Advice Hub

June 21, 2011

Holding the perfect student house party

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Written by: Kyle Raffo

A great party means different things to different kinds of students. For mature students, it means getting tiddly at their monthly book group. For postgraduates, it is having an especially stimulating pub conversation over superstring theory. For undergraduates, it is passing out in a bizarre outfit on someone else’s floor after drinking a succession of lurid cocktails and losing something important – a mobile phone, item of clothing, memory, virginity etc.

Whatever it is that makes a party, it must involve lots of other people. If a small enough number turn up to make it more fun at a corner table in the pub next door, it isn’t a party, it’s social suicide.

These days, anyone thinking of holding anything more than a double date has to let everyone else know it’s happening by hitting Facebook. Remember to limit the number of people who can see the party details so you don’t get guests flying in from New Zealand looking for a fun time.

You also need to line up a few friends who will definitely attend even if their favourite football team is playing or someone much cooler is having a party the same night. For most people this should ensure a gathering of at least three – two if it’s a key football match.

Once you’ve posted it on Facebook, the party is certainly happening. Don’t panic. But do let the neighbours know, and, ideally, invite them to attend. Remember, you need all the guests you can get, even if they crack open one of your cans and settle down in front of your telly to watch the game.

It is a good idea to give your party a theme. This must be simple enough not to intimidate your guests – think toga party rather than “come as your favourite Greek philosopher” – but imaginative enough to make for a talking point. Making the theme “drunk and disorderly” doesn’t count.

Now, food. You can skip this. Crisps are always nice but nobody ever remembers a student party for the quality of the canapes.

But you do need to think hard about drink. This is where you track down a friend of a friend who is registered with Cash & Carry. Buy lots. This is not the time to worry about binge drinking. Nor is it a time to worry about the dangers of smoking. Or losing your deposit with the landlord. Supply lots of disposable ashtrays, remember VAT, and reconcile yourself to being much, much poorer once it is all over, although much, much richer in social capital.

That is, unless your taste in music is rubbish. This is where you get in touch with a friend of a friend (possibly the same one) who is a part-time DJ. His taste is probably rubbish too, but at least you can blame it on him. And it’s his equipment that will get trashed.

Talking of which, do get rid of everything that isn’t nailed down from the rooms where you party is being held. Move it all into a locked room, a friend’s house, a hole in the ground, wherever.

By this time, you may be wondering about whether it is worth having a party at all. Don’t worry; this is entirely natural. No one in their right mind decides to hold a big student party themselves rather than go to someone else’s. That shows what a mad party animal you are. And if you’re not: well, there’s always the book group.


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