Spring Break Broke Us

589e5d16ce8f74bdfc9b7736bea2d924Next week will throw us into tumultuous emotions. On top of March Madness, we’ll be coping with the week that we formerly knew as “spring breaaaaak.” The pro is of course: waking up each morning and not immediately wanting to die. But how are we supposed to promote inter-collegiate friendships if we’re not all on the same party beach together, developing similar interests, like ocean-flavored beer and other Midwestern people? We are left to bask in the 40-degree sunshine that we experience during our walk into and out of the office at the end of the day. Maybe we’re in denial. I mean, why go to a beach when we can simply admire tweets, instas, and FB posts about warm weather from the comfort of our car’s heated seats? And all that sand? Yuck.

But really, I think we’re all doing okay with our first year acknowledging spring break as a fond memory rather than an actual thing that’s happening. Though I’ve been flirting with the thought of just how well the Les Mis lyrics of “I Dreamed a Dream” resonate with my feelings about spring break, I’m not losing mental stability at all… maybe it’s good that now if we want to execute a mass beer bong event, we’ll need to organize it in the Outlook Calendar or “follow up” with it later on in the week. (Post-grads LOVE following up.) At least on the plus side, we won’t have to worry about spring break bods? All the tacos for us. There’s also a crazy amount of time and money we can save by not going tanning all the weeks before spring break. I mean, who misses being tan? No one. Putin, maybe. And who needs a multi-level bar in the ocean when you’ve got Buffalo Wild Wings?

Reminiscing about hot weather, fruity drinks, and blatant disregard for time will only hurt your soul. Surely there had to be some negatives to journeying south and will help stifle this year’s blow. We were burnt to a crisp. We spent way too much money. Everyone had that one person in your group no one could stand – the KU of spring break. They needed a bathroom break every hour on the drive down, were always lagging behind, or they threw up in a cab and made their friends pay for the damage…………………………………………………………………….

Spring break trips have left us believing it is a right to experience a week-long hiatus from real life; that James Franco wants more for us; that even though hangovers come and go, South Padre, PCB, and Mexico are forever.

The Trap that is Your ~*college*~ Facebook Album

Picture 4Amid the medals, measurements, and minutes that are counted during the Olympics, I got lost in a numerical sea of my own today. I’ve spent the last week in Wisconsin (a trip my mom referred to as “a little spring break”) before I start full-time employment next week. Though the site seeing in Appleton, WI is endless, I’ve found myself with quite a bit of down time while my boyfriend is off at work contributing to society or whatever. So I’ve been organizing taste tests and focus groups for myself and for Pinot Noir.

Somewhere between a Menage a Trois blended red and a 2 p.m. screening of Bruce Almighty, I found myself perusing the FB. Enough hits on the right arrow, and I was transported back to freshman year. The first question: who let me three-barrel my hair that often? The second: WHY ALL THE PHOTOS?! 2009, it seemed, was the year we greeted guys not with a “hey” “hi” or even a wave, but rather, “Can you take a picture of us pleeeeease?” It was the new hello and the flash was the perfect goodbye.

After a Friday night out, there were 198 photos, 27 friend requests, and a dozen new contacts saved in our flip phones. (#blessed that Twitter wasn’t a thing when we were college freshmen.) Were we just that excited to be meeting new people? Yes. Did we really feel the need to bond because we were the only two in the girls’ bathroom at that fraternity at that particular moment wearing the same Forever 21 top? Absolutely yes. Maybe we just didn’t want to miss a minute of our college experience, or maybe we were just looking forward to editing all the new photos on Picnik while we listened to “Party in the USA.”

However, a few things I picked up on while meandering through pixels of a life pre post-grad:

1. I would’ve spent an exorbitant amount of less time working on house party costumes.

2. I would’ve spent even less time worrying who my date was because, really, did it ever work out?

3. Captions do more harm than good.

4. Helser Hall really, really builds character.

5. We all really took “I throw my hands up in the air sometimes” to heart.

I’ll be the first to say that many a great friendship started via “oh em gee are you in a house?” and also that I’m glad to have all of these awkwardly posed pictures, sans skinny arm or sorority squat, showcasing now non-existent clothing trends and guys who we wasted too much time talking about. So in answer to our parents’ asking what good is social media — it gives us something to screenshot and still be able to laugh at with our friends, years later. Long live the college memories and the pictures that encapsulate what a horrible, hilarious mix our lives were. I became enveloped in a vat of memories that reminded me how easy it was to get wrapped up in Greek life. It reminded me how much I loved Ke$ha and how okay I was with wearing flare jeans and chunky headbands. It reminded how lucky I was to be immersed in a group of people that were just as excited and unprepared as I was.

