Let’s be real: when you decide to go to an SEC school for college, partying is probably on your mind. With college comes freedom, and with freedom comes the ability to do whatever you want whenever you want, and if that “whatever” happens to include chatting with as many strangers as possible in dark, techno-filled rooms, so be it; but follow these steps to ensure your survival.

1. Plan Your Party.

First things first, figure out which frats are throwing a party and then figure out where you will go first. There is such a thing as “frat hopping”, and trust me, it’s an art. Its simple actually, pick about 3 houses you’d like to go for the night. House number one should be the house with the best hunch punch and the house you care about the least. The importance of house number one is to literally walk in, get some alcohol in your system, and walk out. Now it’s likely you will run into a few people you know, so make sure you turn into the basic sorority girl for a minute and give them all hugs, and then make your way out the door. House number two is the house that your potential bae is at. Once you get to this house, you make your rounds, grab some more alcohol, and then make your way to the dance floor. Side note: make sure you walk past your bae a few times, but don’t say hey first. The art of this is for him to notice you. By house number three, if you make it, you tend to be sloshed. Sloshed is another word I like to use for drunk, but you’re past drunk and not quite to blackout. This is the house where you grab your final cup of hunch punch, but you will get, at the most, one sip from it before you spill it over someone else’s shoulder. Once that happens, you should probably just go home.

2. Frat Sludge Kills.

Yes, this is a real thing. Frat sludge is the nasty, sticky, discolored, chunky liquid you find the floors covered with. This secret concoction of liquids RUINS all shoes. So, be smart and have designated party shoes. And NEVER wear your favorite pair of suede booties, they will never look the same again.

3. ALWAYS Watch Your Drinks.

Disclaimer: Not every fraternity brother is out there to slip something into your drink and turn you into a sexual assault statistic. The majority of fraternity gentlemen are nothing short of great guys who just want to have a fun time. Still, there’s always a chance that things can go awry, and it’s always better to be safe than sorry. You know the rules. Watch your drinks get poured. Don’t take a drink from a stranger. Don’t leave your drink and then come back to it. Be smart with your drinking, and the good times will stay good.

4. The bathroom IS Just as Bad as You’ve Imagined.

Actually, it’s probably worse than anything you’ve ever imagined. A lot worse. Everything, and I mean everything, will be covered is something sticky or something brown and you better pray to God is it just alcohol and dirt. I’m talking about the kind of nasty where you walk in, look at your friend, and immediately say “DON’T. TOUCH. ANYTHING.” And don’t even try to ask for some toilet paper when your done because that’s something frat boys don’t believe in. As a girl in my sorority once said, “Bring some toilet paper in your purse or get ready to air dry.” While I don’t advocate peeing in bushes, I can almost promise you it’s better than a fraternity houses bathroom.

5. Double Cup or No Cup at All.

Essentially, this is the art of double fisting. Yes, I know, it sounds disgusting but it’s not what you think. Double fisting means getting two cups of hunch punch instead of one. This is crucial because it will save you about 20 mins of your time from standing in line for the second round of drinks.

6. Uber vs. T-Link.

This step took me almost 5 months to figure out, but when I did, it changed the face of my bank account forever. As we all know, you don’t drive to a frat party because the obvious, never drink and drive, but we often forget that we go to school in Knoxville and this city has never heard of parking before so it’s a nightmare. Also, uber. It’s the best invention since sliced cheese, but from personal experience, let me tell you, it takes a toll on your bank account. You wouldn’t think this when the fair estimate is only five dollars from your dorm to Alpha Psi to Phi Kappa to Delta Sigma; but next thing you know, you wake up the next morning to $50 worth of uber receipts sitting in your email. Trust me, that’s not an easy one to explain to your parents. So if you ever have to question yourself, TAKE THE T-LINK. It’s free and what’s better than that?

7. Don’t be THAT Girl.

You know, that girl.. and when I say THAT girl, it covers a wide variety of those girls. So let’s be honest; don’t be that girl that’s dancing on the stage in the middle of the living room, that girl you see in the middle of the dance floor making out with the frat guy she just met 5 minutes ago, that girl who’s puking over the frat house balcony, that girl who’s screaming and banging on the bathroom door when she CLEARLY saw you walk in 0.5 seconds ago, and please, for the love of God, PLEASE don’t be that girl who spills her cup of punch as soon as she gets it.

8. Have Fun, Just Not Too Much Fun.

Remember: its college. This is your time to experiment and get out of your comfort zone, which inevitably comes with making mistakes; but ultimately, this is your time to shine. So, go out. Drink, but for the love of all things good, please do not drink so much your blackout and wake up in an ambulance. I promise, it’s not as fun as it sounds. Dance your ass off; drop it low, but only if you’re POSITIVE you can make it back up. Most importantly, have the time of your life. If you do it right, you’ll have memories to last you a long, long time.

Like what you read? Give C W a round of applause.

From a quick cheer to a standing ovation, clap to show how much you enjoyed this story.