Regardless of where you are, it is essential that you always follow the applicable law whenever you are partying as a student. Therefore, remember that it is illegal to consume alcohol under 21 in the US. I’m going to assume you are legally permitted to drink for the purposes of this post.
I am of the opinion that happiness can only be real if it is shared and, just as importantly, if it is remembered. So, if your idea of a good time is to drink until you black out on weekends, then the US is the place for you (although, dear reader, I believe that happiness is only real when it is shared). So if that’s the case, then you can enjoy yourself anywhere, since there are always other people around to get loose with.
What I’ve observed at college parties in the US and Germany are five differences.
1. Overindulging in alcohol until you go black
It is a sign of a good party in the United States; it is a sign of a person without limits in Germany. It’s normal and even expected to drink to your limit at college parties in the US. Vomiting after excessive drinking is seen very negatively in Germany. Hence, if you plan on partying in Germany, be sure to keep your consumption within reasonable limits.
2. Drinking in social situations
When it comes to social drinking, we mean drinking in a civilized way and with some restraint while socializing. This is a pretty uncommon occurrence in America, especially at parties for college students. Most student parties in Germany will probably be dominated by ‘social drinking’. There’s no one who wants to be called the American who doesn’t know how much to drink (or simply “American”).
It is legal in the US to dance with anyone at a party (so long as the other person does not specifically object). Germans only dance with each other if they already know each other by name – and if they agree to do so.
4. Party time
There is usually one party that starts at 8pm and ends at midnight, at which point those who can still drive home leave, while the others stay the night (this will depend on where you are). Remember, if you have even a little bit of alcohol, take a taxi or a bus instead of driving drunk; the risk is far too great. German college parties usually start at 10pm, and go until 5am – beginning with drinks at someone’s house, then at a bar, and finally at a club. It’s safer to get to and from parties via public transportation in Germany; that’s just the way it is.
5. House parties
House parties are everyone’s favorite, right? Everyone has different ideas about what the ideal party is. In both the U.S. and Germany, this is true. Have lots of cool parties, not just one epic bash where people throw lawn chairs off a 10th-floor balcony. Get a group of likeminded people together, have fun, be safe, and don’t do Project X.