Actually Ashley,  Blog

Life of the Party

When I tell people that I am in college, they immediately make certain assumptions. Like that I know all the good clubs in town and that I must have a boyfriend, or at least a string of suitors chasing after me. In reality, neither of these could be farther from the truth. My university may have extensive guidelines outlined in its rule book, “The Navigator”, but it is also in the middle of downtown. So if you wanted to go against the code of conduct, it’s not hard to just go somewhere off campus where various shenanigans are ignored. But the fact that people do in fact go to these mysterious Navigator-free regions is the extent of my knowledge. I don’t know where they go. I don’t know what they do, although I could probably guess. I don’t know when it happens or how they get away with it. Side note: I don’t want anyone underestimating my skills at being in the know about the gossip around campus. My friends and I see being nosy as a full-time job and between the five of us, we can usually piece together a pretty wide range of information. So I can tell you who is hanging out with who and what went down between relationships. But I will not be able to tell you how lit the party was where it all went down.

All that to say that my definition of party is a little skewed. My idea of a perfect Friday night is having all my homework done so I can watch a movie with my roommates and maybe go on a productive walk to scope out all the campus drama. This does not, however, mean that we are hermits. We are a sociable room and we all get very excited when people are willing to look past our weirdness and hang out with us. So this past November, we decided to take our social lives into our own hands and invite a neighboring room over for Friendsgiving. We made a point not to call it a party for fear that people would expect to have fun. We wanted to give ourselves some space to fail here.

But as soon as we started planning for the small get-together, the host mentality took over. We began expanding the guest list. With every person we invited, the thrill grew. And soon enough, our little college dorm was going to need to fit 40 of our closest friends. Even though divided between 5 people 40 doesn’t seem like that much, I was pretty surprised that we even knew that many people. And only after the impulse-text invitations were sent did we realize that we were now going to have to scrounge together a thanksgiving feast for all those people.

In the days leading up to our extravaganza, we got a little obsessive. My way of dealing with it was to constantly make lists of the people who had given us definite responses of coming or not. It didn’t change that often but I still felt the need to go over it again at least every hour. We worried that not enough people would come and it would look lame. We worried that too many people would come and there would not be enough space. We worried that the wrong combination of people would come and it would be awkward. We worried there would not be enough food. We worried there would be too much food. And yet most of us loved every minute of it.

And since I know you are all wrecked with anticipation, you will be happy to know that it was a success. We decorated our room for Christmas, complete with lights strung across the ceiling and a Christmas tree. Everyone commented about how cute our room was, finally realizing what we have known all along. I made an admittedly killer playlist. We had all the Thanksgiving necessities and only the salad (which no one ate) was a product of the cafeteria. We had apple cider, pies, and the people from the room that started it all even brought some homemade dessert. In the end, about 20 people showed up which was the perfect amount for us to look like we have friends but still have room to breathe in the apartment. It lasted for about an hour and a half which was much longer than we expected. It wasn’t a party by the classic college definition, but it was perfect for what we wanted.

We felt like adults and we even did all the clean-up right after everyone left. Even with all the stress and work that went into the preparation, we pretty much all agreed that it was worth it because we looked cool. No, actually nothing can make us look cool. But we did get to share our thankfulness with all of our friends and we got to see who showed up to support our event-planning endeavor. In fact, it was such a success that we decided to make it an annual thing. So I may not know which bars don’t check IDs, but I do know that next November, we’ll be bringing the turkey and tunes to get turnt. (Actually, please don’t get turnt, we have a very delicate lamp that cannot be knocked, or walked by, or breathed on, so let’s just all stay nice and calm. Thank you.)

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