Working for the weekend
The bad connotations of high school parties don’t show the whole picture when it comes to their main goal: bringing people together
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Sleepy students drag their feet on the way to classes and complain about another week of school beginning. But while some students talk to their friends about what they did over the weekend, others already plan for the next one. Someone has already decided to host another party and seniors Zach Miller and Jack Michal, the self-proclaimed party planners of the senior class, are the first ones contacted.
Miller said they started this business to get people together. “We sell memories,” he said. “We don’t want payment for anything. We just want to have a bunch of people have a good time, and that’s what we’ve done throughout this year.”
Miller said he is aware of the bad connotations that go along with parties and acknowledged there are some issues with drug and alcohol use in Carmel; however, he sees parties as more than just places where students make bad decisions. He views them as crucial bonding events that bring together students who may not always socialize at school.
Like Miller, Sergeant Phil Hobson, head of student resource officers at CHS, said parties are something to be wary of but not all are bad.
“I think the word ‘party’, in general, can have kind of a negative connotation,” Hobson said. “There’s a lot of people that I think have gatherings or parties where they are obeying by all the laws.”
After the party host of the week has called Miller and Michal about the plan, they talk through all the logistics of what will happen. Then, the buzz begins. A few people, declared the “contacts” for the party, share the addresses and details with all those who will attend. The word spreads like wildfire. The week is looking up after all.
It’s the day before the big party, and Miller and Michal begin preparing the house. They call this process “party-proofing.”
They first begin by making sure nothing in the house is breakable. They put all the furniture, china cabinets and any other delicate objects in the garage to be locked up, ensuring the house will not be destroyed.
Next, they sound-proof by covering the house wall-to-wall with blankets and cushioning, making sure none of the music will escape the premises.
Lastly, they put up black lights around the house and set up the speakers and DJ equipment. Once everything looks to be in shape, they go back home, awaiting the party the following evening.
Friday: 9 p.m.
Marbach crawls into bed, wanting a long night of rest before getting up at 6 or 7 a.m. to practice driving with her mom. She and her brother fall fast asleep.
Meanwhile, in another house in Carmel, things are just getting started. The party starts at 9, but most people get there fashionably late. Around 9:30, cars are parked up and down the block, and one by one, the block gets fuller and fuller.
Walking into the party, there’s automatically an overwhelming sensory overload of sounds and sights. Music blasts. People everywhere dance and play games and talk to their friends.As the night begins, Miller said people tend stay within their friend groups; however, as it goes on, they begin to branch out.
As the party nears its end, some will stay overnight. Others will leave around midnight or 1 a.m. The party comes to a close, but the friendships made keep going.
“Next Monday, at school, you’ll see people you didn’t even know before, and you just talked to that night,” Miller said. “Our grade has gotten a lot closer with each other. Everybody’s really accepted each other for their differences and realized that we all are really the same at the end of the day.”
A Different Friday Night
While some students go out to socialize with peers, some stay home with family on weekends
In a three-story house walking distance from CHS, sophomore Sophia Marbach kicks off her shoes and deposits her backpack as she returns home on a Friday afternoon at 3:30, tired from a strenuous week at school. Instead of idling until a party starts, she climbs the stairs to the second floor and eats dinner. It’s an odd time to eat dinner while most are snacking, but according to Marbach, it’s better for her parents who go to work early. Following dinner, she plays with her 5-year-old brother, Zayn, for about an hour or two. Then she lies about doing the most relaxing thing to her: nothing. There’s snack breaks in between, but no homework.
“That’s a Sunday problem,” Marbach said. “If it’s a gold day, then it’s an SRT problem.”
Her brother is the main event of Marbach’s Friday night. He likes applesauce and whipped cream straight out of the can and his mischievous personality comes out when he steals Marbach’s phone and runs away. She’s his default babysitter but the sister-brother duo is naturally inseparable.
“I’m always with Zayn and we’re doing one thing or another,” Marbach said. “He’s usually with me, but a lot of times with my parents. He sleeps with me at night.”
According to Marbach, her lack of party attendance is due to her lack of invites, but she admits that even if she was invited every weekend, she would still prefer a laid-back Friday evening to a night out partying.
“I don’t really have a lot of people to go out with, don’t really get asked to hang out so I stay at home,” Marbach said. Her brother is her usual companion and Marbach is fine with that.
Her idea of a great Friday night may be different than Millers but to her, it’s perfect.