Entering Your College Bar as a Post-Grad: Five Stages of Grief

Screen shot 2014-01-16 at 4.52.08 PM1. Denial: When did they start checking IDs here? Too many under-agers must’ve gotten tired of the dorm storm/Greek scene and tried to sneak into the bars…right? Nope. You’re not getting ID’d because you look too young. It’s because the door guy has no idea who the hell you are. Back in your prime, you had gotten so friendly with the previous door guy that you didn’t even think about bringing your ID out – a habit that later came to haunt you in your post-grad life. Doesn’t he know that, at one point, this bar was an extension of your very soul?  He must be  new – like brand new as of TODAY because this is unacceptable.

2. Anger: IT COSTS HOW MUCH FOR A PITCHER?! The bartender was someone you once trusted, someone you once knew, someone you once confided your Touchtunes selections to. Everything seems to get to you as you wait for your drink. You could’ve sworn “wine pitcher” was once on the drink menu, but apparently those days are dead and gone, alongside 50-cent beers and karaoke dreams (before the only bar with a stage literally swept it out from underneath you during its most recent renovation). You are livid when an underclassmen you once called “friend” forgets what your major was, where you live now, what your job is, who you live with, what your cat’s name is, and everything you accomplished during your four year stint in college. Like, do they even follow you on Twitter anymore?!

3. Bargaining/”If Only”: Shoulda, woulda, coulda, man. If only you hadn’t graduated. If only you had failed Library one more time. If only you had used Sharpie instead of eyeliner to write you and your BFF’s initials on the bathroom wall – now how will the world ever know you existed? The “if only” is a weak line of defense our mind creates in order to push the painful reality away. In truth, the real “if only” that we should be worry about is, “If only my college friends were here.” It’s an overwhelming feeling that goes with pretty much every event ever, post-college. How much more fun would work be if your college friends were there too?

4. Depression: “Yes, I’ll have another,” (you tell yourself because it’s a college bar and God knows there isn’t a functioning waitstaff to serve you.) This is getting weird…but you’re feeling a little out of it after a wopping… four drinks?! Never in your life have you sworn that drinks were missing from your tab. And you begin to realize one of the most enticing aspects of the bar scene was that you didn’t have to deal with the youths – people you talked to in recruitment, people who were thrown into your group project because you had to take Econ 101 two maybe three times but hey who’s counting, people who give you funny looks for wearing sweats instead of a dress to the bar. Now here they all are, banded up together, banded up against you, probably. The bars are finally their home field, and you’re just there, looking sad (but well-dressed because hey we have money now kinda.) You think about heading to a different bar, but by the time you’re halfway there, you decide the walk is too far (HAS IT ALWAYS BEEN THIS FAR..?!?) and retreat to somewhere safe, like McDonald’s.

5. Acceptance: Or whatever is closest to it. Cheers.

All I Want for Christmas is to Hang Out with My Parents

Screen shot 2014-01-29 at 1.16.23 PMI never had the cool parents. I was the 12-year-old  who had to stay home when my friends went to see a PG-13 movie. I thought my world came to a crashing halt when my parents refused to let me watch “Bring It On” at a friend’s birthday. My mom got annoyed when I wanted to listen to Radio Disney in the car, even though I was determined to belt every word to “This Is What Dreams Are Made Of” by Hilary Duff (or Lizzie McGuire. Or Isabella. Not sure where we ever landed on that one.) I was discouraged to call friends’ parents by their first names, even though that’s what all my friends were doing.

Even through high school I wasn’t granted much more autonomy. It wasn’t irregular for my dad to call the parents of a friend who was having a party, to make sure it would be supervised. My midnight curfew was set in stone, as I was reminded at 12:02 a.m. that “late is late.” I blamed my sisters and my middle child status for much of my misfortune. One was perfect with straight A’s and zero wrongdoings. One was the youngest, a quirky but promising student. And I felt glazed over, like a rack of barbecue ribs, slowly turning on a less-than-perfect spit.

