It’s the time of the season where parties are pleasin’

by Editorial Board / Beacon Staff • October 27, 2016

At issue: Halloweekend at college
Our take: Party your way
For many college students, Halloween weekend means one thing—partying. As soon as Friday hits, we can anticipate hordes of students loitering in the Little Building lobby, dressed in bold costumes and dramatic attire, poised for a night out. They’ll all head to the same half dozen parties, clamoring inside warm apartments and drinking cheap liquor. But they’ll be having the time of their life in that tiny fourth floor walk up.
Partying is a sort of right of passage in college, and one that isn’t really given any credence. Of course, we don’t expect it to make our parents as proud as making Dean’s List. But socializing with friends when the sun goes down can be an important thing for students. It facilitates friendships and allows for introductions. It distracts the mind from the myriad of issues stressing college students—exams, family, career goals. For some, letting loose with a cheap beer and a dance staves off burnout and makes Monday a reasonable feat to conquer.
But it’s not a foolproof activity. Shocker—where alcohol is involved, things can get gray. First off, there’s a certain popular standard for a collegiate night out. Movies suggest every college party has to be packed to the brim, involve random hookups, and end up with your head in a toilet. These expectations can be damaging in persuading students to drink more than their limit, engage in sexual activity they aren’t ready for, and remain in situations that don’t feel comfortable.
Except not every party has to look like it came out of a Hollywood blockbuster. It’s important to have a little bit of partying literacy—that is, understanding how you personally like to party. That can sound a little trivial, but it’s important to reassert your preferences and stick by them. If your MO is to drop by a rager and find a Harley Quinn or a Ken Bone to go home with, that’s all good (as long as you stay safe). If you’d rather kick it with a case of pumpkin ale and watch The Blair Witch Project with your roommates, that’s cool too. Maybe you want to go out and dance, or maybe you just want to stay home and take off your pants.
Partying is in our jeans, too—well, our genes. It’s a ritual rife with opportunity for communication, the kind that bonds you with your peers. There’s a primordial reason people party. In fact, evolutionary psychologists speculate that moving bodies rhythmically with others was a way for early humans to build alliances and connect (head bobbing and fist pumping counts, too). Our collegiate conception of “ragin’” is on par with the French sociologist Emile Durkheim's “collective effervescence.” Basically, this theory says that when people start moving in a shared experience, excitement drums through the crowd. And if you’ve ever been in an Allston apartment on a Friday night when Beyonce’s “Formation” starts to throb in the speakers, you know about this feeling we’re talking about. So no matter what your plans are for this Halloweekend, take a moment to breathe and to bond. The weekend is yours—why not make it a treat?