearly got nerves of steel and it’s not time to drop the ball. Share your cigarettes, put on some relaxing music and impress everyone with your ability to roll an L-plate. They’ll be amazed. Bask in their admiration, for you will now forever be known as the cool kid from the poly.