The truth of the situation is that I was over-dramatic, ornery, and self-centered in my adolescence. I threw blame at my parents every chance I could, and I lashed out when I knew they had me mentally cornered. Fake crying about the monotony of my tragic life seemed more logical than addressing a problem at its core and talking through it, so proved my friends Kristin and LC. (Actually it was mostly Jess-ka. Screw Jess-ka.)

Things changed once I got to college. I felt “free” — and rightly so — as every college freshman should. I ate Zebra Cakes for breakfast BECAUSE I COULD, and I came home at 3 a.m. BECAUSE GREEKLAND WAS A MAZE. But by the end of first semester, I started to realize how often I called my parents (not just for money, but thankz Daddy*) but for real stuff too — like asking why business calculus was a mandatory course, why guys still thought bodily functions were funny, and also to tell them about the amazing people I met. As the semesters passed, I found myself wanting to go home not to see high school friends or go to a tax-free mall, but to see the duo that had made my “previous” life so unbearable.

My parents are now the first two people I always choose to hang out with. Maybe it’s because I’ve grown up a little. Maybe it’s because they still buy my meal when we go out to eat. Maybe it’s because they were very much “parents” when I was growing up. If you think about it, being friends with your mom when you’re 14 is really an odd concept. I’m not saying parents don’t care about what’s going on in your life when you’re that age, but you can only connect on so many levels. When general interests and conversation levels veer more to that of an adult, you appreciate more of the same things. Like wine. Hosting my parents at my favorite Ames bar during graduation weekend last spring was one of my most favorite memories from college. There were my friends, elated at our recent accomplishments; my dad, basking in the miracle of college-town cocktail tabs; my mom, shaking her head in both pride and terror at the bridge that connected my life with hers. And now as I pack up and get ready to head north for Christmas, I can’t help but think how freaking crazy you have to be, to want to be a parent. It’s a tumultuous, life-long commitment. But maybe they go through the dark days (a.k.a. when their spawn is between nine and 19-years-old) because they know the good stuff is coming: intelligent and meaningful conversations, successes that throw us forward, a genuine appreciation for all they’ve done.

Merry Christmas and keep the wine coming. Our parents (and us maybe if we’re somewhat employed or doing good things with our lives) deserve it.

*never have I ever referred to my dad as “daddy.” Nor should anyone. Besides babies maybe.

Explaining a Selfie to My Middle-age Co-worker

Picture 3I got caught mid-snap this morning. How foolish of me to think that my own cubicle could be a safe haven. We know how to click out of Facebook as fast as humanly possible; we know the perfect amount of time to put a Pop-Tart in the toaster; we know just how many times we can hit snooze before we absolutely have to wake up. Yet we somehow can’t bring our bodies to stop the selfie  – it’s a chemical unbalance, probably.

Luckily the awkwardness alleviated itself by a random act of God. My co-worker a.k.a. the witness a.k.a. the spy didn’t bring up any questions. The following is only what I can assume may have pursued if the situation went in the other direction:

“It’s like a greeting card. Of your face.”

“No I don’t think Hallmark feels threatened. I haven’t asked though.”

“It’s just a more interesting way to communicate your emotions.”

“All the kids are doing it.”

“What do you mean how am I going to explain selfies to my future kids?”

“Snapchat? It lets you send a photo for a selected amount of time before it deletes itself.”

“Yes it’s an ‘app.’” (air quotes included.)

“No it’s not illegal. Except in somewhere foreign. Like Vermont maybe.”

“You’re right, selfies probably do deserve their own documentary or at least a Lifetime movie warning teens about weird forms of cyber bullying.”

“No I’ve never been cyber bullied. No I’m not a teenager.”

“Seriously. I have a degree, like from college.”

“I don’t think cats take their own selfies. I think humans help them out.”

“You bring up an interesting point – I’m not sure if that still qualifies as a selfie.”

“I’m not sure why cats got so popular on the Internet.”

“Yes I made that face on purpose.”

“No you can’t be in the next one with me.”

This is Your Brain on Mugs

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Hey guys, happy Friday.  Here’s a throwback to a story I wrote for The Black Sheep last year. What better time to post it than post-mugs? Hope you’re all recovering well. PS we’re not hungover. Love, the post-grads.

