10 Steps To Throw A Kickass College Party

10 Steps To Throw A Kickass College Party

Steps have been tested and approved for use.

So if you live near campus in a house and have friends, it is essentially your duty as a young college student to host a party… or sixteen of them. Nevertheless, whether you enjoy the consumption of root beer or beverages without the “root," hosting a gathering with all your pals is one hell of a time. Here are ten steps to throw a kickass party!

*Steps have been tested and approved for use. I do not take responsibility for failed parties- -that might be a personal problem.*

1. Set a Date.

For all great parties to commence, you first need to pick a night (or day). Essentially, it comes down to two main reasons to host a party. One, you are celebrating something, and yes that includes the most minimal things -- you got a 'B' on your paper or your cat finally peed in the litter box? Wonderful! Now celebrate.

Reason two, on Friday you want to go out. In fact, you deserve to go out! So you might as well take initiative and give your friends an obligation to have fun too!

2. Friends (Out of all the steps, please at least remember this one).

Whether that be your solid six homies or everyone you possibly know, to have a social gathering you need people to be social with.

3. Go Big or Go Home.

And since you are already at home, the phrase literally compels you to “go big” because you physically cannot not leave and go home. The solution? Be excessive.

This means that if it is someone’s birthday, you must have balloons in every corner, a sign in the living room, and a piñata in the basement. Is it Mardi Gras? Do you have green, purple, and yellow Jello shots in the fridge and beads hanging from every surface? It is scientifically proven that you can never have too many decorations; granted, the research might have been conducted under the influence of awesomeness… but it is still science.

4. Create an Iconic Wall.

Did you even go out if you didn’t take pictures? And for that suburb Instagram post that will guarantee numerous likes, you need a fabulous background. While that kitchen picture with the stove in the background is alright… Wouldn’t it be much superior with a beautiful array of Christmas lights and a classic tapestry or strategically twirled streamers or a banner that declares “Happy New Year” as you sorority squat beneath it?

5. Welcoming Aromas

Okay, so this may just be our house, but we always begin the night with burning our “pre-game candle.” It may sound silly, but it hasn’t failed us yet. Besides, an apple orchard smells much better than the whiff of booze.

6. Draaaanks

In other words, jungle juice. Enough said.

7. Game Time is the Best Time.

No matter what, the first thirty minutes of your party will always be a little, slow. Because there will always be the first people to come, that’s just how it works. And when people are expecting a party and there are approximately eight people at your home at the time, you need some exciting distractions to ensure your guests that you are indeed fun. This is where you must bring out your box of games.

8. That Lighting Though

When I asked my roommates what steps they would suggest, my one roommate promptly replied by stating, “Sketchy lighting, (because) it needs to be dark enough to hide your mistakes from the world but not so dark that people miss your fabulously planned outfit.” Therefore, lighting is essential to set the desired tone of your gathering.

9. Just Enjoy.

The enjoyable hassle of prepping for the party is complete. People have arrived and they are having a great time. So grab your root or beer and join the excitement. You deserve it. Besides, the best part of hosting a party is you literally never have to leave your house. That is something to celebrate all in itself.

10. Booze Collection

I am not going to lie to you, the next morning walking out of your bedroom to a living room filled with spilled glasses and playing cards literally everywhere is not an ideal image to wake up to. Yet, as you slowly clean up, you start to discover random bottles and cans of forgotten beverages, which turns into a free collection of drinks for your next outing. In the end, the next morning mess is trivial to the kickass memories the night before.

Cover Image Credit: Original Photo by Karlee Onstad

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So, You Want To Be A Nurse?

You're going to find that nursing isn't really about the medicine or the assessments. Being a nurse is so much more than anything that you can learn in school. Textbooks can't teach you compassion and no amount of lecture time will teach you what it truly means to be a nurse.


To the college freshman who just decided on nursing,

I know why you want to be a nurse.

Nurses are important. Nursing seems fun and exciting, and you don't think you'll ever be bored. The media glorifies navy blue scrubs and stethoscopes draped around your neck, and you can't go anywhere without hearing about the guaranteed job placement. You passed AP biology and can name every single bone in the human body. Blood, urine, feces, salvia -- you can handle all of it with a straight face. So, you think that's what being a nurse is all about, right? Wrong.

You can search but you won't find the true meaning of becoming a nurse until you are in the depths of nursing school and the only thing getting you through is knowing that in a few months, you'll be able to sign the letters "BSN" after your name...

You can know every nursing intervention, but you won't find the true meaning of nursing until you sit beside an elderly patient and know that nothing in this world can save her, and all there's left for you to do is hold her hand and keep her comfortable until she dies.

