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MIT Parties

spiralingspiraling Registered User Posts: 3 New Member
I'm sure plenty of people have asked this already, but I'm asking again. What exactly are MIT parties (and college parties in general, or maybe just parties at all) like? I would consider myself very introverted, partly from personality and partly from environment (small town + faraway school + homework = never get out of my pajamas or leave the house when home), and I've never really been to any type of gathering or party that had people I didn't know. I want to try as many new things as possible at MIT, though, and partying is one of them. I don't know anything about parties, though, except for what I've seen and read in movies and books, which I know is not the most accurate source.

So what exactly happens at MIT parties? Are there differences in activities and dress between dorm parties and parties across the river? How do people hear about them, and what do people wear to those types of things anyway? Are all parties about dancing and/or drinking? Would you recommend them to an introverted person (who can't dance) like me? Any details are appreciated. Thanks!
Post edited by spiraling on
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Replies to: MIT Parties

  • lidushalidusha Registered User Posts: 1,273 Senior Member
    Anything and everything, depending on where it is you are partying and with whom, in answer to all of your questions. No, you don't have to know how to dance. You won't be alone in not knowing how to dance.
  • lidushalidusha Registered User Posts: 1,273 Senior Member
    So what exactly happens at MIT parties?
    Board games, drinking, dancing and/or flailing, talking, poi and staff with or without fire, building stuff, blacklight, bright colors, mud wrestling, music, inside, outside, any combination of.
    Are there differences in activities and dress between dorm parties and parties across the river?
    And between parties at different dorms, and between parties on different floors in the same dorm, and between different parties on the same floor in the same dorm, and between parties on the same floor in different dorms.
    How do people hear about them,
    Email, usually. Most MIT communication happens through dorm mailing lists. Sometimes people put up signs or write on the steps of 77 Mass Ave with chalk, but usually people just email.
    and what do people wear to those types of things anyway?
    Clothes, sometimes.
    Are all parties about dancing and/or drinking?
    No. Most parties I go to are about board games, with or without drinking. Sometimes it's about blacklights and dancing and things that look pretty under a blacklight, with or without drinking.
    Would you recommend them to an introverted person (who can't dance) like me?
    Of course. You can always flail. No one will notice the difference.
    Any details are appreciated. Thanks!
    I should write a blog post about this.
  • molliebatmitmolliebatmit Registered User Posts: 12,374 Senior Member
    There are also parties (organized, scheduled, sometimes advertised) and then there's just hanging out with your friends on the weekends, which can often involve the same types of activities.
  • crazymomstercrazymomster Registered User Posts: 1,872 Senior Member
    I am wondering how often parties impose on non-partiers. For example... excessive music noise, excessive drunk people noise.

    I don't know what the party culture is like on campus and how much is allowed/accepted/built in.
  • sbjdorlosbjdorlo Registered User Posts: 5,262 Senior Member
    My son's in Simmons dorm and he's never been pressured to drink (though plenty of his friends drink). Since much of his social life revolves around one of the Christian ministry groups, they tend maybe to have fewer drinkers at any of the parties, but I just really get the impression that, in his dorm at least, the drinkers don't make it a big deal and there are plenty of non-drinkers.

    I know there was a big super bowl gathering (party?) tonight that my son had been looking forward to. I don't

    Overall, I've been very happy with the dorm arrangements, parties, and the like, as far as my son's dorm and culture.

    That's not to say he didn't have to learn which houses and parties he wanted to avoid, but that he learned within the first few weeks of school.
  • lidushalidusha Registered User Posts: 1,273 Senior Member
    A close friend of mine lives on the floor that throws the bigger parties in Random. She wanted to go to bed so they ended the party when she went to bed. In other words, maybe, but not where I live.
  • molliebatmitmolliebatmit Registered User Posts: 12,374 Senior Member
    In my dorm, MacGregor, our occasional parties tended to be either in the floor lounge, which was somewhat isolated from everybody's rooms (no bedrooms on that side of the floor). Party noise wasn't substantively different from the typical-weekend-night noise of people hanging out in the floor lounge/watching a movie/playing video games -- I don't recall there ever being problems.

