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While fraternity houses nationwide may vary in size, impressiveness, and tier, there are a few properties that each and every one proudly shares. Millions of gallons of cheap beers have been soaked into their storied floorboards. Countless questionable hookups have occurred under each roof. And inside each houses’ fabled halls, there lies one room that has ascended itself from a simple domicile to an unstoppable force of partying insanity wild enough to reincarnate Amy Winehouse just long enough for her to say, “Hey guys maybe you should take it easy.”
But what exactly elevates these rooms from a damn good time to legendary party room status? After all, our fraternity houses are their own individual meccas of irresponsible raging, and any night involving alcohol in the house (every night) is bound to create countless “Did that really fucking happen?” moments. But these rooms, my friends, are of a completely different breed. While other rooms meticulously prepare for upcoming parties by cleaning, organizing alcohol, and hiding all of their valuable shit, the inhabitants of these fabled rooms insist on blacking out before the first guest even arrives. As parties cascade through the evening, this is the room where you can expect the highest level of debauchery. From topless sorority girls caressing the stripper pole with no standards chair in sight, to butt-ass-naked 40-year-old alumni falling unconscious on the historic bar, to say this room has seen some shit would qualify as the understatement of the century. Even when you pass this room on a casual Tuesday afternoon, the inviting aroma of stale beer, aggressively blasted cigarettes, and wintergreen dip cups is enough to convince even the most scholastic of brothers that classes are worth missing that day.
Legendary party rooms are not “decorated” as much as they are filled to the brim with trophies of petty theft and debauchery. Rival fraternity trophies and plaques litter the walls, along with an oh-so-conveniently placed “Speed Hump” sign that was just begging to be removed from its original resting place. John Belushi’s inspiring portrait acts as guardian of the room, and acts as a metaphysical god of the party inspiring visitors to exchange all inhibitions, shame, and common decency for an atmosphere of raging that can only be quelled by police interference or unconsciousness.
Legendary party rooms are not created; they are born. The mysterious origins of your own party room may be lost to history, with nothing but simple names and pledge classes scribbled in permanent marker to commemorate the shit-shows of the past, but the unbridled spirit of insanity lives on through each and every resident. You may not know exactly how hard the pledge classes of past went, but as a party room inhabitant it is your moral obligation to continue the tradition by disregarding all authority.
As a former party room inhabitant myself, I have lived through the constant stream of highs and lows that come with this monumental responsibility. The greatest lesson learned? It’s pretty fucking hard to skip a party that happens in the same place that you sleep. While grades and commitment may falter as the months pass in your legendary party room, the memories you make and subsequently forget are worth the trouble. With each fist-shaped hole in the wall comes another memory, and by year’s end you will combine your newfound drywall repair skills with a true sense of accomplishment that will last for a lifetime.
As you pack up your things for the last time, just before moving out of the mythical residence of raging once and for all, you might not miss the sleepless nights. You definitely won’t miss the 3:00am interruptions of older brothers demanding to use your room for a quick beer pong game. And you sure as hell won’t miss the slippery film of disgust that seems to cover all of your belongings after just a few months lying between those four hallowed walls. Despite all of the inconveniences that come along with party room residence, you’ll miss it. You may never again live your life teetering so foolishly between the line of “drunk” and “Holy shit, someone needs to tie that kid to the basketball hoop.” Even when you’re an underachieving super senior trying to make up for the years you’ve lost to the bottom of a bottle of a Jack Daniel’s, you’ll look back upon those years, smile, and think to yourself “How the fuck did I survive?”