How to Throw a College Dorm Party

After you secure your own dorm and pay the deposit, you may be looking forward to meeting your roommate and resident assistant or advisor (RA). When everyone moves in successfully, you may have thoughts about throwing your own dorm party. 

However, it’s important to remember that you must follow your college dorm rules and regulations. Most colleges have strict policies against parties and drinking in the dorms, so make sure to read through the policy page on your college website for specifics.

Dorm parties and other social gatherings can be a great way to meet new people and have fun, but it is important that all parties are safe and respectful of both your neighbors and fellow college students.

how to throw a college dorm party

How To Throw a College Dorm Party

Every residence has their own rules and policies when it comes to college dorm parties. Some of these may include curfew times, prohibited drinks, and allowing a certain number of guests into your dorm.

In fact, some residences may not even allow strangers or family friends in your dorm room, unless the visit is planned and organized by the residence manager beforehand. 

So before you hold your dorm party, it’s a good idea to consider the policies in place. These include: 

Number of guests 

How many guests can stay at someone’s dorm room at a certain period of time? Make sure you ask your RA this question so you can make arrangements properly. 

Don’t let it spiral out of control. Invite your best friends to invite a friend or two and keep it casual.

Prohibited drinks 

Many residences have a policy of having no drinks with alcohol in the dorms.

We all know that students continuously try to sneak in a bottle or two, but if this policy is set out by the residence, you want to make sure you’re following it.

So, if no alcoholic drinks are allowed, look for alternatives like mocktails.

Number of units 

If only a certain number of guests are allowed to stay at a dorm at a specific time, see if you can ask the students in the neighboring units to join in. Then, more people will be able to join the party. 

Policies for booking rooms 

If you’re throwing a huge party, there is a chance that you may have to book some rooms which are available in the residence.

These can include conference or meeting rooms. Be sure to contact your RA about the availability for these rooms and start the booking process as early as possible. 

Inviting friends from other schools 

Be sure to ask your RA if you can invite friends from other schools, or if they’re able to stay overnight.

Ask your roomies if they’re okay with this idea as well. After all, you don’t want to be caught with some stranger in your dorm. 

Quiet Hours 

Every residence has their own designated ‘quiet hours.’ It’s best to know about these quiet hours beforehand so in that case, you know when to end your party, or when to move onto more quiet activities.

Speakers and music should be kept on low volume at this time. Don’t be disrespectful with loud music. There are other ways to have a lot of fun and throw a great party.

After consulting these policies and speaking to your RA, you are ready to make arrangements for the party. 

Make sure to check with your RA and residence manager to know what you can and cannot do. This way, you’ll be able to plan a successful and fun dorm party without running into any problems.

party decor

11 Tips For Throwing a College Dorm Party

Here are some of the steps which you can take after you know the policies, rules, and procedures at the back of your head: 

Step 1: Deciding on the number of participants and units 

Before moving on to the next steps, it’s best to decide on the number of participants and units. In this case, you’ll be able to decide how many decorations you should order, as well as the food arrangements. 

If there are a lot of people joining in and other units are participating, you may be able to plan a cohesive theme and strategy together. For example, one dorm can be for art activities, whereas the other can be for food. 

Step 2: Book other rooms in residence 

After consulting the policies for booking rooms, you are now ready to book some rooms around the residence.

If it’s a huge party, see if you have the budget for a conference room. Otherwise, book with whatever suits your needs. 

Step 3: Figure out a theme 

The first step to planning your party is figuring out a theme. In this case, you can know which decorations to buy and which activities to host.

There are plenty of theme options, ranging from college to Disney movies. 

Here are some ideas: 

  • Throwback to the ‘90s 
  • Rainbow themed
  • Environmentally conscious 
  • Back to school 
  • Frozen Disney princess themed 
  • Rave Party 
  • Travel Themed 
  • Animal Crossing Party 
  • Costume party

A themed party is always makes the best college dorm party. It’s the best way to unite a group of people who may never have met before. It’s a memorable event that will stick out in your college years!

