House Parties vs Clubs

House parties or nightclubs, which do you prefer? Eliana Jordan gives her opinion.

Illustration by Anna Hardstaff

Enter into a world in which floors and fingers are sticky, decent shoes will be made filthy, clothes will be sloshed with beer and elbows will be plunged into vulnerable places. Darkness will be pierced by the intermittent blink of colourful lights. The repetitive beat of music will drown out your best attempts at conversation, and even once your friend hears what you’ve said after the eighth time, you’ll be so hoarse from the effort that you won’t want to talk much anymore. You will most certainly pay an obscene price for entry or drink, or both if you’re particularly lucky, and you will likely end up shifting a stranger who really only looked cute through the foggy guise of beer goggles. Welcome to the nightclub experience.

If I were given the option between a house party and a night out clubbing on any given Friday or Saturday, I would repeatedly and doggedly choose the house party. As an international student from the U.S., where clubbing isn’t even a viable option until you’re 21 (or younger with a fake I.D., but some of us aren’t so risque), I’d experienced my fair share of house parties prior to my introduction into the world of clubs. I’d been through the red solo cup soirees at frat houses where, in the kitchen, beer pong reigns supreme, and in the living room, friends gather to chat and play less involved drinking games. This was the extent of going out, and it was perfect.

Clubbing changed the game, but for the worse. Gone were the slurred conversations on the arms of crowded couches, getting to know other tipsy individuals in the laidback atmosphere of a home; at a club, the height of productive communication beyond screaming garbled words over the blare of music is drunken gyrating with strangers. While dancing at a club can be fun under the right level of inebriation, the temporary amusement is outweighed once you get beer spilled on your sleeve, you’ve been stepped on repeatedly, and been uncomfortably groped by a stranger.

On the contrary, house parties provide the freedom of choice between dancing (to music you might actually have the ability to select yourself) and sitting down among friends and acquaintances for a few drinks and a chat. The likelihood of being jostled about by intoxicated strangers is significantly less, while the likelihood of feeling at ease is significantly heightened.

A house party is filled with limitless potential. The rhythmic throb of a bass shakes the front door on its hinges so that, even before you enter, you’re privy to the party within. You may enter into a world of comfort and familiarity, assuming you know the host, or you could be entering into an entirely new province rich with the possibility of new discoveries and friendships.

And who wouldn’t want to enter a world like that?