Without my beer goggles on

Christina Alexander


Never have I ever gotten into a bar as easily as I did Monday night. Too bad I wasn’t actually drinking.

I might be 21, but I look about 14. And Monday night, the pigtails and other aspects of my Baby Spice outfit for a ’90s-themed event weren’t exactly helping me look my age. Still, the bouncer just waved me in with a cursory glance.

No asking to dig through my purse to find my “real” driver’s license.

No taking my ID and forcing me to call the police to get it back.

It’s a shame I wasn’t planning on drinking there.

It might seem a little backward that I’m not pulling out all the stops now that I finally have the time to go out with friends. But like most students at Northwestern, I’ve been way too busy these last four years and followed the “Work hard, play hard” mentality, going out when I really shouldn’t have.

After four years of sorority, fraternity, residential college and regular NU parties, mixers, tailgates and pregames, I couldn’t remember being completely sober at one. So I walked into Nevin’s fully prepared to finally understand why the administration insists the Greek system is out of control.

Funny, but no one was topless. No one had thrown up on furniture. No one was throwing glasses, breaking windows or causing general destruction. Huh?

We’ve come under some heavy fire this year. From freshmen setting records for hospital attendance to alcohol violations plaguing fraternities, we’ve started to sound like immature idiots who can’t handle ourselves.

Well, some of us are. But for the majority of students who imbibe, I think we’ve just gotten caught up in a vicious cycle that we made ourselves. Everyone has two or three (or 12) stories about how drunk they got that one night and wow, didn’t they act stupid. (Ah, Dillo Day freshman year.)

We keep telling those stories because – let’s face it – they’re funny. We tell the one about waking up holding a bag of cookies because we fell asleep during drunk munchies. And remember the one time you made friends with the security guard at Burger King so he wouldn’t kick your friend out after he stole someone’s french fries?

But we aren’t always running around clutching paper bag-wrapped bottles of SoCo to our chests and belting out classic rock songs because when we’re drunk we think we’re badass.

Believe me, I tried to find the insanity at the bar. But barring an awkward run-in in the hallway by the bathroom and my own sober, shoeless walk back home, the night was great, but not too crazy.

I don’t even have a funny comment I overheard or a fallback story about when someone fell off a chair or climbed on top of the bar. It was just a swarm of college students dressing in way too much denim, sporting way too many scrunchies and dancing around to ’90s music.

Not too classy, we admit. (Especially that girl in the flowered leggings with the stirrups.) But a lot of tipsy, no-one-going-to-the-hospital fun.

Medill senior Christina Alexander can be reached at [email protected]