Getting your first apartment in college is an exciting experience -- all of a sudden, there are no more RA's enforcing quiet hours or angry neighbors telling you that you can't have that many people hanging out in your dorm room. And, of course, with the new freedom that the apartment provides comes the desire to do the one thing that you absolutely could not do in the dorms -- throw a party. The first inclination of many college students is to throw a crazy rager, but there are lots of other kinds of parties that you can throw (whether you drink or not). Here are 10 types of parties that you should throw this year in your new apartment:
1. Housewarming Party
This one is a give-in, but it's something that a lot of college students forget about. Housewarming parties are a great way to get some extra stuff for your apartment -- invite your friends over for some free food and drink, but ask that they all bring some small gift to help you decorate. Because college students are usually broke, place a $5 cap on the gifts -- you'll be surprised how many cool things you can get for such a low price.
2. Dinner Party
Dinner parties can really class up a college gathering. Try having a potluck, and ask all of your friends to bring their favorite dishes (no, Ramen does not count). You can even have everyone dress up for the occasion. It's a great way to throw a party that has more of an adult feel to it. If you need any tips on how to throw a dinner party in a small apartment, check out this list.
3. "Find Your Drink" Party
This type of party is perfect for a group of freshly legal college students. Going out to bars for the first time can be intimidating, especially if you don't know what to order. A "find your drink" party is perfect -- mix up pitchers of a few different kinds of popular drinks (check out this list of easy and cheap drink ideas for some inspiration), put out some small cups and let your friends find their new favorite drink!
4. Themed Party
Themed parties can be anything, from a luau to a disco to an 80's party. That's the beauty of a themed party -- it's easy to put together using just the things you have lying around (plus a few extra cheap decorations), and you have lots of options when it comes to planning.
Pick a theme that fits well with the already existing décor of your apartment if you don't want to have to spend much time on decorations, or pick something totally different if you want to go all out. Try to keep all of the aspects of the party with the theme, from the invitations to the food to the music, to make sure that your guests are really into it.
5. Murder Mystery Party
Murder mystery parties can be hard to put together, but they're worth it. Try using an online gaming kit to set up the harder parts of the mystery for you, and then invite your friends over for a night of themed fun. Let everyone know what the theme of the night will be so they can all dress up. Be sure to get a solid head count of who is coming before hand, so that you can plan the mystery accordingly.
6. Beer Olympics
Have your friends compete in a number of famous drinking games, from beer pong to flip cup to just about anything else you can think of. Put everyone on teams and have them give themselves names for some added spirit -- you can even make t-shirts or headbands. If you're really into it, you can set up an opening and closing ceremony for the event, and have prizes for the winning team. Beware though: this one requires a lot of beer, and, even though it is one of the most fun parties around, it's bound to get messy. Be prepared for huge amounts of clean up afterwards.
7. Holiday Party -- at the wrong time of year
By the time the end of December rolls around, everyone is already tired of Christmas parties. However, in the middle of the summer, they're sure to feel different. Try throwing a Christmas in July or a Halloween in April party to allow your friends to pull out the clothing that they haven't gotten to wear all year.
8. Karaoke Party
This type of party may work better if your friends are good singers, but it's still an option even for the less musically inclined. Try buying a karaoke machine (they're fairly cheap online) and save it so that you can whip it out at any party that is starting to get a little tired.
9. Prom Party
Almost all of us still have our high school prom dress hanging up in a closet somewhere collecting dust. A prom party allows everyone to break out their formal wear for one more evening of fun. Try to make your apartment look like a typical prom venue with some cheesy decorations, white tablecloths and, of course, a punch bowl.
10. True American
Fans of New Girl will love this type of party. Fans of the show have spent countless hours getting the official rules of True American, Nick and Jess' favorite drinking game, down on paper so that you can play. The game, which combines alcohol with an obstacle course, is sure to provide hours of fun for you and your friends. However, the game does require a good amount of space, so be sure to plan for how you're going to fit everything into your apartment.