Every week I read and write about UNH students and our excessive drinking and partying: "UNH Health Services says this" and "Durham town council says that." Sometimes I feel as though it can make UNH look bad, even though UNH's situation really is not any different than any other college (just look up Stephen R. Brown and Georgetown University). But you know what? Not every college student parties. While the majority still drinks, many students just plain do not feel comfortable at parties. I know this because the first month or two of my freshman year I was one of them. Luckily, there are great alternatives for those students who like to drink, but would rather avoid large gatherings and keep it small with a few friends. These alternatives also work well for students who may like to party, are prevented from going out by cold weather, rain or potential hurricanes. Personally, I say man up, throw on a jacket and grab a bottle of whiskey, but that is for another time.
One of the best alternatives for non-partying drinkers is finding a solid movie to drink to while watching. The first movie on my list is an absolute must for any college student and can easily be turned into a drinking game for even the heaviest of drinkers. It is "The Big Lebowski," a dark comedy about a kidnapping, bowling and White Russians (the tasty vodka drink mixed with coffee liqueur and milk or cream). According to IMDB the word "dude" is used 160 times, "man" is said 147 times by the main character alone and the f-word is used 292 times. Pick your poison. A popular drinking game with this movie is the "man/dude" game, just be prepared to be hammered after the opening narration. Of course, White Russians should be your drink of choice, but any alcohol is acceptable.
Next on my list of great drinking movies may come as a surprise: Gran Torino, featuring Clint Eastwood as a crusty old Korean War veteran disturbed by the local gang activity. Drink every time he mutters an inappropriate comment or simply grunts and you will make Gary Busey look like a model citizen. Gran Torino has been on HBO non-stop recently so if you live on campus you are in luck. The preferred drink of choice is PBR, since it is what Eastwood's character favors.
Another solid drinking movie is the comedy Beerfest by the same group of writers and actors who made Super Troopers. If I really have to explain why Beerfest is a great drinking movie than try reading the title again. Beerfest. Enough said. Drink of choice: "und Beck's!" Purchasing a beer boot and playing along with the film will put right into the action with the characters.
Other great drinking movies include: "The Hangover," "Sideways," "The Departed," "Grizzly Man," "Animal House," "Dumb and Dumber" and any childhood classic such as "The Sandlot," "Little Giants" and the first two "Mighty Ducks" (despite rumors, Mighty Ducks 3 never happened).
The final drinking game to a form of entertainment is not a movie, but a podcast. "Uhh Yeah Dude," which can be downloaded for free off iTunes, is an hour of hilarious commentary on America. Self described as "America through the eyes of two American Americans," hosts Seth of Haverhill, Mass., and Jonathan of Los Angeles, take you on a weekly journey across the country with outrageous stories, rants and views on politics, pop culture and the general news.
Another alternative is one of my favorite UNH pastimes, even if I have been out. It is "people watching" and can be the best form of entertainment on campus. Simply go downtown on weather-friendly Friday and Saturday nights, grab a bench and watch more intoxicated students make fools of themselves. It's like UNH's version of The Jersey Shore. (Never in my life did I think I would reference that show, I apologize. Side note: I think "Jersey Shore" might replace the analogy "like a bad car accident." It's hard to watch, but you just can't look away).
A final alternative to partying is to take advantage of your surroundings. There is almost always something to attend in the MUB, whether it is a Sketched Out or Improve Anonymous show, a MUSO or CAB concert to a MUB movie or Film Underground series. Just be aware that the MUB has strict alcohol policies so make sure that you are not blatantly –or disruptively- intoxicated before attending. Local towns, such as Portsmouth, Dover or Newmarket also have live music almost every night, and those can be great to attend as long as you have a safe ride home.
Stay classy, not UMassy