Step 4: Send invitations

Invitations are a great way to personalize the booking process. Even if you know who’s coming to the party, or if the party is super casual, feel free to continue to make some invitations.

After all, nothing is better than a hand-delivered note saying that you’re invited to an event. Having friends invite friends is a wonderful way to get to know your fellow students.

Let them know there is a limit to the guest list if your dorm has a head count limit.

Step 5: Get food and drinks sorted out

Depending on the number of participants, chances are that you’ll need to figure out the logistics behind the food and beverages aspect. 

If you want to get all fancy, you can contact your local catering company and see if you can make arrangements for food to be delivered on the specific day. 

Otherwise, you can perhaps purchase some of these food and beverages with your friends and with other party attendees. Allow everyone to pitch in for the pizza and the popcorn. 

For extra brownie points, align your food and beverages with the specific theme. Because everyone will want pina coladas with a beach theme. 

Step 6: Purchase and arrange decor 

This may be the part that everyone is looking forward to – purchasing and arranging decor.

To do this, shop around Ikea or other furniture stores to see the options they have. Then, purchase the items according to your own budget. 

Once you arrive at your dorm, you can begin decorating with your roomies. If you want a photo booth, be sure to add some props as well. You can also always add some fairy lights for ambiance for an epic dorm party.

Enlist your college friends and use craft supplies to decorate the residence hall for easy dorm part decor.

Hint: You can also craft your own supplies to save up some cash and add some creativity. After all, you do want to have a little fun for the part. 

Step 7: Prepare fun games and activities 

Sure, a party is a socializing event where everyone can do their own tasks and hang out with their own groups. 

But there are ways to make a huge group of people come together. And one way to do this is through games and activities. 

For a dorm party, it may be best to know everyone who’s attending your party through an icebreaker game.

Activities such as Two Truths and One Lie, and Bingo will add loads of fun, joy, and Facebook friends. 

You can also play beer pong or water pong – this drinking game is always a college life favorite. If it’s a more low-key event, you can always play board games too. Don’t underestimate the power of these for college parties! There’s no better way to unite a group of people than over a shared experience.

how to throw a college dorm party

Step 8: Have fun!

Parties are all supposed to be fun after all. When it’s the day and time, make sure all of your participants are having fun and that you’re having a good time as well.

Hosting parties can definitely be stressful, but as long as you have followed all the policies and procedures, you’ll have a wonderful time. 

Step 9: Continue to check in with your RA 

Throughout the party, always communicate with your RA and let them know what’s up. After all, your RA is the person who gave a thumbs up to your idea. 

So, it’s best to keep them in the loop while you throw the best party ever.

Step 10: Host a prize session 

This isn’t necessary but it’s always good to host a prize session to add a nice touch to your party. After all, living in a college dorm has to be memorable to some degree. 

Step 11: Clean up and thank everyone 

The last thing to remember is that then the party’s over, it is time to clean up and thank everyone for helping you to host the party. 

Thank the participants for coming and making the time more enjoyable. And thank your RA for allowing you to plan a special event. 

Assemble a clean up crew to help you clean up the areas. So that there is no mess and complaints from the residence management team. 

Final Thoughts on How To Throw a College Dorm Party

Whether it’s your first time going to college or your last time staying in residence, you’ll for sure have plenty of good memories from meeting new friends to attending cool events.

As a result, you may as well make the most out of it and host your own mini (or large) party. Sure, it’s stressful but it’s a great way to spend time with others. And to have fun before midterm or finals season. 

If you follow these tips, it’ll be a great time and you’ll have so much fun! Enjoy these college dorm party ideas for your four years to come.

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About the Author


Candice is currently attending school for social service work. One of her passions is helping others through my writing. In her downtime, you’ll find her listening to music, watching random YouTube videos, and writing about career goals and resumes. She hopes to start freelancing for writing and obtain a leadership position in a public services sector.