From WSU to FSU, if you’re walking around Greek Row any given weekend, chances are that you’ve seen them. They’re sporting eyeliner on their cheekbones, as it has curiously migrated from where it lived the night before. They’re rocking basketball shorts that inch below the knee, all the way to mid-calf. They’re typing furiously on iPhones as if their lives depend on the messages they’re about to send. From early to mid-morning, they crawl out of the woodwork, smelling of men’s cologne, Bacardi, and bad decisions. Aside from maybe downing a Starbucks in record time, they have only one goal: to make it home before anyone can scream “Shacker!” at them. It’s a call that reverberates across college campuses around the country. Week after week, young women are branded with a term that cannot be found in Webster’s dictionary. Some bear the title proudly, some attempt to shrug it off, and some can be found sitting on the edge of a bed in a fraternity repeatedly punching the ‘redial’ button next to their best friend’s name because there’s “no way in hell I’m walking home like this.” While shackers come in all shapes and sizes, most are creatures of habit.
The Early Birds
First, you have the girls who set alarms for 5am. This group of shackers is an especially rare breed, as it takes an incredibly high level of commitment to pry yourself from a warm, cozy bed in favor of the crisp, pre-dawn Autumn air. The girls who set their alarms for ungodly hours usually do so because they either don’t want anyone to know that they shacked, or because they don’t want anyone to know that they shacked with this particular guy. Early Birds are most typically ex-girlfriends, freshmen scared of anyone seeing them leave fraternity property, and girls messing around with guys who their friends have proclaimed to be no-no’s.
The One Who Gave All Her Fucks Last Night (Pun Intended)
Next, we have your favorite and mine, the shackers decked out entirely in whatever they wore the night before. When I see them on campus, I want to buy them a coffee and a sweatshirt, because they deserve it. When you see a girl wearing skyscraper stilettos paired with a body-con dress, a romper, a crop tops, or anything else that can only be deemed appropriate if you’re slightly intoxicated, you know she’s walking home with a good story. Whether she had a rough night or an absolutely ballin’ one, that girl went hard AF.
The Outfit Bandit
In complete contrast, there are the girls who walk home wearing none of their clothes from the night before. Instead, they’ve managed to finagle basketball shorts, a sweatshirt three sizes too big, and a pair of Nike slides they can only shuffle in. Their clothes are crumpled into the smallest ball possible and usually reside under whichever arm is furthest from the street. Girl logic is a strange thing sometimes, as no matter which arm you try to hide your sparkly dress under, gold sequins can be seen from outer space.
Last night you see them, this morning you don’t. These are the most boring and also the smartest of all shackers, depending on what your outlook on life is, because they manage to snag a ride home. Be it their boyfriend dutifully performing boyfriend duty, or a roommate who they picked up last time, these girls have their operation down pat. There will be no yelling from open windows at these girls. They’ve done their time and they know just how to play the system. They will spend the absolute minimum in public, before bribing their driver to take them for pumpkin spice lattes.
The Partners In Crime
Last but not least, are the shackers who get their signals crossed. They wake up with every intention of finding a ride home. They asked their friends to come pick them up, and those friends arrived, but when the shacker opens the back door of the fraternity house, assuming she’ll greet her saviors, she stares in disbelief. Her squad has arrived on foot. And why? Because they, too, are shackers. If you ever see a group of girls walking bitterly side by side in various stages of disarray, smile to yourself. Cherish the memory. But don’t put it on Snapchat. Who knows, it might be your group of friends who miscommunicate next..