Inside my Williams night out

Reed Putnam

Around midnight, Reed Putnam headed to Wood House for a party. (Photo courtesy of Jonas Echeandia.)

It was another weekend night at Williams College. I had seen and heard buzz around the campus regarding all the goings-on, especially the Williams Audio Production (WAP) House party at Wood House, so I decided to log my night out for the Record, as the dedicated student journalist I am. Here is what I overheard, did, and felt as I moved through the evening: 

10:37 p.m. Hanging in Poker Flats with my friend. I’m about to make my way to People Against Comedy’s afterparty to celebrate our big group show. My friend is going elsewhere. 

10:55 p.m. I arrive outside of the comedy afterparty, taking place in a croom in Greylock, and meet up with two besties who were also in the show. We head in. 

11:00 p.m. The mood of this midsize gathering is boisterous. What’s going on? A lot of giddy first years, even more giddy sophomores, some giddy juniors, and a scant showing of giddy seniors are raving about how funny everyone was in the show. Lots of “OMG you were so so funny,” “Wait I don’t think we’ve met before, but, like, I could not stop laughing watching your skit,” and “Your timing was incredible.”

11:07 p.m. There is a “shotski.” A Williams first? 

11:13 p.m. I suspect “Love Story” by Taylor Swift is playing on the tinny bluetooth speaker, because people are singing it. I never received confirmation that it was actually playing, but it must’ve been? Right?!

11:45 p.m. There is another “shotski.” A Williams second? 

12:00 a.m. The comedy crew leaves for Wood. Downpour. 

12:05 a.m. Somebody lost their nail polish remover. 

12:06 a.m. Somebody found their nail polish remover. 

12:14 a.m. The comedy crew arrives at Wood. Outside the doors, a swarm of people stand close to the roofline to avoid getting soaked. It’s packed. 

12:15 a.m. The vibe is sweat and ultraviolet light. There’s also shirtless tennis guys, shirtless football guys, shirtless guys generally… 

12:21 a.m. I head downstairs. DJ Daizo is on. No matter which room you are in, it’s packed. The whole house is packed.  This is nothing new: A Williams party is normally crowded, the night itself is a call to pack like sardines in a random off-campus room, followed by a classmate twice-removed saying that something’s “like, going on somewhere,” at which point the crowd flocks to said somewhere to pack like sardines once again. But Wood’s basement isn’t exactly sardines tonight — while crowded, people have room to dance and are taking the opportunity to do so. 

12:25 a.m. Bathroom break. Then some sitting near the washer-dryer and talking. A Wood staple? 

12:35 a.m. Farruko’s “Pepas” plays — everyone back on the floor. 

12:37 a.m. Overheard, man to a woman: “Why do you not want to talk to me?” They exit together. 

1:28 a.m. 3 Days Ago, a student band, is playing upstairs. The energy is raucous and exuberant, people are bouncing, and the floor is too. 

1:55 a.m. Curtain call. Small talk with classmates, then I’m out. 

Reflecting on my Williams night out, and one of my last nights out generally, I was surprised to experience a night that surprised me. My four years at the College have taught me to focus less on individual parties, as a Williams night out is categorized by moving to and from various parties. The WAP function demonstrated that people might be interested in the party itself, in staying and taking advantage of what’s there, instead of leaving to chase what’s not.