Editor’s note: This article was initially published in The Daily Gazette, Swarthmore’s online, daily newspaper founded in Fall 1996. As of Fall 2018, the DG has merged with The Phoenix. See the about page to read more about the DG.
You’re putting the finishing touches on your Screw costume. “Should I add glitter?” you ask. No. Never add glitter. Don’t be THAT Screw date. In order to help you avoid being the worst Screw date ever, The Daily Gazette has compiled a list of our most important dos and don’ts for the annual event. Have your own Dos and Don’ts for the big event? Add them to the comment section below!
DO: Show up tipsy.
DON’T: Show up drunk.
If you want, have enough alcohol to ease you into a somewhat uncomfortable social situation, but make sure not to drink so much that you become the uncomfortable social situation. Loosen up just enough: you’ll have more fun.
DO: Go to Screw genuinely hoping to meet a new Swattie!
DON’T: Go to Screw with high expectations.
We have all heard the elusive Screw success story. But that’s just what it is: elusive. A majority of Screw dates go nowhere. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but I’d say you have better luck finding a lasting relationship at Paces than at Screw. Only one thing is guaranteed at Screw: you’ll meet someone new (or if your friends are boring, you won’t because they set you up with someone you already know). So take advantage of the rare opportunity to get to know a new Swattie while you can.
DO: Sit across from each other (who even sits next to each other nowadays?).
DON’T: Sit with friends.
If you only listen to one piece of advice in this article, this is the one. DO NOT sit with friends and turn your Screw into a normal Tuesday lunch. 1) That’s extremely rude to your date (and likely insanely awkward for them). 2) You’re missing the entire point of Screw. When else are you able to get a meal with a completely new Swattie without being judged? Take advantage of this rare opportunity and you can always catch up with your friends afterwards.
DO: Make fun of your own costumes.
DON’T: Spend the entire meal making fun of everyone else’s awkward costumes and dates.
It’s so easy at an event as potentially awkward as Screw that you fall into the trap of spending the entire meal gawking at how awkward everyone is around you. DON’T. Make fun of your costumes and blame it on your roommates, but move on! Ignoring the awkwardness enveloping the entirety of Sharples is step one to having a fun Screw.
DO: Ask about your date’s interests!
DON’T: Talk about your dislike of Chicken Patty & Grilla Sandwich Bar.
Sticking two Swatties together expecting them to make conversation can be hard (which is why we wrote 36 Questions to Ask Your Screw Date!) but don’t resort to the easiest topic of the night — Screw’s awful menu. Why Sharples insists on infiltrating one of Swarthmore’s most beloved traditions with grillas of fried chicken is truly a mystery, but do not discuss the food. It’s too easy of a conversation. Impress your date by asking genuine questions (see link above). If all else fails, even talking about Friday’s RealFeel of -11 degrees is better than this.
DO: Ask your date to hang out again if you’re interested.
DON’T: Ask your date to come back to your room after dinner.
Ending Screw can be a challenge. You both awkwardly stand up and throw away your disposable plates then sit back down. What’s next? You’re no longer feeling tipsy. You’ve already asked our 36 Questions to each other. You’re still interested in your date (congrats!). Make plans for another meal! Don’t expect to hook up that night (I’m looking at you freshman guy in Essie’s who talked in depth about the things he wanted to do to his date after Screw…), but do try and see where it goes.
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