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.)
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)
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
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.
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.
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.
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:
...see more in the Party Basics category