So you want to throw the end-all, be-all of college parties… way to go! This is college, right?! Now, there’s two ways you can go about this: 1. Buy a few cases of PBR and hope for the best. Or 2. Use a little foresight and give yourself the best possible chance of creating a college party worth talking about for weeks, or years to come. Here are some of pieces that go into the ‘killer’ college party equation:
1. Manage Your Expectations
Sorry, you’re not going to pull off a top college party with a bottle of Boones Farm and a cat that likes to scratch people. Why? Because all you’ll get is half way to a buzz, and the paranoia derived from an impending cat attack. What we’re saying is that you need to understand your situation. Decent alcohol, a good playlist, and the right set of friends will be more conducive to an awesome college party than dime store swill, internal computer speakers and random people.
2. Disregard Tip #1 And Think BIG
Not to completely contradict ourselves, but oftentimes big ideas are needed to foster big college parties. Our freshman year, we spent a random Saturday afternoon preparing our dorm room for what was the end-all, be-all of college parties. Our night started at 8pm and didn’t end until everyone was covered in black light markers with the smoke alarms going off (literally). Sometimes having a big, and slightly unrealistic vision is needed to produce a college party that’ll be talked about for the ages.
3. Prepare The Music “Situation”
We use the term “situation” because there are several factors that go into this crucial element of throwing the best college parties. First, you need to create a great playlist, keeping your audience in mind. Who’s going to be at this college party? What do they want to hear? What kind of atmosphere will these songs create? Pay attention to the order of the songs, too. Second, test your sound system in advance. Make sure you have reliable sources to play music from, and test the volume level in different rooms of the house. Lastly, figure out a way to prevent your friends from changing the song and volume every five minutes. Hint: Hide the ipod.
4. Prepare The Alcohol “Situation”
With a smaller college party you can get away with decent beer and a few nice bottles of liquor. For bigger college parties (which most tend to be) you need to put your economical college mind to work. This means, for better or worse, quantity over quality. The first option you should always consider is a keg. Kegs are hands down the biggest bang for your buck when it comes to top college parties. If that isn’t an option, cases are your next best bet. Try to take advantage of the 30-pack, and any sale on beers reaching their expiration date. Also, be sure to set up a few different areas throughout your place to keep beer cold.
5. Think Through Your Attendees
College parties can go sour surprisingly quick with segregated groups of random people that don’t know each other. There are a thousand different things that go into who shows up at your college party, and it would be pointless to consider all of them. Instead, focus on what you can control. Start with a solid group of friends. As the college party grows, make sure to introduce people whenever possible. Also, keep in mind that people show up with their friends, so when you invite your buddy Sam from class, you may also be inviting his shank-toting hooligan friends.
6. Party-Proof Your Place
There’s nothing worse than waking up the morning after a top college party and realizing someone spilled beer on your lap top, or stole your ipod. Wake up! Accidents happen and people do stupid things. The best way to prevent stuff like this is to eliminate the possibility of it happening. Hide valuables you don’t need that night, move your computer to a safe place, and lock doors to rooms you won’t need. In short, use a little common sense when preparing college parties to avoid potential problems.
7. Consider Having A Theme
These can be hit or miss, so do your homework. See what your friends would like to do, and more importantly, what they’d be willing to do. Having a toga party where you’re the only one in a toga makes for a pretty lame college party. Additionally, if you’re throwing one of these college parties, make sure your guests understand the theme. Promote the party at least a few days in advance. Evites and facebook invitations are good ways to send the message.
8. Be A Good Host
We’re not telling you to stay sober and act like an over-concerned, paranoid freak the whole time… just make sure you put the needs of your guests ahead of your own once in a while. Walk around often and see if anyone could use a drink, or needs a refill. Go out of your way to introduce people to each other. Swing by the beer pong table and drop off a fresh pitcher of beer for the game. Being a good host is a perfect example of something that costs you nothing, and can drastically improve your college party.
9. Pick The Right Time For The Party
Don’t be a salmon swimming against the current when it comes to picking a date for your college party. Make sure there aren’t any other big college parties, games, etc., already in place. Rather, use other events to your advantage. Put together pre-parties or after-parties and turn what would simply be a night of fun, into an entire day of it. Also, don’t miss the opportunity to celebrate less popular dates. Cinco de Mayo, Columbus day and celebrity birthday’s are great excuses to throw the best college parties.
10. Focus On The General Ambience
First impressions are important, and they will impact how guests ultimately perceive your college party. A couple things you can focus on are lighting, airflow, and cleanliness. Use lamps instead of overhead lights; open windows in the front and back of your place to create a cross breeze; pick everything up off the floor and use a vacuum. The temperature rises quickly once people start showing up at your college party, so you may want to have the air on and/or fans ready. And in case we haven’t emphasized it enough already, having a clean place is always a good thing when it comes to college parties.