Sherman Ave Freshman Guide: Party Conversations

Sherman Ave Freshman Guide: Party Conversations

Fumes from burning marijuana dance through the air. In the back, a dude with a bushy moustache pours Skol into a bright pink concoction, muttering something about his valid bartending license in Maine. A lanky junior stands over the door, documenting the statistical breakdown of your cohort's gender before permitting anyone entrance. It'll look exactly like this. (via college-social.com)

It’s a party during Welcome Week. And as a freshly minted Wildkitten, you’ll face pressure to enact a convincing social performance at these gatherings. So whether you’re hitting on those boys with the very attractive ACT scores or chatting up your soon-to-be Fraternity brothers, Sherman Ave has got a guide to help you out with party small talk.


Step One: Introduction

When initiating conversation, you'll need to convey your name, major and dorm.

You could be a drone, and memorize the following: Hi! My name is [blank], and I'm a [blank] major living in [blank]. But then you would be a drone.

Instead, here are some tips spice it up:

Lie about your name

(via cobaltpm.com)

No one remembers introductions anyways, so this is the time to get in touch with your creative side. Have you always wanted to go by the name 'Emperor Z'? Well now is your chance!

Lie about your major

Remember in eighth grade when everyone wanted to be 'totally random'? College is Middle School: Part II. In case you’re having trouble generating fake majors, try combing the following prefixes/suffixes.

Major Prefixes:

  • Contemporary
  • Cognitive
  • Industrial
  • Pre-law

Major Suffixes:

  • Econometrics
  • Gymnastics
  • Finance
  • Sculpture


Lie about your dorm

Say you are in CRC. No one knows where this dorm is or if it even exists, so you'll seem exclusive and therefore cool.

Step Two: Popular Opinions

In order to keep the conversation going, it's important to build rapport. To do this, utilize non-controversial opinions which create a rallying point of mutual interest. By expounding common knowledge with an air of judgment, you establish yourself as the intellectual alpha male of the group, generating trust (but also deep-seated envy).

Here are some examples of typical conversations you’ll have at a Welcome Week party, separated by category. We'll take a cue from NU Spanish classes, and learn through soap opera-esque scenarios.


New acquaintance: What music do you listen to?

You: I really like that song Lemonade by Sophie.

We know that when you are alone, you blast TayTay's Shake It Off non-stop, but this fact should never NEVER be made public. At Northwestern, musical taste defines you as an individual. Your best chance is steal your most hipster friend's Spotify playlist and pick songs that you don't like, because you have bad taste.


New acquaintance: What television shows are you watching?

You: Game of Thrones

Don't worry if you never learned all the characters' names, because it literally does not matter at all. (via zap2it.com)

If you haven't watched Game of Thrones, you should pretend. To let your (conversational) partner know it’s real, make sure to throw a simile referencing The Red Wedding into conversation. For instance, “That game of Beer Pong was as shocking as The Red Wedding!”


New acquaintance: What books have you been reading recently?

You: King Lear, The Tempest, and Midsummer Night's Dream.

By listing Shakespeare plays, you will seem literary. No one will be able to call you on this bluff, because the best anyone ever does nowadays is No Fear Shakespeare on Sparknotes.


New acquaintance: So... what school are you in?

You: McCormick.

New acquaintance: Wow. Tough luck. :(


New acquaintance: So... what school are you in?

You: SESP.

New acquaintance: Oh. *concerned glance* :(


New acquaintance: So... what school are you in?

You: Weinberg.

New acquaintance: Oh cool! Me too! What major?

You: CompSci.

New acquaintance: I'm so sorry. :(


Every major is associated with suffering, whether that be difficult classes in the present or minimal job prospects in the future. You don't need to memorize each major's struggles; instead, apologize and they'll assume you know their plight. Faking empathy is key.

Burger King

New acquaintance: How do you feel about the food at the Burger King?

You: It's tolerable, but compared to the Burger King in [exotic location (e.g. Guam, Tokyo, Northern Russia)], it just can't compare.

Choose somewhere you haven’t been: it makes you seem traveled. This trick works because no one knows your past. Just make sure you've read the country's Wikipedia page.

Nothing says "college" like an anamorphic grilled cheese sandwich. (via Cheesie's)


New acquaintance: I'm shwasted out of my mind, brah. What shall we do?

You: Let's hit up Cheesie’s. I'm all about supporting local business.

Who isn’t?

Fran's & Lisa's

New acquaintance: So should we go to Lisa's or Fran's?

You: Come on, New Acquaintance! Everyone knows that Fran's is waaaayyyy better than Lisa's.

This one is actually just a pro-tip.


Final Remarks

Readers who have ventured this far may wonder if they will lose themselves in this proposed thicket of lies, and whether or not this strategy for social success is worth its costs.

To both these questions, we answer with a resounding yes.

In fact, Frank the Guardian of Pain has scientifically estimated that your optimum “party” personality is at least 85% constructed. To quote the Buddah, "to find ourselves, we must first lose ourselves..."

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