Never Really Drank/Partied Before, How to Fit In?

I'm worried I won't fit in on Wall Street because of this.

Just never did any of that growing up, as I had a pretty plain and sheltered childhood. Also haven't felt the urge to do so in college. I tried getting drunk a few times but didn't see the appeal. I don't enjoy the taste of alcohol, and all that happens to me from drinking is getting dizzy. Also threw up once lol

I probably sound like a real loser right now, but I promise I'm a sociable, easygoing guy. People find me likable, and it's just really easy for me to get along with anyone. So I guess my question is, what's the best way to fit in for someone like me? I'd like to LEARN to enjoy drinking and partying if possible because I do feel like I'm missing out. Any advice?


Comments (47)

May 1, 2020 - 8:00pm

I wouldn't force it. As long as you're happy with who you are, and you're chill people will like you. For what it's worth, there aren't that many "partiers" at these BB SA programs anyway. Everyone in my intern class didn't seem to go out all that much at least compared to my group of friends that were interning with me in the city. Maybe my intern class was lame or maybe I'm just a huge degenerate. I guess that's what I get for going to a state school.

  • Intern in IB-M&A
May 1, 2020 - 8:18pm

I'd echo a lot of what has been said above. Don't force yourself to drink, I have friends that I go out with that don't drink (or don't drink a lot), and nobody I know thinks any less of them for it. I'm just an incoming intern, so I can't provide that much insight into the industry, but I'd imagine most people won't really care if you drink or not as long as you don't remind them of it in some type of snide way all the time.

If you do want to start drinking, definitely avoid the hard stuff your first few times. Have a few beers (also ngl try white claw if you don't like the taste of alcohol that shit goes down like water, especially the 3.5%). Also, there are so many different types of beers, you can probably find something you like. Some people love hoppy IPAs (some people hate them), just sample different types and brands until you find something you like. Also, you might want to try light beers first. They won't taste as strong. Once you get used to drinking a couple beers, and you want to step up your game, I recommend trying mix drinks. These are all based on preference, but you can go for a whiskey and coke or screwdriver (vodka and oj) really whatever suits your pallet. But don't push too hard too fast, people would much rather be with a person who is chill and not drinking than the one who is hammered and booting in the back of an Uber.

May 1, 2020 - 8:21pm

You can always ask for sparkling waters so that it looks like you have a drink in your hand. If the entire group is doing shots, then do the shot. There are cocktails that are tastier like gin n' tonics and Malibu cokes

May 3, 2020 - 2:07pm

how are you going to pair gin and tonics with "malibu cokes" (if thats even a thing)? Also would not recommend gin and tonic as a "tasty drink" to a new drinker. Rum and coke (excluding malibu) is pretty easy to drink, commonly ordered drink as well. Vodka cranberry is another good one. Whisky sour also very easy to drink and not uncommon.

May 1, 2020 - 8:51pm

You don't have such a hard problem. Outside of wine, I don't think I liked any type of alcohol as a kid. Beer grew on me, started loving it after drinking it with steak and meats. Whiskey took the longest time for me to appreciate. Whiskey is definitely an alcohol that takes lots of time to like imo.

No one will force you to quickly drink your alcohol, you can drink at your own pace.

Here are my rules for you:

1) Never mix alcohol. If you do beer and vodka, that's fine.. But don't do beer, vodka, and then tequila cause you're gonna get wrecked.
2) Rum is super fked up Takes a while to work and when it does it hits you like a truck, all at once. Be vary careful when drinking rum.
3) When drinking expensive whiskey, don't drink with a chaser. You can chase women, but don't chase an expensive glass of whiskey.
4)The more you eat, the more alcohol you'll be able to handle. Eat a heavy lunch if you know you're going out so that you can handle more alcohol. Because you're inexperienced here, you're going to have to learn what your limits are. Take it easy, and enjoy it!
5) In NYC, you don't have to tip more than a dollar per drink at a bar. If you're at a club like LAVO or Marquee, don't tip at all. Fuck em and their 17 dollar Coronas.

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  • Prospect in IB - Gen
May 1, 2020 - 8:56pm

A note on number 4: just keep in mind that while this is true, the more you eat, the more you have to throw up if you over drink.

  • Intern in IB - Ind
May 3, 2020 - 9:30am

Not tipping your bartenders is a sure way to get awful service bud

May 1, 2020 - 9:34pm

Go out with your coworkers and prepare to have the best night of your life.

Pop a molly. Good shit. Wash it down with a girly fruit flavored alcohol. Yeah, you love the taste of that you pussy. Eat a weed brownie. You're not feeling it. Eat another one. And another. You can drink more on a full stomach, you know that right. Now have a beer or two. I recommend the smooth taste of Natural Light, best tasting brew out there.

