A Year-by-Year Guide to SU's Hookup Scene


Print Nightlife at Syracuse University, the acclaimed No. 1 party school, offers a scene for everyone —bars, house parties, frats, and so on. There are spots most suitable for freshmen, and then there are the places where one can only find wasted seniors and grad students. The variety of destinations allows for each year of SU enrollment to offer a different party experience for everyone, not to mention a very different hookup scene.

Your sexpeditions look a lot different freshmen year than they do when you’re a senior. We’ve gone through the ages and compiled a series of common hookup adventures for you party people here at ‘Cuse.

1. Freshman year

Oh, you adorable, naive freshmen. Stuck between the ages of 17 and 19, you've just begun your college years. As such, you are likely to get pretty sloppy during your nights out. You don’t have much experience with alcohol and, let’s be real, you don’t know how to handle your liquor. You may find yourself trolling for an open party on Euclid, negotiating a way in with the doorman. Or even more likely, you’re out at DJ’s On the Hill, sloppily grinding on that person who you think may be attractive, but you really don’t know. And if your night at DJ’s has stayed true to its reputation, you don’t want to know.

Your night comes to a rapid close as you and a new friend are tucked away in a dark corner, shamelessly eating face, and those bright lights suddenly come on. Shocking moment. At that time, based on the strength of your beer goggles, you may find yourself heading to this new stranger’s dorm room, only to soon pass out mid-blowjob. That next day at 6 a.m., you will learn the true meaning of “walk of shame.” Welcome to college!

2. Sophomore year

By sophomore year, you’ve hopefully learned how to avoid the sloppy corner makeup sessions, though you’re likely still in the tail-end of that phase. As the cool 19 or 20 year-old that you are, you may have just earned your first fake ID. Nice! Since anyone who isn’t a freshman has totally outgrown the love for DJ’s, you have upgraded to the next level — Harry’s. You arrive there in packs and everyone is seeking out their night’s hookup. That music is meant to get you grinding, and that grinding is meant to get you fucking. If you can’t find tonight’s scandal out on the dancefloor, you’ve heard about afterhours at the guy frat that your friend is pledging.

You will gladly stumble over to frat row with your gaggle of girlfriends and have your pick of horny dudes. If you’re really lucky, you’ll find yourself an upperclassman that will offer you street cred. The night will retreat to one of their rooms, but it will still end with you walking that walk. If you’re a guy and your night at Harry’s is not going as planned, you’re likely to find luck with a freshman girl over at DJ’s, and your night will proceed to get sloppy.

3. Junior year

You’ve gotten over that underclassman hump and you’re now a junior. You’re probably riding the line between 20 and 21 years old, a tough position around campus. If you're legal, or have a damn good fake, you know where the best and worst parties will be, and you risk very little when you head to Marshall Street. Lucy’s has become a go-to because the bouncers are just lenient enough that you and your of-age friends always get right in. The night begins with the perfect balance of drinks and dancing, and you’re likely to make some incredible “connections” along the way.

Junior year is a time when you still don’t take yourself too seriously, but you may find yourself getting deeper with someone who started as an amazing one-night-stand you met at the bar. You may even be juggling two or three regular baes that you just can’t choose between. These hookups have become far more deliberate and you have a nice roster of recent fuck buddies in your contacts to refer to for your next one. Your nights usually end right after sex, or you choose the responsible route and arrange for a ride home the following morning. No harm, no foul, and less potential for those dreaded walks of shame. Very adult of you.

4. Senior year

Ah, senior year. At this point you are either so happy that you’re almost out of this town, or reality has set in and has put you in denial of your impending adulthood (more likely the latter). It doesn't even matter how old you are at this point, because birthdays after 21 don't matter anymore. Unless you’re running shit in your Greek house, you’ve almost completely gotten over the party scene and are now exclusively about that bar life, where you have your pick between Lucy’s, Faegan’s, and Chuck’s depending on your mood, and may find yourself cabbing it over to Armory Square downtown to mingle with the townies.

Your hookup scene is very straightforward. If you’re horny, but want to keep away from the packed dancefloor at Lucy’s you’ll probably find yourself at Chuck’s, getting drinks with your object of lust and retreating to a table for good conversation. Charm is your game and once you have someone in mind, your night will become very focused on fucking that person later. As a senior, you’re not there to play games. You know what you want, and you will have it. The night will be full of incredible sex, especially after that deep, intellectual conversation you two just had over drinks. You may even decide that this person would be worth taking a chance on, and may begin a relationship that will go beyond graduation. But you’re more likely to refer to your set roster the following weekend, and continue your sexcapades as you please. You’ve made it this far into the college adventure, and you can screw whoever the hell you want.

Art by Shawna Rabbas