A College Student’s Guide to Organizing a Successful (and Safe!) Party
Ten Minutes of Planning is Worth Two Hours of Damage Control.
Potential Problem #1: Underage Drinking Violations
Potential Problem #2: Fighting
Potential Problem #3: Strangers Crashing
Potential Problem #4: Noise Violations
Potential Problem #5: Overconsumption of Substances
Potential Problem #6: “He/She/They/I Did What Last Night”?!
Potential Problem #1: No one wants underage drinking violations. If you’re on a dry campus, you have to play by the rules here. If your campus is more “moist” shall we say, there are a few way you can help prevent this. Posting a sign that only 21+ folks are welcome to enter is one way. The other way to avoid freshman passed out from raspberry flavored vodka in your offcampus pad is to keep the party low-key. Make the event as private as possible on Facebook, and kindly ask your friends if their potentially younger counterparts wouldn’t mind sitting this one out. You don’t want to be responsible for supplying alcohol to minors and you want to enjoy yourself without worrying about transporting the nearest 19-year-old to Student Health.
Potential Problem #2: So, you have a lot of friends…and most of them are friends with each other, right? Key word: most. If you have a few friends who have serious, unresolved conflicts, nip it in the bud. Shoot them a text and let them know they are both invited–if they leave the negativity at home, or, better yet–work it out beforehand. A few girls crying in the bathroom and a few blows exchanged on the porch can quickly turn an awesome party more sour than that classy Old Fashioned you’ve been perfecting for the occasion.
Potential Problem #3: “Who’s that guy?” You probably don’t want to be the kid who threw the party where some creepy stranger shows up hitting on your friends. You also don’t want to put your friends (or yourself) at risk by potentially throwing a party where strangers can show up bringing weapons or drugs. It’s your place, after all, and you are responsible. Follow the advice in #1 and keep the event low-key on Facebook. You can throw a wild party while telling your friends, politely, not to re-tweet your invite publicly or send out a mass text to their entire phone.
Potential Problem #4: A quick call to your landlord pre-party and a polite visit to your neighbors can save you a hefty noise violation fine. What are your landlord’s noise policies? Are your neighbors cool with a little noise? If they’re bugged, would they mind giving you a call to pipe down before calling the cops?
Potential Problem #5: You can’t always keep tabs on everyone, and in the potentially unfortunate circumstance that over-consumption of substances happens, you want to be ready. Become familiar with your college and local hospital’s confidentiality laws prior to your party. This way, you will avoid wasting any time debating whether or not to bring your sick friend in for help. When in doubt, always bring your friend in. From experience, I know their is often pontification (often buzzed) about whether or not to contact help. By figuring out exactly what your rights are, you won’t waste any time getting your wasted (!) friend help. Even if you’ve gotta go to counseling for bringing in your friend, you could save their life. Do it. Fun Tip: Incorporating a “Dinner Party” into the theme can reduce this risk.
Potential Problem #6: An appropriate piggy-back to the latter issue, you’re going to throw an awesome party…so remember it. As the host, you should try not to overindulge, and keep an eye on any of your friends with keys. Two wasted friends getting cozy? It’s their decision, but do NOT hesitate to step in if you see people too drunk heading for the bedroom together. Questionable guy have his eye on your friend who’s definitely had way too much? Say something. You can respect your friends’ autonomy while still keeping them safe. Offer guests some water if you’re serving alcohol and make sure no one is walking back alone.
With no fights, strangers with knives, visits to the E.R., or massive fines to worry about, now you can seriously get excited about classy invites, new mix drinks, and an excellent outfit.
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Tired of PBR and Bud Light Lime? Throw a “Mad Men” or the like themed party and classy cocktails. Think ice cubes and blazers instead of warm beer and the same old clothes.
Need party outfit ideas? Think spring with the new pastel trend! Putting a pop of color (even if you’ve gotta stick with the LBD-pair it with a colorful bold necklace or pumps) can put some more excitement into a party look.
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