Now this is the critical stage: take a shot of tequila. And another. And another. Now you're feeling it. Go to the bartender, and ask for some jungle juice. Chug it all down. Now do more shots.

You'll feel amazing, trust me on this. You'll talk to God, he'll talk back. Ariana Grande will give you a tantric massage. You'll become one with nature and achieve Nirvana. And you'll want to do this every single weekend.

May 1, 2020 - 9:54pm

So first of all I don't think you have to drink to fit in. It might make it easier, but I don't think it's required. There are definitely people who don't drink for religious and personal reasons. As a previous poster mentioned I think it's important not to be on a high horse and full of yourself for not drinking (based on your post, you don't sound like you would be). I think it's important for people to know you want to be part of the group even if you're not drinking. So go out and dance at bars and clubs or invite people to hang out even if you're not drinking.
When I was pledging my fraternity in college one of my pledge brothers had made a sobriety contract and was not drinking alcohol or doing any drugs. But he was obviously always with us and at parties and ready to have a good time. He certainly fit in. I think the biggest factor comes down to attitude.
If you are looking to develop a taste for alcohol I think other posters here have been correct to start lighter with beers or white claws. I believe wine sneaks up on you. It's not a race so you can take it one night at a time.
Good luck!

  • Intern in IB - Gen
May 1, 2020 - 10:39pm

Any tips for dancing without being awkward? Lol

I only know how to kind of bounce to the beat and do the two-step thing.

May 1, 2020 - 10:09pm

Like mentioned already, I wouldn't force it. Be yourself. People like people who don't act hard to be someone that they are not. A few of the interns in my class this past summer didn't drink, but still went out with everyone during the weekends. No one really cared or saw them as weird, they were a fun time regardless and had no problem bonding with the group.

Once again you aren't missing anything by not drinking. Don't over think it.

  • Analyst 1 in RE - Comm
May 1, 2020 - 10:17pm

Be yourself and don't lie about it and make up stories. I'm on a team that drinks a lot and a new analyst talked about how he was always down to hit up happy hour and drink etc., then we go a few times (after he made excuses to bail a few times) and every time he makes some weird excuse to not drink. At this point it's obvious he doesn't like to drink but it's weird that he won't just be himself and admit it.

May 1, 2020 - 10:43pm

I was in a similar spot and decided not to do IB (even got offers). I didn't want to work somewhere where I wasn't happy. That being said, you could look at firms that attract more academic types.

May 1, 2020 - 11:11pm

There's one guy in my college friend group who doesn't drink with us. Everyone still thinks he's awesome which he is lol. Tbh kids actually like having a sober friend to sortve watch out for them when they party.


May 2, 2020 - 2:14am

I do what I call "the corona strategy." This isn't virus related. So I drink only Coronas (the Mexican beer) the entire night if I want to reduce the probability of getting an HO (hangover for short). I believe that you lose vitamins and minerals when you drink so the lime of the Corona helps (in my mind it works, ok). Also, drinking beer helps you pace (vs shots).

The Corona Strategy works every time. Drink nothing else.

If anyone works for Corona, DM me. I'll promote your product and my Corona Strategy.

Have compassion as well as ambition and you’ll go far in life
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  • 1
May 2, 2020 - 2:42am

In the working world no one gives a shit. It's better to not be a raging alcoholic for obvious reasons, and people mostly just have a few drinks to unwind. From my experience there's no pressure to have to drink or anything in front of your bosses. It might be different with your peers, so I'll let other chime in (I like to drink, etc.), but again, I don't think anyone will hold this against you. If you're personable as you say you are, no one will care as long as you can hold a normal conversation that has nothing to do with work. It sounds cringey when I'm talking to another analyst and all they bring up is "oh, I heard Blackstone closed a deal with..." when you're just trying to shoot the shit.

Quant (ˈkwänt) n: An expert, someone who knows more and more about less and less until they know everything about nothing.

  • 2
May 7, 2020 - 2:08am

Are those Polish pierogi? Good stuff.

"Love doesn't exist, that's what I'm trying to tell you guys. And I'm not picking on love, 'cause I don't think friendship exists either" - Owen Wilson

May 2, 2020 - 2:59am

When I was younger I thought I would "miss out" if I don't drink and go party until the sun rises the next morning. Now that I'm "older" (25) I much more prefer to stay in and maybe sip some wine on the weekends with some mates or ladees.

