If you've ever been to a frat house, you know there are several very ~unique~ party staples that are sure to make your night unforgettable... or just contribute to that next day regret. Whether its the booze or the endless games that bring the party, either way, you're sure to encounter tons of beer, bottomless kegs, and lots of "encouraging" frat bros.

To many, this seems like the perfect set up for a good night— except, when you're forced to be totally exempt from most of these activities, things suddenly seem a lot more complicated. In my experience, being gluten-free may mean avoiding grain alcohol at frat parties, but it doesn't have to mean any less fun. Sometimes, it actually has its perks.

1. "No, sorry, I can't drink beer out of that cup that has probably touched the lips of every brother in this fraternity." 

So, the really hot guy that you've been eyeing from across the room finally walks over to you and, of course, he's looking for some participation on your behalf: "Hey... come play some pong with us!" But, in reality, we both know there's a million things you'd rather do than drink warm, bread juice from a cup that's had a disgusting little white ball popping in and out of it all night. And, here's when being gluten-free really comes in handy. No need to jeopardize what he might think of you by turning down this ~amazing opportunity~! Rather, a simply, "Ugh, I'd love to, but unfortunately, I'm gluten-free," will do. You're welcome.

2. "So I'm actually gluten-free...any chance one of you guys could score a bottle of wine just for me?"

champagne, alcohol, beer, wine
Jocelyn Hsu

Let's be honest, beer is pretty nasty. So, time to bust out your best smile and friendliest "please help me I'm gluten-free" attitude and find a frat brother to grab you something else to drink. Then, suddenly, you're prancing around the party, an entire bottle of wine in tow, looking like you've really got it all figured out. You scream, "Hell yeah, I've got connections," as all of the freshman push towards the tiny, poorly operated bar in the corner, begging for a warm Natty Light (yum... said no one ever).  

3. "Oh, is that Four Loko? Yeah, sorry, I'm gluten-free— its all you!"

pizza, beer
Caroline Ingalls

You've become pretty well acquainted with that really nice frat bro who's totally interested in getting to know you, but loves to show his affection by sharing drinks. While some nights taking his cup means you get a sip of a luxury beverage that he was able to snag at the pregame, more nights than not, you're stuck with some nasty drink that they ordered in bulk for the party. So, instead of feeling like you either have to turn him down, or suffer in silence, you've got a completely viable excuse waiting in your back pocket. A quick 'n dirty, "Wish I could, but I'm gluten-free," will sure to spare his feelings... and your taste buds. 

4. Next Morning: "Ah, I'm so sorry you guys are hungover! Good thing I was done drinking by 10pm..."

Kristine Mahan

Actually, though, you get the benefit of going to the party totally drunk and still be a functional human the next day (can one ask for more?!). While all of your friends are regretting that last beer that they totally didn't need, you can grab brunch and get started on homework before they can even imagine dragging their hungover ass into the shower. Knowing that you wouldn't be able to drink beer at the party, you made sure to get your fix before you even got to the frat house— now that's smart. I don't know about you, but I think that makes us gluten-free pals #goals.  

5. "Oh, still trying to work off that beer belly from pledging? I just can't relate." 

Erin Haydon

So I don't know about you, but I'd totally rather have a scoop of ice cream (or, in my case, more like the entire container), than drink a couple of beers. And thanks to being gluten-free, this isn't a choice that I have to make— ice cream wins every time. There are so many things to be cognizant of in college anyway, I consider it a total blessing that this is one less decision that's on my plate. While all your friends run off to the gym trying to work off last night, suddenly, you have all this free time to ponder life and work on homework (or, I don't know... perhaps, write for a blog to help your fellow gluten freebies make it through the frat party scene?). Bottom line here: ice cream > beer. 

Whether you're gluten-free by choice (respect) or it's a medically dictated dietary restriction (like me!), I can assure you there are several perks to avoiding grain alcohol at frat parties. And, afterwards, when your friends go home to order pizza, Domino's has gluten-free crust, so you get to participate in the REALLY important part anyway.

Moral of the story is, get your fix before you go to the party, have a great time, and then go home to enjoy some gluten-free friendly drunk eats. This way, you'll never feel slighted and your body will be really grateful for it.