Eating clubs have different personalities depending on the ones they are, and they all bring different things to the table. Over time, people get to know which eating clubs are best for them, but in case you haven’t done that yet (and are still feeling a little lost on the Street at night), I’ve created a guide for people (especially a freshman) to follow so that they can decide what kind of eating club they want to go into depending on the kind of night that they want to have.

CAP AND GOWN: Atmosphere: Huge guys, exciting Pros: The people here are quite a sight, because a lot of them are athletes and they like to rage like them. Feels very sporty which can be good because you can get sucked up into the excitement of it so you end up feeling enthusiastic about your night. Cons: On pass. Also, can be sort of an intimidating atmosphere just because all of the people there seem really confident in a way that’s sort of harder to fake than other eating clubs (*cough* Ivy *cough*). You can’t really fake muscles like that.

CHARTER: Atmosphere: Nerdy, but in a nice way Pros: It’s definitely a different pace than most of the other eating clubs, and if you’re in the mood for a certain vibe which isn’t crazy but isn’t full of pot, this is an unusual place to check out. Has pool tables there, so if that’s your kind of thing, then you should go there and try to hit a few around. Cons: It’s known mostly for having engineers in it, so if you don’t know a lot of engineers, you may end up feeling out of place there. People call it nerdy there, but I think that’s only if you make it feel nerdy—bring the fun with you! (Yeah yeah, I know that’s not a con, it’s more of a suggestion. So sue me.)

CLOISTER: Atmosphere: Swimmers, busy Pros: Offers a lot of different fun things to do, because the rooms are divided in a way that makes it feel pretty big, and like it has a lot of options for fun. People there are pretty good looking (swimmers and water polo players galore!), and always seem to be enjoying themselves, whether they’re dancing, playing beer pong, or just hanging out. Cons: If you’re not involved in any kind of water sport, it can sometimes feel a little exclusive, even thought they don’t mean it to. Once they started a chant about swimming or something like that and I felt like I was the only person in the room that didn’t know it. On pass.

COLONIAL: Atmosphere: Nice, friendly Pros: People there are usually friendly and nice, sort of tame but not always in a lame way. A lot of freshmen go here which is nice because it’s not a creepy atmosphere so it’s a nice place for freshmen to go without getting grossed out by sweaty older guys. Not on pass. Cons: Sometimes can feel a little boring if you’re in the mood for a lot of crazy excitement; doesn’t really walk the line between chill and nuts enough and needs to figure that out. Sometimes the music can get a little annoying, and that kind of thing sets a lot of the tone for eating clubs so the club can get influenced by this music.

COTTAGE: Atmosphere: Fratty, fun Pros: When people are there it definitely can feel busy because they are all so loud and into hanging out with each other. One of the prettiest eating clubs on the Street, it is so pretty that it’s hard to tell whether that’s a good thing because it’s nice to look at, or a bad thing because you almost don’t want to party too hard for fear that you might damage it! Cons: Sometimes feels pretty empty, and also when it is crowded the people there don’t seem all that friendly (although once I met someone there who was really nice about going into Cottage—they’re in Cottage and they talked to me about how it could feel like I was out of place, but I wasn’t—shout out to that person if you’re reading this!). On pass.

IVY: Atmosphere: Preppy, peppy Pros: The dance floor is usually pretty fun, and there’s always something cool going on. They play music that they know people will like dancing to. For whatever negative things I have to say about it, I can’t help but have to admit that it’s usually the best place to aim to go for your night if you want it to feel full and eventful, especially if you’re a freshman. Cons: Can sometimes feel like one of the more stuck-up clubs on the Street. Depending on what your style it’s either a pro or a con about the amount of polo shirts there, but for me it’s a con so it sometimes feels too pretentious. Also, pretty hard to get passes unless you know a lot of people in it, which is a huge con because a lot of people have to wait around outside and it feels very exclusive.

QUADRANGLE: Atmosphere: Fun, lively Pros: Really fun dancing on most nights and a cool place to go just to dance around and enjoy yourself. Doesn’t ever feel like it’s going to get too crazy or out-of-control, but people there definitely drink and enjoy themselves like they know how to party. No passes. Cons: Depending on whether you like to play Beirut, it’s either a pro or a con, but I don’t like it that much and there’s a lot of Beirut there. Also, the floor there seems to get particularly beery—I feel like I’ve slipped at that club more than all the other clubs combined for some reason, but maybe that’s just me.

TERRACE: Atmosphere: Chill, alternative, smokey Pros: A great place to go after you’ve had a busy night out at another place. Really laid back if you’re in the mood to sit around with friends, smoke a cigarette and recap the night—a winding down place in general. Sometimes has really great bands, with an intimate setting for them to play in. Hippie-vibe (and if you’re looking for drugs, this is the place for you probably). Cons: When you’re there you usually have to talk to a lot of people (some who you might not like) because it’s brightly lit and everyone’s just standing around. Also, note for asthmatics: be careful, it sometimes gets too smokey! And if you get too tired, you’re sort of out of luck—the couches are really gross.

TIGER INN: Atmosphere: Wild, active, fun Pros: A club that definitely knows how to have a good time. Usually plays pretty fun music and, when it comes to the dance floor, all bets are off. Usually not too hard to get a beer—and hey, if you’re having trouble, there are plenty of cute guys around who could help you out! Cons: Sometimes a little too overwhelming and crazy if you’re not in the mood for it. Definitely not the place to go if you’re wearing an expensive outfit—chances are, beer will be spilled on it under five seconds after you walk into the club. On pass.

TOWER: Atmosphere: Lively, upbeat Pros: A fun place where people usually seem to be having a great time no matter where you turn. People are usually really friendly there and open to making friends without being judgmental about it. Cons: Sometimes too in-your-face if you’re not in the mood to be super social. Also, I once caught two people having sex in the corner of one of the rooms I think, even though I couldn’t tell for sure, which was kind of gross to me. On pass.