Friday through Sunday is for casual drinkers. Monday is for potential alcoholics. Tuesday is for karaoke. Wednesday is for pints. And Thursday – Thursday is for mugs. I know I don’t speak just for myself when I say mug night is the best night. Everyone is ready to let loose by Thursday, and nothing brings people together quite like a blackout on a budget. As with any addiction, the trickiest part of mug night is knowing when to stop. When do four mugs become the standard instead of the challenge? Sometimes it’s difficult to pick up on your friends’ warning signs. Your buddy ordering a mug of Patron might be a good indication it’s time to head out. Or that the party’s just getting started. But in all fairness, Ames bars are asking for the drunkenness they get: the curiosity AJ’s Ultra Lounge and Big Shots bring. The Friday morning stories that Yokes dance floor promises. The hope that the rage cage will open up at Mickey’s. The blackout thrill of requesting a non-country song at Outlaw’s. The almost too cold but still enjoyable patio at Cy’s. The casual frat lap around Paddy’s. The tradition of the stripper pole at Sips. What are we left to do besides use them for all they’re worth? I suppose we can still grasp some sort of responsibility by getting familiar with the mental and physical state of each mug consumption, and save ourselves the hassle of making one more mistake that evening.

Half-a-muggers: Get out.

One-muggers: You’re just really happy to be out with others. Maybe you’ve had a long week, or maybe you feel like you haven’t been out in a while. We’ll accept that you’re clearly not looking to get rowdy, but we won’t condone it. If you’re trying that whole “responsibility” thing, then stick with your one mug at your one bar and enjoy not being hung over for your Friday 8 AM. You’ll hear recounts of mug stories on CyRide the next morning and think, “Ahh, that could have been me. Maybe next weekend.” We hope that’s the case too.

Two-muggers: You’re the person enablers feed on. After two mugs, there’s definitely some headway in mental and physical impairment, but there’s so much room for more. You’re amidst coaxing friends and friendly strangers, and you have to decide if you’re going in all or nothing this evening. At this point, you’re ready to confront others you  A.) don’t know but want to be friends with, B.) don’t know but can probably score a free drink from, or C.) used to know and can talk to now that you’re intoxicated. You finished the night speaking in a few slurs, but not enough that your friends can make fun of you for anything. There’s a good chance you texted either an ex-boyfriend or a sophomore year hook up, but no serious damage has been done.

Three-muggers: You’re feeling good, and that dance floor is begging you for a solo performance. It’s near the end of that third mug that you struggle with the toughest bar debate: another mug or do you casually switch over to shots? $30 for 3 shots? Sounds like a deal. Twitter is blowing up. You’re trying desperately to fit your crazy emotions into a content field that only allows 140 characters; you most likely end up with something like, “Omg I love my biddies #mugz” attached to a Twitpic of you and your friends proving you don’t have to be vertical to be photogenic. You head out a bit before bar close because a hot slice of Jeff’s sounds too good to pass up.

Four-plus-muggers: The phrase “last call” translates into “whose bed am I sleeping in tonight?” By the time, you’re crawling for snacks, eyes half open and most of your outgoing texts contain numbers and emojis instead of words and phrases. Or on the flip side, you’re finishing strong on the dance floor, rage hands high and self-esteem higher. You weren’t the guy who threw up in the bathroom and you weren’t the girl who punched the bouncer. Both are valid wins.

An Open Letter to PNM’s

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Dear PNM,

You’ve made it through the deafening claps, rhyming chants and ceaseless “so what’s your major/where are you living” questions. Your Instagram (which we didn’t have in my day) is now blowing up, and you’re adding 30 new Facebook friends daily. You’re probably out enjoying the still-summer sun in a bid day tank – most likely some sort of Aztec print – and taking in all that Iowa State has to offer. You don’t really know what “serenades” means, but if it doesn’t immediately become a college highlight for you, then you’re doing something wrong. We’ve all sat on some sweaty freshman boy who’s trying to stay on key as he sings Katy Perry and tries to get your phone number imprinted somewhere on his body. We’ve all gotten used to the new vocabulary and language — traditional words like “sisterhood,” “chapter,” and “Sister President” and some not so traditional terms like “Yell Like Hell,” “super dog” and “are you going out tonight?” All of these things will soon become second nature, and you’ll start to wonder how it never before crossed your mind that you should always sorority squat (given the opportunity). You’ll begin to notice that as soon as someone takes their iPhone out for a pic, your hand will automatically find a place on your hip. And despite the craziness of the first couple days, you’ll find that you’ve entered into something that is so much more than coordinated outfits and over-caffeinated women.