Never found any appeal in going out either. So you "warm up" from 10 to 12 and then stand in line for 30 mins trying to get into wherever, pay 20 quid only to fuck off around 3 am? On top of that there are all of the drunk retards you have to interact with and its once again overly crowded on the dance floor. You come into contact with more dudes that press pass you than girls you try to dance with. Then you pay 10 quid for a measly thrown together "cocktail" at the bar and fight your way back through the crowd to your mates trying not to spill the damn thing. Music is shit most of the time too.

So are you really missing out? Probably not. It really depends on the people you hang with in the end. Go find yourself some friends that like to go for hikes or cook or anything other than shit facing themselves every weekend. I promise you you don't miss out on anything except pissing money away and feeling like shit the next morning/day.

May 2, 2020 - 3:05am

are covers really $25+ in London, crazy to think about that I've seen that in nyc too

Quant (ˈkwänt) n: An expert, someone who knows more and more about less and less until they know everything about nothing.

May 2, 2020 - 2:10pm

£20 cover in London is standard, but where in NYC do you go that has cover?? can't remember the last time i had to pay to get in a club..

Most Helpful
May 3, 2020 - 1:11am

Your loss.

There is nothing more amazing than getting absolutely raked Thursday through Sunday. Elite team bonding opportunities if you need some sort of f'n work angle to get on board. It takes one properly executed night of annihilating drinks with coworkers to settle in. After that... Weekly Monday AM convos to revel in the pain of shared hangovers, hinge date(s), fl oz consumption etc.... Maybe even sneak over to my work wife's desk and throw some cheap shots at her ugly bf while he can't defend himself. Fuck you Monday.

Honesty, my seniors would be offended if they found out the crew wasn't spending our weekends chasing the party. There is no married-old-tired-cranky senior banker that wants to hear how you "took it easy" all weekend. Give them what they want to hear.

I mean christ dude... We've had rippers with D/MDs waking up on analyst couches, analysts showing up late bc they lost phones, vomit sessions in the bathroom etc. Amazing every time. Friday? More like 9 AM - 11:30 AM executing hangover management. Talk about a metric shit-ton better than excel.

Why does it matter? Simple. 100% all cash bonus (ANL1) and ANL - A0 promotes (where eligible)... Across the board. I honesty felt bad for the analysts who weren't a part of it - their numbers were embarrassing. For f sake I had my boss tell me my comp #'s and ask if I was ok with it... "John Doe (dept head) said to stop by if you wanted to chat. Everyone likes you young guys and what you have going on - the energy has been awesome".

Your loss.

May 3, 2020 - 8:26am

This isn't satire OP. There's a lot of truth to this post. Many people who are quite PC will say "Just tell the boss you don't drink and he'll be ok with it." Not true. I mean, gone are the days when alcohol can be forced on juniors, but alcohol serves a purpose - social lubricant. It's somehow the shared experience that workplaces have decided are ok to have everyone participate in.

May 3, 2020 - 2:35pm

Dude, so true, even me and the boys as accounting subhumans get drilled by our senior, who´s just like 5-6 years older than us, about our weekends and if we "laid it down properly". Of course we always smirk and say ya know, nothing special, had a few drinks Friday evening, but the poor guy with his nagging wife and CPA exam at home loves it and wants to hear more. There´s really no better way for people to connect than via alcohol.

May 3, 2020 - 5:16am

It depends on your team. I actually have health issues (gout) and drinking the wrong drink can literally send me into pain. When I was at the bank, there were some people I could just say "I don't drink" and they'd be good about it. But for most of the teams/people some sort of drinking was expected, even with a health-driven reason not to. It would be uniquely awkward not to drink on Friday after work or at company events.

So what I usually do is I get a gin/vodka and soda. The taste is more mild, it doesn't affect gout as much, it's low carb (note I said 'soda' not 'tonic'), and you can sip it. No one is going to expect you to be pounding glasses of gin. If you really want to avoid drinking, you can have the bar increase the soda/gin ratio. Plus once people know you're a gin guy you really can just order that every time, and more times than not can just get soda.

Also I came to appreciate wine and so I didn't mind drinking it so much. But that was before gout; wine is murder on gout.

May 3, 2020 - 5:31am

Dude, if you don't like it then you don't like it. Plain and Simpleton.

"Full speed ahead, damn the torpedoes." -U.S. Navy General Farragut
  • Analyst 1 in Other
May 3, 2020 - 10:54am

Agree. I honestly don't like team drinks and I often prefer to hang out with my gf or very close friends on a Friday night instead of listening to my associate rambling abot abc or xyz...

May 5, 2020 - 12:42am

You'll fit right in with half the IB analysts out the street who end up excel monkeys and VP for 20 years while your buddy is out there getting promoted before you can blink. From experience, half the IB kids these days are total dweeps.

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