My sober night at a frat party

Try it – you’ll spend your night being asked if you want a drink and why you didn’t have one in the first place

Going to a frat party is a right of passage for all college students. In high school, you’re warned about nights filled with drinking, terrible decisions, and debauchery. Then in freshman year, everybody goes en masse.

Eventually you pick your favorite frat after “playing the field” – usually by finding the cutest boys and the best drinks. It never crosses your mind that someone could be sober at such a function or why they would want to.

I decided to put my evening on the line, and attended a frat party sober as a senior.

Hotty Toddy let’s do this!

Blurry picture courtesy of my first frat party where my wallet got stolen

Entering the frat house

Going into a frat house sober feels slightly intimidating because there are so many freshman queuing to get in.  When you arrive at a frat party drunk, you don’t factor in that the wait time is usually over an hour. Typically the wait is palatable after after a couple of drinks – the conversation flows and you eagerly anticipate the next stop. When you’re sober, not so much. It feels like an eternity.

For those of you who don’t know the usual routine, when you finally get past the random drunk students you get to a security table. This is basically where you sign your soul to the devil in order to enter your soon-to be-found hell.

They check your ID card which does not have to be state issued – but it always helps if it is.  They give you a wristband or an X on your hand, you sign a piece of paper so they can identify you.

After this, into the abyss you go.

Views from waiting in the line

The great room

This is the big open room when you first walk into the house that’s a holding pen for friendly drunk co-eds to mingle before the musical guests arrive (most likely an unknown local rapper, though every now and then a big name will appear).

There’s no furniture anywhere – which is very inconvenient whether you’re drunk or sober, but made the mistake of wearing heels.

There are ‘drinks’ everywhere – Evan Williams Whiskey and watered down Cola, an off brand vodka and watered down Sprite, and a cooler filled to the top with a mixture of any alcohol found around the house and a premixed punch. The frat boys call it “Hunch Punch” because if you drink it, you will be hunching over a toilet the next day and feel like you got punched in the head.  This was one I felt pretty happy to avoid as I started making the rounds.

Because my vision wasn’t obstructed with any kind of drinking haze, I started to realize how unbelievably dirty these houses get. Red Solo cups cover the floor along with mud bought in by the boy’s sneakers and high heels that girls took off – they will regret that in the morning when I remind them how horribly dirty the floor was.

Outside we go

Outside in the back yard, there’s a musical guest set up. When intoxicated the yard seems fine –  yes, a glorified dirt pile, but fine.

When sober you become excruciatingly aware of how hot and sticky it is, and the fact that there are far too many people in a very confined space.

The band is substantially worse when sober because most of them are cover bands or locals. It’s a bit disappointing to realize they’ve probably always been awful but you’ve been too drunk to realize it.

There are also a lot more loser men than you ever noticed before. During my time outside I had three drinks spilled on me and I was pushed more times than I could count. Boys also have no boundaries at these parties. They will come up behind you and start copping a feel and your only option is to slide away in the chaos.

Being a fly on the wall is fun because you get a real overview of everything that is happening.

Many of the girls will either fall down or just be sloppy. The music is loud, the lights are bright, and the stench of sweat, cigarettes and bad decisions permeates.

The ground and an aerial view of the pit

Stepping up

Upstairs is a place no sober person should go ever.

The floors are slippery and everyone upstairs is either making out in the hallways or locked in behind closed doors.

There are no usable restrooms in the whole house – they’re so gross you feel like you’ll catch something by breathing in the air. More often than not, they’re overrun with people throwing up.

I saw numerous people just sitting on the floor because they were too drunk to function and/or crying over a spilt drink. When you’re drunk you are usually one of the people on the floor or throwing up but sober, it’s a whole new world.

If you don’t have a drink in your hand, you will be asked at least ten times if you want one or why you do not have a one.

The people 

The people you see at frat parties come in all shapes and sizes. Most notable are the freshman girls and boys that look like they’ve just walked into the zombie apocalypse and cling to their group of friends.

Then there is the crew who see frat parties as the ultimate moment to make life long friends they won’t remember in the morning.

Next there are the Sophomores who think they rule the frat because ‘it’s their favorite’ and they know everyone.

Juniors are starting to go to the bars since people are turning 21 but there are still some around. They have a tight group of pals at the house and they stay with them until they leave.

Seniors are few and far between. My friends and I could have be the only ones there. We have better things to do than go to frat parties.


To conclude, going to a frat house sober is an experience. Across the evening, people become different. Quite often, they think there’s nothing they can do wrong and the ones you know become strangers.

Soberly fraternizing opens your eyes to the real world of these parties. Drunken idiots are not amusing when they’re falling all over you and rather than you falling over them, and it’s not great spending your night holding them up. Being able to remove yourself from the world as soon as you walk through those cobra security guarded doors is something more people need to be aware of.

Final thought – regardless of how drunk you are, you’re responsible for your actions – good or bad – and that’s something to keep in mind before downing Hunch Punch.

Ole Miss: University of Mississippi