So you’ve chosen a dry campus. While I’m by no means encouraging anyone to break the rules, drink underage, et cetera, you’re probably going to do it anyway. Planning on getting alcohol into the dorms this year? Here are a few ways to get your drank on without security coming for you.

Know The Rules

Some campuses are “damp” rather than completely dry. Maybe alcohol is allowed only at certain times – for example, only sealed bottles allowed after midnight. Maybe your campus is beer only and forbids liquor, or allows cases but not kegs. An ex of mine attended a college that forbade freshmen only from keeping alcohol in their dorms. If there’s a way for you to have booze on campus without breaking the rules, go that route instead. Why waste time hiding vodka when you can have beer without facing the possibility of fines? Have an older friend or someone in a nearby apartment? Keep your booze with them.

The Hacks

While some of these “hacks” are just common sense or basic knowledge passed down from college freshman to high school senior, other are a little more advanced. If you’re on a dry campus but plan to drink anyway, keep these tips and tricks in mind.

  1. Buy clear liquor only and store it in water bottles.
  2. The next step up? If you’re drinking brown liquor, go for iced tea containers or similar. I used to purchase premixed Bacardi drinks in crazy blue and red colors that were easily disguised in a Gatorade bottle.
  3. Keep any alcohol, or other items that are against the rules, in a backpack or other place that is your property and easy to hide. I know my college campus was able to access any property that belonged to the campus itself, such as dressers. (They were also allowed to go into your personal mini fridge for some reason, but other personal property was off limits.)
  4. Transfer any alcohol to another container while you’re off campus if possible. Many states have open container laws, so keep in mind that you could get in trouble if you have opened bottles in your car. If you transfer on campus, immediately toss your trash in a public can rather than your hall trash so you don’t have to endure room checks.
  5. Choose products that don’t create a lot of trash, like bottles of liquor or boxes of wine. They’re easier to hide and dispose of.
  6. Choose products that don’t make noise, like boxed wine instead of bottled, or beer in cans instead of glass bottles.
  7. When transporting booze into the dorms, put it in a large purse/duffel bag and make sure blankets, sweatshirts, etc. cover the products and muffle the noise. (If you’re truly dedicated, use a big purse all the time so no one suspects anything.)
  8. Avoid shot glasses, wine glasses, and other paraphernalia if your campus forbids them. Solo cups have markings on them to indicate a serving of liquor, wine, and beer. It’s less classy than a wine glass, but just as functional, and easy enough to take shots out of.
  9. Get even more creative with your packaging than beverage bottles! Clean out a shampoo bottle or other packaging no one would expect and transfer your liquor into it. Just make sure to label it somehow so you don’t get confused and drink Suave, or wash your hair with Cuervo.
  10. Make friends with your RA. It’s their job to make sure everyone is following the rules, but a friend will likely warn you if room checks are coming up or let you know what nights the hard-ass RA (there’s always at least one) is on duty. A friend of mine used to text us ten minutes before he checked our dorm to make sure we hid the booze and boys. (I went to a Catholic college. Shit was legit.)
  11. Cafeteria cups are your friends. Take them with you back to the dorm and throw your beverages in! Bigger ones can fit an entire beer can.
  12. Starbucks trenta cups? They’re your BFFs. One trenta cup can fit an entire bottle of wine.
  13. Don’t start a fallen soldier collection. When I was in college, it was “the thing” to collect pretty vodka bottles. All of the wacky flavors of Pinnacle were just becoming popular, so everyone liked to try the new ones and keep a collection of the bottles. My roomie and I once got busted not for having alcohol in our dorm …but for having empty bottles.
  14. Try to open your door as little as possible. If you have a friend who lives in a suite, party there instead of in your shared bathroom dorm. That way you won’t keep opening and closing the door, causing the scent of alcohol and sounds of partying to waft into the hallway.
  15. This isn’t the place for flip cup and beer pong. If you’re on a dry campus, stick to card games and drinking games that don’t require a lot of noise or set-up.

Stay Safe

It seems like a lot when you’re underage, but most colleges aren’t going to do anything that will jeopardize you or the school’s safety and reputation. If you get caught with booze, most dry campuses will just issue fines in increasing amounts. I know – you’re a college kid and don’t have money! Of course, this is why partying is supposed to happen off campus. If you choose to party off campus, remember to get a DD, check out late night public transportation, make sure you can sleep over, or invest in an Uber. Some campuses have shuttles to and from nearby locations or apartments, so that’s always an option, too!

If you’re still going to drink on campus, don’t start pounding shots just to get rid of the incriminating evidence. Of course, you’re bound to know someone during your time at university who will get alcohol poisoning. If you are admitted to the hospital with alcohol poisoning while underage, you’re more than likely not going to get in trouble for underage drinking with the police. Your university almost certainly will not report the underage drinking, as it won’t do well for their reputation. But again, don’t suck down bottle of tequila just because you need to get rid of it. Unless you’re a repeated problem case on campus, you’re only going to get slapped with a fine (and maybe some alcohol counseling), and as long as you’re friendly and cooperative, you can likely talk it down or figure out a payment plan. And let’s be real. Literally anything that happens to you is better than dying of alcohol poisoning.

Again, I’m not here to encourage underage drinking. But when it comes to college, most of us do it. If you’re going to enjoy a cold one or a few shots, do so responsibly!