House parties. Possibly the most challenging event to organize in all of your student life. Exams, breakups, the hard truth of not being accepted into a football team; this is nothing compared to the utter nightmare of a failed house party. The bleak prospect of having maybe two or three people rock up at your house, where food and a fully stocked bar are left untouched (except of course by your housemates as they have already given up on life and have started digging in), is a possibility many students will do anything to avoid. Not only is it a waste of food and alcohol, it is a blow to the fragile ego many students try so hard to somehow inflate. Likes on Instagram usually do the trick.
The excitement over the prospect of a Project-X like get-together cannot be beaten by anything, and I always demand that my friends throw them at any chance of a celebration, housewarmings, an exam being passed, or someone finally getting a date with the person they have been stalking on social media for over a year. These are all solid reasons to pop cheap champagne. However, house parties are like jokes, they are easy to appreciate, but difficult to think up yourself.
How do you throw a house party people will actually show up to? No one wants to go through the effort of organizing an event, and worse, promote it, with no one showing up at the end of it. So really, the question is, how do you convince people to leave other events to go to yours instead? To be honest, I never cracked the code, I always show up regardless of the expectation. This behavior can safely be classified as ‘FOMO’; fear of missing out. But for those of us who don’t suffer from this pitiful syndrome, they have the chance to make or break house parties. These are the ones who have the annoying habit of clicking ‘maybe’ on Facebook events, just to keep everyone on the edge of their seats.
That’s the problem with Facebook: the success of your party depends on people knowing who will and will not show up. There is always people who click ‘going’ and never had any intention of going in the first place, and then there is the people you had rather not see in your house, but you had to invite them to avoid the possibility of a cold war, who then, against all odds, do show up. It is a lose-lose situation my friends.
This is why I can never be bothered to throw a house party. At least not by myself, that way I don’t have to deal with the soul-destroying disappointment of finding out that my friends have better things to do than to drop by my amazing, pathetic, little house party with me all by my lonesome. So, somehow my housemates and I have finally come round to organizing such a thing (we have been meaning to throw one for over a year), and you would not believe the effort that goes into it.
The amount of thought and time that is spent on creating the Facebook event alone (everyone knows that once it’s on Facebook there’s nothing you can do, it’s out of your hands, and you have to wait and see if the invitees deem your little gathering worthy of their presence) is ridiculous. Words in capital letters, bad jokes, and the mention of a cute little crack den somewhere in the back of the house where all of your friends can engage in a little fornication without the actual threat of being caught, are just the bare foundations for the description (to be fair, if this doesn’t get people to go, I don’t know what will. Maybe coke, but I guess that is only available on ‘BYOC’ basis).
Many house parties go to waste, even the ones with an outstanding event description. What then is the secret? The secret is to throw your house party at a time when everyone is bored, has no academic obligations, and no more money left to spend. Under these critical circumstances even an adequate description will suffice. At the end of the day, just like in comedy, it’s all about timing.