You'll hear that one of our biggest jobs is being an advocate for our patients, but you won't understand until one day, in the middle of your routine physical assessment, you find the hidden, multi-colored bruises on the 3-year-old that won't even look you in the eyes. Your heart will drop to your feet and you'll swear that you will not sleep until you know that he is safe.

You'll learn that we love people when they're vulnerable, but you won't learn that until you have to give a bed bath to the middle-aged man who just had a stroke and can't bathe himself. You'll try to hide how awkward you feel because you're young enough to be his child, but as you try to make him feel as comfortable as possible, you'll learn more about dignity at that moment than some people learn in an entire lifetime.

Every class will teach you about empathy, but you won't truly feel empathy until you have to care for your first prisoner in the hospital. The guards surrounding his room will scare the life out of you, and you'll spend your day knowing that he could've raped, murdered, or hurt people. But, you'll walk into that room, put your fears aside, and remind yourself that he is a human being still, and it's your job to care, regardless of what he did.

Each nurse you meet will beam with pride when they tell you that we've won "Most Trusted Profession" for seventeen years in a row, but you won't feel that trustworthy. In fact, you're going to feel like you know nothing sometimes. But when you have to hold the sobbing, single mother who just received a positive breast cancer diagnosis, you'll feel it. Amid her sobs of wondering what she will do with her kids and how she's ever going to pay for treatment, she will look at you like you have all of the answers that she needs, and you'll learn why we've won that award so many times.

You'll read on Facebook about the nurses who forget to eat and pee during their 12-hour shifts and swear that you won't forget about those things. But one day you'll leave the hospital after an entire shift of trying to get your dying patient to eat anything and you'll realize that you haven't had food since 6:30 A.M. and you, too, will be one of those nurses who put everything else above themselves.

Too often we think of nursing as the medicine and the procedures and the IV pumps. We think of the shots and the bedpans and the baths. We think all the lab values and the blood levels that we have to memorize. We think it's all about the organs and the diseases. We think of the hospitals and the weekends and the holidays that we have to miss.

But, you're going to find that nursing isn't really about the medicine or the assessments. Being a nurse is so much more than anything that you can learn in school. Textbooks can't teach you compassion, and no amount of lecture time will teach you what it truly means to be a nurse.

So, you think you want to be a nurse?

Go for it. Study. Cry. Learn everything. Stay up late. Miss out on things. Give it absolutely everything that you have.

Because I promise you that the decision to dedicate your life to saving others is worth every sleepless night, failed test, or bad day that you're going to encounter during these next four years. Just keep holding on.


The nursing student with just one year left.

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I Don't Always Think About How Lucky I Am, But I Don't Have Much To Complain About

I felt lucky when I had to leave places and people I love.


If you sat me down and told me I'm lucky, I would believe you. I am lucky. I am in the 48th percentile. I don't base my luck on that, though. I am also a survivor of a brain tumor. I am a survivor of seizures. I am a survivor of a school shooting. I am a survivor of life.

I am lucky.

I felt lucky a few weeks ago when my test was actually in two days. I woke up in a panic because I remembered we had a test this week, but I couldn't remember what day. I ran into the Disability Services and asked if I had a test scheduled. I did not. I ran to my class, sweating, and asked a classmate if we had a test. "No," they said. "It's on Thursday."

I felt lucky last week when I barely missed being hit by a car. I was walking on the sidewalk five minutes before a car went racing down the street and popped the curb. I could've been right there when it happened. I don't know if my body would go into a fight or flight mode, but I can only hope it would.

I felt lucky three years ago when I was asked to lead junior high students. I surely didn't think I was qualified, but I have loved every moment of it. I have loved the hard stuff and the stuff that makes us dance! I still feel lucky about it. Someone saw potential in me to lead a group at camp and still saw potential in me to lead a small group during the school year. I'm lucky.

I felt lucky when I had to leave places and people I love. It hurt because I loved it all so much. I knew at that moment, I was lucky to have what I had. I was lucky to have people who poured into me at all times. I'll never stop thanking them for that.

I felt lucky when I got the last of my favorite cookie dough at the store. Sure, there was probably some in the back, but I didn't have to ask and I loved that! I felt lucky when I also went to the ice cream aisle and my all time favorite ice cream was still there. It's the little things.

My most recent "felt lucky" moment was sitting with friends. We talked about our plans for the future. Even though that is incredibly scary, it's good. We poured our dreams out on the table for the hundredth time. We encouraged each other in those dreams. I am beyond lucky to have friends who believe in my crazy dreams. Honestly, sometimes, I don't. I'm lucky.

I can only hope you feel a little bit of luck in your life. Whether it is something small and simple or grand. I hope you know life has treasures every day. We need to start seeing those treasures. Whether it is the sound of birds chirping again or talking to your favorite person, I hope you have a moment of luck and treasure in your everyday life.

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