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Monday
Jun072010

For the Graduates: College parties vs Grown-up parties

Dear College Graduates,

You've taken your last final, gone through Senior Week, put on a funny hat and gown, crossed a stage, shaken the university president's hand, and are now (maybe) starting your first real job. Way to go.

No doubt at some point in the near future, you'll want to have a party.  You probably know that college parties are not the same as after-college parties, but maybe you're not exactly sure what differentiates the two.  Just for you, I've assembled this handy guide. (For the purposes of this exercise, I'm comparing what I experienced as a typical college party to a typical "after college" party.  Your mileage may vary.)

Guests
College: 80+ people who are friends, friends-of-friends, friends of roommates, and randoms from sorority/band/other campus orgs/cute guy in geology lab.
Grown-up: 15-30 people you actually know by name (plus maybe a few friends-of-friends)

Invitations
College: Flyers given to friends/cute boys in geology, or pasted up on appropriate bulletin boards (I went to college in Paleolithic/Pre-Facebook era. This was the best way to find out Judi the Rush Chair or Rob the drummer was having a party...I'm sure today it's all FB)
Grown-up: Evite, Paperless Post, or actual paper invitations

Food
College: None, except for a group outing for burritos at 2am after the party got busted.
Grown-up: Cheese plate, crudite platter, and several hors d'oeuvre offerings. See Hors d'oeuvre Planning.

Drinks
College: Cheap beer from a keg, in a red cup.
Grown-up: Nicer beer in bottles or glasses, wine in wine glasses, signature mixed drinks in cocktail glasses (or crystal clear disposables in a pinch). See Drink Calculator.

Decor
College: Christmas lights taped up around the perimeter of the apartment. Couches and chairs shoved into bedrooms or the back porch.
Grown-up: Candles and fresh flowers, maybe more elaborate if there's a theme.

Music
College: Whatever was currently popular, played ear-splittingly loud.
Grown-up: A mix of old and new, played at a volume that facilitates conversation


Remember to relax and have fun!  These posts might be particularly helpful as you make the transition:

Avoid the party killers - Light, Space, and TV!

How to set up your party space

Getting YOU ready for your party

...see more in the Party Basics category

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Reader Comments (3)

Hah love the picture! Such a cute idea for a post. Everything about the college parties is right on. : )

This is helpful even for those a few years beyond graduation! Especially the drink calculator - great link!!!

June 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKiira

Well you don't have to go completely over the top for the party. A few of these parties are the best ones I've been to in the longest time. Simple decorations and great food. Ten to twenty people over at your place with some good drinks and great food makes for some of the most memorable parties.

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