If you haven’t heard already, the University of Iowa was recently declared the top party school in all the land (AKA in the country) and prospective Iowa students are probably dealing with mixed emotions right now — some of you are already stocking up on booze and others are reconsidering what school you want to attend. The truth is, sober schools (the #1 is Brigham Young, in case you were wondering) aren’t for everyone, and neither are party schools. Sometimes you need a place that’s all work and no play, and sometimes you need a place to unwind and have fun after midterms (or every class) — in any case, we don’t judge.
But, there is a huge difference between going to a school that’s known for its wild ragers and a school that’s known for study-focused students, and you may not realize which one is right for you at first. Before you enroll in that crazy party school, here are 10 questions to ask yourself.
1. Realistically, how much partying do you plan to do?
Let’s be real here — if you only plan on hitting up house parties once a month, a party school is probably not the place for you. If you’re ready to head out most weekends, however, then it’s probably a good fit for you.
2. What comes first: grades, or partying?
If you can balance both well then you should be fine no matter where you go, but if you’re one to give in to temptation often and you actually care about your grades? Probs not.
3. How well can you study in chaos?
If you go to a party school, you’re probably going to have to deal with a lot of noise. If said noise is unwanted, particularly during study hours, then you might want to reconsider.
4. Can your term paper wait until after that party?
Does partying come before your papers? Professors don’t really like late assignments unless they’re A) super understanding and B) you have a valid reason. Partying is not a valid reason — guaranteed this goes for even the top party school in the country.
5. Are you comfortable with underage drinking?
If underage drinking makes you uncomfortable in any way, then a party school might not be for you. I went to a tiny private school and the underage drinking was still at a pretty overwhelming level at times. If that makes you feel weird, it’s time to apply elsewhere.
6. Does size matter? (Class size, that is)
The bigger the school, the bigger the parties. And since size is so important in this equation, this also means that your class size will be affected. If you’d rather learn in a small group setting then you might have a hard time on a huge campus. If you don’t mind giant lecture halls, then go for it.
7. Are you extroverted? Or really extroverted?
No room for introverts at a party school, okay? If you’re shy and have trouble meeting new people, crashing into them at a huge, sweaty keg party is probably going to be way overwhelming for you. If you live for the party however, then you’re all set.
8. How do you like to meet new people?
Would you rather meet your best friends at a club or a study group? A kegger or a campus club? These are things you definitely need to consider before you enroll.
9. Do you need peace and quiet for your sanity?
Everyone needs a little quiet time (you have to sleep/watch Netflix/etc at some point!) but the amount of quiet time you need is what’s important. If you only need a little, then you’ll probably be fine wherever you go. But if you need a lot of peace and quiet? Maybe a smaller school is the right fit for you.
10.What’s your maximum capacity?
Rather, how do crowds make you feel? I get anxious in crowds so gigantic parties were never really my scene, but some people live for giant parties filled wall-to-wall with people. It all depends on how you feel.