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How To Not Be Awkward At Parties

Feb 15, 2016

College parties can be awkward, but they don’t need to be. We have it pretty good here at NYU —  we’re not limited to frats or dorms. But sometimes, you may find yourself at a party with a bunch of people you don’t know. Worried about being too awkward the whole time? No problem! Here is a simple list of do’s and don’ts to to make the most of your next party.


Come with at least one friend. Even the most extroverted person doesn’t want to show up without backup if a party, bar or club is lame. Don’t be afraid to meet new people. Asking people what school they’re in is the easiest and possibly the best conversation starter. Gallatin kids keep it interesting, CAS kids love to talk politics, and Stern kids…well if you run into a Stern kid, maybe just walk away.

Believe in the power of liquid courage. Even if you’re not a huge drinker it gives you something to hold onto which is for some reason comforting. Alcohol is a great social lubricant—just don’t be that kid throwing up in the bathroom.

Wear what makes you feel most comfortable. Look good, feel good, right? If you’re dressed in something uncomfortable (like that bodysuit where you can’t go to the bathroom) you’re going to look uncomfortable.

Just have fun with it! No one is paying attention to the way you’re standing or if you’ve emptied your solo cup yet. Relax and enjoy yourself. Trust me, most people at the party are probably overthinking it as much as you are.


Aggressively add your new party BFFs on all forms of social media. It’s weird. Get their number or add them on FB and leave it at that until you’ve interacted at least more than once.

Be that kid who’s taking an incessant amount of photos and blinding everyone with the flash. Your time should be spent on meeting new people and engaging in conversations, not stalking the person’s Instagram who’s standing right in front of you.  Our phones have turned into our social crutch but if you’re constantly on your phone you will come off as unavailable and distant.

Kill the vibe by being that person who changes the music at someone else’s party. The host of the party or pre-party generally has a mood in mind so feel free to suggest music, but definitely keep in mind the mood that has already been set. That said, music is always a great conversation starter — so go ahead and share your thoughts on the new Kanye album and get people talking.

A version of this article appeared in the Tuesday, Feb. 16 print edition. Email Gabriella Bower at  

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