    One really good thing about MIT is that you get to pick where you live, so you get to pick the kind of party culture in which you'd like to participate, whether you want every weekend night to consist of raging alcohol-fueled bacchanals, popcorn and quiet movie nights with your best buddies, or anything in between.
  • spiralingspiraling Registered User Posts: 3 New Member
    The problem is that I don't know yet... I don't want to be missing out on awesome memories if that ends up being something I like, but I also don't want to be stuck trying to sleep while everyone else in my dorm is dancing in the next room.
  • PiperXPPiperXP Registered User Posts: 2,856 Senior Member
    Eh, you can party hard somewhere that isn't your home. I lived on a quiet hall of East Campus for a long time, partied on the other halls, it was fine.

    Also, as fun as parties are, they're not what I'd consider my awesome college memories :P
  • molliebatmitmolliebatmit Registered User Posts: 12,374 Senior Member
    Not to mention that there's plenty of time to decide. Visit a bunch of living groups at CPW, and at orientation, and you'll get a feel for what appeals to you.

    I will add, on a cynical note, that MIT students tend to be night owls. The choice is not generally between staying up partying and going to bed early -- it's between staying up partying and staying up doing something else. :)
  • PiperXPPiperXP Registered User Posts: 2,856 Senior Member
    ^ This past term, I mostly-successfully got into a midnight-9am sleep schedule. It was beautiful :D
  • sbjdorlosbjdorlo Registered User Posts: 5,262 Senior Member
    Seriously, Piper? Congratulations and I mean that!! Based on what my son tells me (and practices), Mollie is spot on, so it's no small thing to do what you've done.
  • spiralingspiraling Registered User Posts: 3 New Member
    Do MIT students EVER sleep?? (Seriously, though, I love my sleep...don't know what I'll do when everything I want to do takes up 30 hours in a 24-hour day)
  • molliebatmitmolliebatmit Registered User Posts: 12,374 Senior Member
    Yes, absolutely. (I mean, Piper just told you she sleeps between midnight and 9 every night! :)) Fortunately, only a few classes at MIT start at 9 -- most start at 10, and it's possible to schedule your classes so that you have mostly late-morning-to-early-afternoon starts. So people sleep, they're just late-shifted from what they were in high school.

    For what it's worth, there's fairly interesting (though perhaps low n) data on MIT student sleep schedules here: The Tech | When are MIT students asleep?
    For even lower n, but higher confidence, here are my own sleep stats from undergrad: http://web.mit.edu/mollieb/Public/PDFs/Other/Sleep%20Statistics.pdf
    Note the extreme sleep catch-up on the weekends -- not atypical.
  • PiperXPPiperXP Registered User Posts: 2,856 Senior Member
    First off and foremost, I personally cannot handle sleep deprivation nearly as well as many of my peers - I learned this after several semesters of trying. Because of this, I've prioritized sleep more than other people.

    Second, I found that many of the clubs I was pouring a lot of time into, I was doing simply because of the "hardcore" mentality around MIT, where you're pressured to do Everything. You start playing the who's-more-hosed game. A lot of people fall into this trap. I decided to cut a lot of club stuff out of my life because they weren't making me happy and they seemed to have no future benefit, so there was no reason to continue.

    Of course, there are people who genuinely like everything they're doing and are still doing a lot, and they'll give up sleep for it, and they can function off lower amounts of sleep. That's totally cool and awesome! (I find that those people also tend to not play the who's-more-hosed game as much, because they're doing what they like as opposed to trying to show off.)

    In the end, taking 4-5 classes per term, doing a bunch of social stuff, and sleeping a bunch works fine. Sometimes it can be hard to tear myself away from conversations at midnight, but overall it hasn't hurt my social circles :)

    tl;dr - Balancing classes/social/sleep is possible. It involves prioritizing and realizing that there's a lot you can wait to do until after college. And not everyone will want to balance their lives this way - but make sure if you're losing sleep, it's on stuff you actually want to be doing.
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