The student voice of Washington State University since 1895

The Daily Evergreen

The student voice of Washington State University since 1895

The Daily Evergreen

The student voice of Washington State University since 1895

The Daily Evergreen

Ask Life: Unspoken rules at college parties?

Tips for etiquette, having a great time and staying safe
One tip for having a good party experience is to get a ride home from someone sober if you drink.

Dear Life Section,

This is my first semester in college and I wish to have a good college party experience. I want to make sure I am aware of any unspoken rules that might be important.

Could you give me some tips on college party etiquette and navigating social norms?


First College Party Experience


Dear First College Party Experience,

Wishing to get a party invitation is understandable for a college student. However, those of us who have never been before may be unfamiliar with the social norms at college parties.

One unspoken rule for college parties is to give your host a heads-up for your arrival; this can help your host plan better.

A safe decision would be to not go alone. Take a friend with you, but not too many. Strike a balance between bringing a couple of friends to enjoy the party with without overshadowing the vibe.

Whether it is a dorm room party, house party or fraternity party, it is crucial to respect the space and avoid breakage or damage. Try not to enter people’s rooms without their knowledge and help clean up if you accidentally spill something.

If it is BYOB (Bring Your Own Beverage), an unspoken rule is to bring enough beverages, but not too much. A six-pack or a bottle of wine is usually acceptable.

Everyone has a different way of enjoying a college party. Some like to play drinking games like Rage Cage or beer pong, a few like to strike up a conversation and most hit the dance floor.

Try to move to a quieter place if you wish to chat; save the shouting for the dance floor. Be mindful of personal space. Always respect people’s personal boundaries and ask for consent before engaging in physical contact.

It is easy to get caught up in a good party, but before it gets too wild, try to stay hydrated and pace your alcohol intake. The key is to know your limits with spirits.

If you see someone who needs assistance or is feeling uncomfortable, step in or inform someone who can help. Safety is of utmost importance.

The last unspoken rule would be to know when to leave. Have an exit plan and coordinate with friends. Call a cab back home or let a sober friend give you a ride. If neither is an option for you, Cougar Safe Rides operates from 8 p.m.–midnight Thursday–Saturday.

Keep these rules in mind and you should be fine. Do not forget to have fun and make some great memories.


The Life Section

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About the Contributors
SIA CHHEDA, Evergreen reporter
Sia is a sophomore majoring in psychology. She has been working with the Daily Evergreen since fall 2023 and is driven by the curiosity to understand how individuals make decisions to shape our world.
GRACIE ROGERS, Evergreen Illustration editor
Gracie Rogers is a graphic illustrator for the Daily Evergreen. She is a senior Digital Technology & Culture major from Pullman, Washington. Gracie started working for the Daily Evergreen back in Spring 2022.