5 Keys to Throwing The World’s Best College Graduation Party (with Your Parents)

Sidenote: If you enjoy a healthy bet, propose an over-under for the amount of times your parents say the word “proud.” If your parents aren’t totally proud (and I mean, let’s be honest), make sure to hedge your bet by setting the over-under decently low. Your friend, using logic and your career prospects, will take the under. But given that parents are notorious for masking their disappointment in their children with an ever-growing snowball of white lies, you’ll make a great profit.

Now that that’s out of the way here are some important details for this grad party:

  • To limit the scope, this will be held at your house
  • By your house, I mean the house your former legal guardian(s) reside in.
  • If you are one of those heathens who refer to it as “your parents house” the second you leave for college, there is a strong possibility the rest of your friends have been gleefully ripping on you behind your back for years. If not, I will find the rest of your friends, and personally orchestrate this.

Now that you’re thoroughly informed as to whether or not you’re a giant tool, here are some crucial rules for college grad parties:

Frame it as a Party for Your Parents, Pull the Bait and Switch:

The older you get, the less your parents give a shit. You know this because BuzzFeed exists and the 10 Devastating Signs You Know You’re Now a Grownup, but the point is that by age 22 they either a.) trust you, b.) have given up on you, or c.) are plain tired of parenting. This is especially true if you’re a younger child.

Act like you don’t really want a grad party for your friends–the jokes about what you did to your liver for all of last semester will suffice here. Your father will probably be a bit disappointed. Having vicariously lived through your excellent college experience he was often reminded of his own, and has been itching for yeras to “show you what he’s got.” Play this shit up and say words like portfolio–he’ll be thrilled to invite his large group of people who also passed on on dorm room stairs 35 years ago. And because the word “college” is involved in the gathering, they'll undoubtedly up their game. 

That’s when you show up with your army.


Strategize Like a Nice Italian Restaurant

First off, no graduation party has been adversely affected by the presence of Cheesecake Factory sized amounts of garlic bread and eggplant. If you’ve been to a family event you’ll know food is by far the crux of everything, so really have ‘em go full throttle here.  Besides, older people (especially the divorced ones) generally have nothing left besides food. They need this. 

Having excessive amounts of nice food is by far the move for the following reasons:

  • Nobody will eat it all because nobody ever eats it all.
  • Over the next few years, it’ll provide you with great, thought-provoking justification as to why your dire financial situation is what it is–this vast, unnecessary amount of extra food is where all that money you aren’t being paid is going towards; older people can’t be deemed successful unless they could shrug off wasting $500 worth of food.
  • Later on, the footlong subs and other ridiculous shit will end up being amongst the greatest meals of your drunk food life.

The other way that my Industry-Normative Blogging Analogy applies is that very much like a nice Italian Culinary Establishment, you should have “seatings.”  Have your family and family friends come at 5, your “I’m great at schmoozing with old people” friends come at 7 or 8, and bring on the rough crowd after 10. You’ll notice that the older people will be more comfortable drinking with those who they deem worthy youngsters, and by the time the rager really gets going they’ll be drunk enough not to care. This as we know, makes for awesome hashtag possibilities.

Bring Up Shit You Otherwise Wouldn’t

You’ll increasingly notice that other than the fact that you may still be at their mercy financially, you and your parents will increasingly become equals. They’re  oftentiems just as, if not more flawed as you are. It’s a very cool different relationship. Make moves to start that here.

Be Wary About Mixing (High School and College Friends)

During your second semester of freshman year, you walked to class and nearly fell down the steps. This wasn’t due to clumsiness, or the “fuhkin brutal” rain that “ran train” on that week–it was due to the sudden epiphany that you now have another tight group of friends to tell shit to. Which means that you’ll tell shit to them that may be taboo in your high school group, oftentimes about your high school group.

Point: if you hooked up with a girl you weren’t supposed to and your high school friends don’t really know about it, be cognizant of the fact that you had to go brag to people.*

*Actually, fuck this whole point. High School’s way over. People don’t forget, but they do stop giving a shit. (Or at least they should.) 

Have a Pool

The great dude that emailed us to write an article like this noted that it was crucial to have a pool. He is correct. I think he wanted me to write about all the cool shit you could do in or with a pool, but honestly this isn’t About.com and I’m too conversative with my exclamation points to legitimately encourage anything. That said, pools have water and you could use them to hook up with people you really wanted to hook up with back when you were in high school. Also I really like this music video, which includes a pool.


Good luck, Class of 2013. My advice: remember to obsessively rephrase the wording for 5 minutes before pressing enter on your Facebook comments. I've been doing that a bunch lately, and have really been crushing the likes. 

The 9th Semester Appears on Wednesdays    Follow Lance on Twitter @LanceRyanPauker


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