Going through formal recruitment is unlike anything else, but it builds skills that you never thought you could have. Bet you never thought you could last that long in heels. Ever think you could carry on a 20-minute conversation with a stranger? No one in the world can form a line more quickly or quieter than you. And those are just the perks because it’s true when your Rho Gammas tell you that you stay friends with your recruitment group. It’s true when everyone tells you college will be the best four years of your life. And it’s true that you may not have a clue as to what you’re doing. But you’ve already made the best decision at Iowa State – and that’s deciding to go Greek.

Throughout your four years, your party scene, wardrobe and friends may change. And that’s okay. It’s funny how we can never see ourselves growing or changing in the moment, but it’s innately clear when you look back on everything. Just be thankful that Pinterest came about before you started college. You all dress better than I could ever have dreamed when I was a freshman in college. Day 1 of recruitment: over-sized Go Greek tee with a denim mini skirt. I’ll just leave it at that. You all joined your respective chapters for a reason, and they are all lucky to have you. They’ll love you on the nights when you go out looking like ANTM, and they’ll love you even more the next morning when you look like death. Immerse yourself in everything and talk to everyone. Apart from being a one-hit wonder, the New Radicals knew what they were talking about when they said you get what you give.

We are all so jealous that you’re just starting out. Have the best time. We all did.

Love,

a recruitment, sorority, and Greek community-obsessed alum

Nine Hour Days are the New Black (Out)

267308_10150245101280912_5157441_nThere are days I get home from work where I can hardly remember what happened. The day flew by because I was going a million miles an hour. While this can seem like an awesome thing, it could also be a sign to slow down – similar to how you go from being sober, sober, sober, black out in 60 minutes. Nothing good is going to come from it. Pump the breaks. You should be able to get home from work and tell somebody what you spent the last nine hours accomplishing.

Whether by fate or choice, there are hours (days, weekends?) that we cannot remember from college. We wake up and vow to never drink again. And then the Gatorade and McDonald’s breakfast kick in, and suddenly – playing a game of bags in the sweltering heat becomes the greatest idea. So we traipse out to the college version of the Coliseum and fight to a bean-bagged death. Not wanting to offset the gravitational pull of the universe, we make sure to have the appropriate counterweight (it’s usually about 12 ounces) in order to gain the best possible outcome. This continues on for the next couple of hours and before we know it, we’re back at square one. How can a few beers during the afternoon turn into a missing puzzle piece-inspired life by morning? Hard work and determination. That’s how.

Ironically enough, we can muster up all the strength we devoted to obnoxious (yet endearing) party marathons – Beer Olympics, VEISHEA, Mifflin, Spring Jam, game days (most notably the awkward 2:30 p.m. game where your  liver suffers commitment issues) – you name it, we were there. We didn’t notice the tumultuous travel we took our bodies through because we were hell-bent on succeeding and coming out on top. Throwing this mentality at the professional world is a stretch – and most definitely inappropriate – but it’s also something we can relate to. We would applaud each other for outstanding efforts in focus and flexibility, and then we’d recap it again the next morning. Gradually, photos from the weekend’s events would show up on Facebook. And while we claimed to hate the girls who uploaded pics from the weekend with captions they stole from The Beatles, we know that they really did get by with help from their friends. We know they wouldn’t even be here if it weren’t for their friends. They’d probably be lost in a Hobby Lobby or an unfinished bar basement. And the same is true of people you work with. Without acknowledging the fact you may need some help from time to time, you may never get your projects – or yourself – to full potential.

Also keep in mind that while everyone likes reminding you of the craziness you ensued over the weekend, it’s quickly forgotten and there are usually some apologies or tabs that need to be paid. Growing up isn’t the easiest thing for me either, but something that can be learned quickly out of college is that it’s okay to give up excessive drinks for a few nights in order to feel and do better the next day.

Just remember to slow it down while you’re at work. We’re in an office for the rest of our lives anyway, right? (Sorry for the spoiler alert.) Do your work promptly, but not sloppy. Save that for trips back to college bars.

