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Parties are arguably one of the most memorable aspects of student life and considered a trademark of what it is to be a student according to the general public. However, actually throwing one of these parties successfully can be really stressful, especially on a student budget. SCAN asked Lancaster students about their favourite party experiences and devised five top tips on how to make sure your party is one not to be forgotten.
Consider your Guests
The most important aspect of any party is the guests. Having a large group of people creates a lively bustling environment for the party. It’s important to advertise your party well to your friends, clearly highlighting necessary details to the guests such as the date, time, place and theme. Creating an enthusiastic Facebook group or inbox is a great way to communicate important details to your guests and set the mood; getting everyone prepared and excited about the party weeks in advance. Last year, second- year psychology student Leah Lawrenson threw a celebratory pre-drinks in Bowland Halls, she said; “My flatmates and I decided to invite people we knew from seminars and societies but normally wouldn’t go out with. Now we go out with these people all the time, it really set the foundations of our friendship.”
Get Creative with Decorations
Simple decorations such as banners and balloons can be purchased for a very reasonable price from most supermarkets. Stocking up on just a few of these will add a touch of colour and life to your kitchen or living room. It’s important to shop with an open-mind. Decorations come in many forms. Second-year Psychology student, Naomi Pendleton shared her favourite alternative décor idea: “My friend bought a load of glow sticks and put them out around the room. They didn’t just look cool, everyone had a great time wearing them as bracelets and making things out of them.” Additionally, experimenting with presentation is a simple and effective way to create a unique look, for example arranging banners to create shapes or wording across the walls. Alternatively, if you don’t want to splash out on these things you could use items you already own. For example; sticking your friend’s holiday snaps to the wall in the shape of their initials adds a personal touch to a birthday party. If you are the creative type, you could even try making your own decorations with your friends. The internet is full of inspiration on how to make decorations from everyday household objects, such as string, paper plates, ribbons and old magazines.
Utilise your skills
With the wide range of courses and societies offered at Lancaster you can expect to find a diversely talented bunch of individuals. Don’t be afraid to use your skills to bring something different and memorable to your party. For example, live music, displaying art work, crafting your own decorations or baking snacks could be a great way to create a unique atmosphere. Second-year sociology student Abbie Taylor found a unique way to share memories from her birthday party: “My friend does a lot of photography in his spare time and so I asked him to take photos at my birthday party. It’s great having good quality photos for everyone to look back on.”
Organise Games to Break the Ice
It is important to break the ice at parties. The remedy to this can be as simple as a deck of cards, setting up a game that everyone knows around the table is a really simple and effective way to make sure everyone feels involved and integrated. “One of the easiest ways to get everyone talking and having fun is a simple game of ring of fire.” Alex Rooke, first-year Fine-Art student.
One of the main stereotypes of the university lifestyle is that students throw a lot of parties. Therefore, it’s likely that a lot of people you know moved to Lancaster extremely prepared for this. Ask around and see what people can provide. “I went to a party in county last year and they had great speakers and strobe lighting which made the place look amazing.” Bianca Thompson, second-year Economics and Chinese Student.