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Top 10 Party Ideas for Spectacular Homecoming

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The fall semester is upon us. Thankfully, most schools are welcoming students back for traditional campus experience and in-person instruction. Although college policies this fall will be informed by the state and local laws, the officials are pretty confident that schools will follow the traditional academic calendar.

According to Preeti Malani, professor and chief health officer at the University of Michigan – Ann Arbor, colleges have progressed "light years ahead" of the last fall semester. "We're in a much better position to have a successful fall in terms of health and safety," she declared.

What does that mean for students? Return to normalcy, at last! Thanks to rising vaccination rates, masks, and social distancing may not be required on campus. That means parties are allowed, and boy is that a cause for a celebration!

However, Dr. Elizabeth Meade, president of Cedar Crest College, warns that informed decisions about masks and social events would only be possible with good data on the vaccination levels – on the campus and in the local community. So if you want to party, go and get that jab if you still haven't! If you have, then it's time to start planning your back-to-college party ASAP. To help you with that, I have put together top-10 of my personal favorite themed party ideas – in no particular order. I hope you will have fun with that!

Graffiti Party

This theme is a college classic for a reason. It is fun and promotes mingling. Ask your guests to come dressed in white and give everyone markers to draw on each other during the evening. Decorate the room in industrial-size sheets of paper so people could collaborate on their shared designs. Make sure to warn people about the activities so they'd wear something they wouldn't mind being drawn on.

You can put an original spin on this theme by switching the light bulbs with blacklights and having a rave with fluorescent highlighters and glowing sticks. Also, you can make it into a variation of Scavenger Hunt, where the first person to get "autographed" by every other guest in the party wins. Alternatively, partygoers may "collect" specific designs, and the first one to get "bingo" wins.

Anything but Clothes

This is another all-time favorite. As the name suggests, your guests must arrive dressed in anything except the actual clothing. Bedsheets, bubble wrap, wrapping paper, shopping bags, scotch tape, pegs, binders, tinsel – you get the idea. The sky is the limit for creative minds. However, you can spruce it up with a specific theme or requirement. For example, an attire made of your favorite snack wrappings or music-themed costumes made of old CDs, MC or VHS tape, concert posters, and so on.

Ugly Sweater Celebration

We don't have to wait until Christmas to break out our hideous sweaters and don them with pride. If you don't have one, there is quite a selection of non-denominational abominations available in the shops all year round. To entertain your guests, party games with yarn are very appropriate. For example, divide everyone into teams and play a string game where a team must "sew" themselves together by passing a ball of yarn through their clothes and, once done, reverse the action to "unsew" themselves back. The fastest team wins.

Rubik's Cubes

Every guest comes dressed in one color head-to-toe. The more articles of clothing and accessories, the better. Each time they interact with one of the people in the room, they should exchange one item. Ideally, they should end up looking like a Rubik's cube that was messed with for some time.

If all your guests are above the legal drinking age, Rainbow Beer Pong is smashing entertainment for this theme. Buy Solo cups in as many colors as you can get and play a beer pong with a twist: every time a team gets a ball in a cup, they swap it for their team color. The first one to "solve" this improvised Rubik's cube wins.

What Do You Meme?

Everyone comes dressed as their favorite meme, from old-school image-board classics (Doge One Love!) to TikTok trends of the day. Your guests will have a lot of fun guessing and recognizing everyone else's costumes. A deck of eponymous game cards will be a fitting entertainment to make the evening a sidesplitting success – whether you go for a family-friendly or for a frivolous pack.

Your Own Personal Brand of Netflix

You come as whatever you binge on Netflix. Your favorite character from a series, a collection of subtle references that only fellow fans would pick up, or an encrypted pun hinting on the title – you choose! Guessing everyone's costume and finding other aficionados of your favorite show is a great ice-breaker. Make sure the snacks include popcorn in various flavors and stock up on movie charade cards for games.

Come as Your Favorite Holiday

This party is your choice to prove that every night is Halloween. Or Christmas. Or the 4th of July. Or a birthday celebration. Take your pick! Each of your guests comes as their favorite holiday and brings a bag of corresponding snacks to share around. Adorn the room with a mish-mash of thematic decorations and mix up the holiday playlists for the party.

Decades Throwback

Roaring twenties, swinging sixties, groovy seventies, Y2K – every decade has its vibe and charm. Choose one as a party theme for an immersive experience, or let your guests pick a decade they want to represent and have a time-traveling rollercoaster. "Contemporaries" can seek each other out in the crowd – this is a great way of dividing them all into teams for parlor games.

You Are What You Eat

Your guests should come as their favorite food or snack: be it a slice of pizza, a bag of chips, or a jar of peanut butter. Phrases like "I love you since kindergarten!" or "I'm a huge fan of yours" will be a welcome change from cheesy pick-up lines. Add food-themed songs on the playlist to complement the fun – Bon Appétit by Katy Perry, Waffles are Better than Pancakes by Doja Cat, Chocolate by Kylie Minogue, Soda Pop by Britney Spears, Milkshake by Kelis, Lime and Coconut by Harry Nilsson, and so on.

Dynamic Duos

For this, your guests will have to team up with a partner and come dressed as some iconic couple from movies or real life: Beauty and the Beast, Mathilda and Leon, Sponge Bod and Patrick, Fred and George Weasley, Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, R2D2 and C3PO – the options are endless. If you want to flex your creative muscles, there are some unorthodox ideas – Netflix and chill, mac and cheese, a cop and a donut – start making a list!

Of course, choosing a theme is only a beginning. You will also have to take care of appropriate decorations, snacks, drinks, and playlists for each idea. Plus, make sure you prepare plenty of activities to break the ice and make people mingle. Truth or Dare, Never Have I Ever, Charades, Botticelli, Scavenger Hunt, and Contact do not require special props. Still, card sets with suggestions for those activities exist, and it's nice to have a couple of stacks at hand to start the ball rolling.

Party planning is a time-consuming endeavor, so make sure you budget enough time in your calendar and schedule your studying sessions around it. If, however, you happen to underestimate the time you need for your assignments, arrange writing help from us and party like there's no tomorrow!

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