The Hills: a post-grad’s harsh realization

51KSbEqzgVL._SX500_It was enough of a devastation to accept that I would never look great as a blonde or be able to wear a choker necklace without judgment. My obsession (don’t lie – you had one too) with Laguna Beach and The Hills muddled my mind with what I thought post-grad life was going to be. It wasn’t until Retro MTV that I realized Lauren Conrad’s real life was not real life. Day dreaming of living in a pseudo-real-life show with my best friends got me through most of it until admitting “The Prairie” or “The Cornfields” didn’t have the same ring as “The Hills.” (We were probably all born to be reality stars. We were just born in the wrong place.)

But in what world – no matter the landscape – can a girl move to Los Angeles, without a college degree or job experience, and live in an apartment that has enough space to walk around in? The conclusion that wasn’t so obvious while we were in high school: she can’t. MTV succeeded in creating this image of real life and making us attune to all of life’s PGPs –  what to do when you run out of tanning oil, how to make it look like you’re working at Bolthouse, how to cry black tears, and how to (not) choose a trip to Paris over your cheating, brooding boyfriend. This is what post-grad life is all about.

In reality (the real kind, not the kind where you go to restaurants and only order water) post-grad life is a combination of the best and worst things in the world. You’re away from your college friends but get to make new ones. You work every day, but you don’t have homework. Drinks are more expensive, but you’re making way better money. It’s a constant give and take, which never seemed to manifest itself in The Hills. So, while the show is a great escape for an hour or two, take pride in the fact that you’re doing more with your life than dating boys with greasy hair. Obviously we’ve gotta tip our paper crowns to Lauren Conrad for making a name for herself in the fashion industry. But we can all agree it took quite a few left turns to get her there. Her (seemingly few) mistakes were some of the most real things about her. And look where they got her – right where she wanted. There’s a lot to be said for learning from mistakes. Life may not be as easy as it was during the days when a mini jean skirt and powder blue Uggs were an acceptable outfit. But for every con about post-grad life, I guarantee you can find a pro. Too bad most of those girls missed out on that reality.

Okay, we know you have AT LEAST one. Admit it.

Monday Make It or Break It: Happy Hour

how_i_met_your_mother_1It’s early afternoon on a Monday so naturally we’re thinking about when we can have a glass of wine. A great aspect of adult life that coincides with college life is how willing people are to socialize amid drinks. I think it’s natural for people to feel a need to enjoy a cocktail, especially after a hard day’s work. The difference now is that instead of rewarding ourselves with our own pitcher of beer for not texting exes over the weekend, we’re sipping  due to “getting our ducks in a row” or “bringing home the bacon.” Or whatever.

I can’t speak for every college student, but I can speak for myself and my friends in saying we were no strangers to the bars on week(days)nights, and we went out to enjoy each other’s company over a drink that tasted better than milk. The same concept is true in our post-grad realm: people want to spend time with other people, talking about work, family or anything else they deem important during an hour that is supposedly happier than all the others. But drinking with co-workers is different than drinking with friends. The reaction you get after taking three shots for your hole-in-one on Golden Tee or perfect sites on Big Buck Hunter may not be the same you’d get from your college buddies. Though undoubtedly impressive feats, you might want to put it in perspective. I went to a happy hour hosted by my boss’s boss, who was celebrating the acquisition of a multi-million dollar company… like, I get excited finding $20 in my purse. Needless to say, my critter bonus slowly crept down the importance slope.

The good news is that there are a few quick guidelines to help you make it instead of break it. We do not want you to be the new employee who gets overly happy over an hour.

1. Just because you’re out with co-workers or someone higher in the chain of command, don’t expect them to buy your drinks. Even if it’s been communicated that drinks will be paid for by someone else, it’s always kind to offer.

2. Order a drink you know you like. It’s always great to try new things when you’re out with friends, but you might have a weird reaction to martinis. An evening out with your boss is not the place to discover that martinis make you walk like John Cleese.

3. Keep a drinking pace. You could argue that you’re used to the pace of a beer bong, but where has that left you? (Probably still lost in South Padre from spring break.) Be aware of others around you, and keep on the same level they are. It might even be a good idea to stay one drink back if you’re conversing with important people. Your call.

4. Don’t get freaked out if happy hour literally only lasts for one hour (or less.) Though social drinking is something that starts in college and carries through professional life (more commonly known as eternity), the time spent drinking may decrease. While some of us may be used to nine-day benders, know that it is okay – and way more normal – to have one drink and be done.

5. Offer to organize the next happy hour. It shows both initiative and that you can be fun. Choose a place you’ve been to before. Nobody wants to be led blindly to a skeezy bar that was once a pet store.