They say that we have to work hard to play hard. However, in my personal experience, some of the richest people are the ones that play hard and barely work at all. I was reminded of this when u/ihaveaclip4urclique asked college alums, "What happened to that friend that never stopped partying?"
While some responses were dark and unfortunate, the overwhelming majority speak to how some people will always fail up, no matter what they do:
Note: This post contains mentions of drug use.
1."He drank with the right executives at a conference and got offered a job. He now makes three times what I do."
2."His trust fund still pays more than twice my salary per month, while he makes $200,000 a year at a large tech company, with his communications degree, that he got because his mom was friends with one of the board members."
3."One is a doctor in his hometown. The other is a lawyer with multiple articles published."
4.I worked at a bar in college, and my friends worked at other bars, so I knew so many people who drank a lot. Most of them went on to be in sales or some other job where interpersonal communication skills are more valued than raw academic skills. Some of them are doing very well."
"I've been bartending for 15 years now. Those same people keep coming in to drink, but now it's with coworkers and clients. They rack up huge tabs and tip the best." —u/Minimum_Attitude6707
5."A friend of mine in college pulled a Van Wilder and spent seven years getting his bachelor's degree because he liked partying so much. He lived in our college's 'dedicated party house' that had just two modes: Actively throwing a wild party, or recovering from the latest party. Eventually, he graduated with a degree in mechanical engineering, moved to the East Coast, got married, and became a born-again Christian. He seems happy and successful, and just had his first kid recently. It's absolutely weird seeing him post pictures of him getting adult-baptized and doing mission work when I once saw him rail cocaine off of a blow-up sex doll."
6."He just got his PhD in particle physics. He started tutoring on Twitch for free. He also started a clothing brand, DJs, and holds festivals in the desert. Seems like he’s doing just fine."
7."Dude has an amazing career, is wildly intelligent, and has a great house in a warm area. He's an absolute drunk though. I think out of the last six times I've spoken to him, he's been maybe sober once."
8."I lived in a house with a bunch of guys. One of them was in electrical engineering. He got a job at Applebees for some extra cash and started having parties with work people after work, at three in the morning. That made it hard to make class, so he dropped a semester. We all graduated and he said he would refocus on school soon, but he was having too much fun partying. I went back to college 20 years later for a football game, and he was still working at Applebees. He's the creepy guy who acts like he is best friends with a bunch of 20-year-olds. He’s a mess."
9."He failed and got screwed over by his debts."
10."Librarian, I kid you not. And he's even married and is a fantastic father to his daughter. My wedding reception is coming up though, and he warned me that he plans to party so hard that we'll need to pull his body out of the bay."
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11."She literally was dead for a couple minutes in the ER after a heroin overdose. Miraculously, they managed to revive her, after which she went to some kind of rehab. She’s into plants and owns several cats now."
12."He partied with the right guys and now makes very good money in sales — he parties with clients, and the company pays for it. He makes six figures."
13."I ran into an old friend who was like that. We were in our late 30s when we'd caught up. Turned out he partied hard until his late 30s and during that time, flitted around job to job to simply fund his partying. One day, he looked around and noticed that he was the old guy at the bars hanging with early 20-somethings. He realized that all of the folks our age were ahead in their careers, and with families. He said that was a pretty sobering revelation, and he enrolled himself back into school."
14."I briefly 'dated' someone who was a constant partier. Our relationship was brief because he was always drunk when he came to see me. I searched him up online out of mere curiosity to see if he was doing okay, and found out he killed someone while driving drunk."
15."All our friends talk about his latest wildest adventure, then say how they're worried about him while we're gathered every other month on our apartment porches or in our small living rooms that haven't changed since graduating a decade ago. Meanwhile, he lives in a massive condo his job purchased for him after his previous apartment burned down."
16."He had a work-and-party habit that I envied the hell out of. One week he'd be partying literally every day, then the next week he'd be back to studying (and maybe rewarding himself with a spliff or beer after a hard day of working). Now, he's in his final year of med school."
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17."One has multiple part-time jobs all the time to pay for his spending habits — about $400 or more a month for drinks, $350 car payment, rent for a trendy area of town, and who knows what he spends on clothes. He has many, many credit cards maxed out, and isn't paying minimums. Another is less of a financial wreck, but still doesn’t make a lot of money, and spends $400+ at bars every month. They routinely show up to work late, with a hangover and smelling strongly of vodka soda. Neither of them can hold a relationship longer than a few weeks, and aren't happy with their lives. Both started to look fairly unhealthy around 30 years old, and developed more medical issues compared to the others in our friend group who've stopped partying as hard."
18."He never stopped. He continued drinking at a wild pace. He lost his job, his driving license, and his wife. He had to move near to a liquor store to keep drinking. He eventually died from the alcohol abuse, and left behind two sons."
19."He was able to graduate from college, then went to Aspen and became a gigolo bartender at some hot cocktail lounge. He was always hooking up with different women. He got bored around the age of 30 (his own words), so he settled down with one of his hook-ups and they got married. She's rich and from an oil family, and her father put my friend in a cushy VP job. Now he's rich, too. He also became radically conservative, and is running for local office. I haven't spoken to him in a few years now. He's a jerk."
20."He decided to do a commercial pilot license. Spent so much money on the training and the partying that his debts overtook him. Here, most airlines don't accept pilot candidates with outstanding debts or criminal records. He never got to fly a plane. He still owes a lot of people small to medium amounts of money."
"He ended up accepting a menial job writing technical manuals." —u/Ruggiard
21."He became a math professor and when he's not teaching, he travels. He has backpacked all over the world."
22."He works for some finance company... I'm assuming he makes twice my income based on his luxury house, car, and lifestyle. He partied and slacked off through college, but he had one thing going for him: His ability to socialize and network, even in groups or topics he didn't know anything about. That's where I lacked. Even with my GPA and grades, I think he still would have out-performed me had I stayed in the field he's in. Goes to show the importance of networking over actual qualifications."
Do you have a story to share about an always-partying friend from college? Let us know in the comments.
If you or someone you know is struggling with substance abuse, you can call SAMHSA’s National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357) and find more resources here.