Throwing a successful college party is a tricky beast. It’s something people assume they can waltz into and often enter into it unprepared. After all, they’ve been to hundreds of parties; how hard could it be to throw one.


Hosting your own college party is going to be simpler if you follow these basic rules, but if you don’t, you’re going to be in a world of trouble.

1. Make Your Peace

This is the number one most important rule of the party. Someone’s going to lose their coat, someone’s going to throw up in your bathroom, there’s going to be some sloppy make-outs (none for you) and someone is going to steal or break something not especially valuable but cool, like your Dr.Dre glass. There aren’t going to be enough people there and even if there are, they won’t be the right people. The cops will break it up, and while they won’t be total jerks about it, it still will be a drag.

Sounds like fun? It shouldn’t. The important thing is that it doesn’t sound terrible. If you’ve made your peace with those things as inevitable (and you should) your standards become more realistic. When no one steals anything and the cops don’t come, even if the party is only O.K, you’ll see the party as the success it is. It’s all about perspective.

2. Supplies

You need, with no negotiation and at minimum, a laptop with speakers, a designated D.J-type person, (one of your friends will want to do this, trust me) and more alcohol and plastic cups than you’d ever think. ALWAYS get more than you’d ever think. The “extra” handle or rack that you get isn’t enough.Get three more. If you really want, keep it in your room as your personal supply for next week: consider it buying in bulk. That way when you need it at 12:15 you don’t have to awkwardly shut the party done. And if you don’t, hey, it’s alcohol. It doesn’t expire for a good while.

If, for whatever reason, you’re in an area where Marijuana is legal, I highly (get it?) recommend having some on-hand. Many people love it, it’s equally cheap, and very few parties have it in decent abundance for people. That’s the sort of easy signature move that instantly makes a chill party a good one and a good one a great one.

3. Lower Standards.

If you’re throwing a party, don’t tell people you’re throwing a party. Say you’re throwing a big pre-game. Don’t pre-game anything specific- you don’t want people to leave, after all. But if you say that, people will be happily surprised if it’s as good as you think, and if it’s a total embarrassing failure…no one’s going to notice. They’ll drink two beers and say “thanks” and they’ll mean it. It’s insurance and then some.

Similarly, don’t tell everyone you’re throwing “the party of the year.” I don’t care that’s what it’s totally gonna be, bro. Put up or shut up. Call it a regular party, and if it really is great, people will be calling it great for you. If you call it great, even if it will be, it puts extra pressure on you, and there’ll be plenty of pressure anyway, believe me.

4. No Themes

God help you, no themes. People who don’t want to won’t come, and when they do, not in costume, everyone in costume is going to feel stupid and be mad at you. Want a theme? “A chill party.” There’s your theme.