College
by Tucker Bradford on December 3, 2013

Then some sweaty UT dropout walks up to me and says “Hey, my roommates and I have a shit load of coke back at our place. You want in?”

It’s New Year’s Eve in Austin, Texas, and this was not how my night was supposed to go. I had driven down to ring in 2013 with my high school friends, who I had been raging with on a regular basis since we were 17. Our sole mission that night was to show our high school selves what a bunch of fucking pussies they were.

But I am now personally faced a serious dilemma: snort as much coke as it takes to salvage this night/end up passed out naked on the steps of the Texas State Capitol; or, be a “good friend” and try to get everyone home safe. So many questions ran through my mind. Why am I friends with these fuckers? Why did we go to a fucking house party on New Year’s Eve when we had every bar in Austin at our disposal? Are there enough hard drugs in this city to make me forget all my troubles? Why didn’t my father hug me enough as a child?

I’ve asked myself many, many questions about the New Year’s that could have been. At the very least, I can tell you how to avoid completely squandering the nights that are supposed to be fun.

Pregame hard, but remember it’s just a pregame

Our first clue that the night was going to fly off the rails might have been when my friends and I missed the countdown to New Year’s by 15 minutes because we were too busy taking shots and playing four corners. The ball silently dropping in Time’s Square on the muted TV was probably some sort of metaphor. I can confidently say I haven’t pregamed that hard since, mostly because the whole point of pregaming is to save money, not get blackout before you even head out.

Generally, just keep your shit together

Second clue of the night? When my friend lost her iPhone in the one block radius between the apartment and where we hailed the taxis. We know this because someone later turned it into the Jack in the Box on that corner. If you can’t even make it one block without disaster striking, and I would consider losing a brand new $300 piece of technology just that, you might need to take stock of how the rest of the night might go. Also, make sure it is generally known in your friend group that fighting with your significant other in public is a big no-no. Seriously. Nothing kills the vibes faster than when you start airing your dirty laundry for everyone to see.

Fuck house parties

Don’t get me wrong, house parties can still be fun in the post 21-year-old world, but they should hardly ever be your only destination for the night. I had little say in this matter because I was the visitor, so it wasn’t like our plans were up to me. Yes, we may saved money by cabbing it to North Campus instead of the bars, but the return on investment would have been exponentially greater. I’d much rather rage in public with a beer in my hand and the city lights behind me than mill about someone’s backyard chain smoking because the line at the beer pong table is too long.

Now, this brings me to the end of the night. No, I didn’t snort my way to powder town even though I badly wanted to, mostly because the idea of going over to another random stranger’s house was mortifying.

I rounded up my friends and got the fuck out of there, because shockingly the other party-goers weren’t ok with a screaming couple, a crying girl that wasn’t putting out and a guy who likes to get freaky in bathrooms.

I just had to remember the #1 rule of any friend group: no one gets left behind. Because when you’re still getting shit faced at 21 with the same people who taught you how to play beer pong the day after you got your braces off, you don’t dip out when the going gets rough. No matter how many hard drugs you’re offered.