The Different Types Of College Parties, Ranked


If there’s one thing that all college students have in common, it’s attending some sort of social gathering at least once in their undergraduate career. Just like in Cinderella’s case, I think we can all agree that one party truly can change your life, whether you meet your husband there (except LOL at that one with today’s generation of fuckboys), try your first signature cocktail there, or create the best and wildest party story that you will be telling for years to come. There are several parties you will stumble upon in college, and if you’re anything like Rae Sremmurd and me, you ain’t got no type. That being said, not all parties are created equal.

The House Party

The classic house party is kind of like cranberry sauce at Thanksgiving — it has been a staple of the meal practically since its inception, but at the end of the day, is it worth the trouble? There’s usually beer pong and/or flip cup, someone who thinks they’re the next Skrillex commanding the aux cord, and mostly people just standing around on their phones and quasi-mingling. If it gets lit enough, there will be some dancing and people pairing in various empty rooms to go make out and beyond. Sure, house parties have huge potential (talking about you, Project X), but in reality, most of them are BYOB and just plain meh.

The Pregame

I ranked the pregame above the house party because most of them tend be in dorms or apartments where there’s not much room, and close proximity usually means not having to yell or fight for another Bud Light or shot of Fireball. Some of the best pregames I’ve been to have been at a sister’s place, where there are less than twenty people and everyone is anticipating the evening ahead by pounding as much alcohol as they possibly can. The pregame is when the excitement for the actual event builds, so everyone is usually feeling pretty good and ready to get wild.

The Date Party

Whether you’re bringing a date to your own function or attending as a guest at your favorite fraternity’s annual shindig, the date party consists of getting on a yellow school bus and heading to a rented-out bar or other venue. There you’ll dance the night away, get slightly too drunk, and make some horribly great decisions (hook up in the elevator, anyone?). If it’s your sorority’s date party, you get to talk and interact with your sisters in a relaxed environment. Plus there’s a good chance that close to all 200 of you are in attendance, making for some new bonds and touching bathroom moments. If you’re at a guy’s function, you get to meet new people and probably won’t spend a dime on liquor. Unrealistic bonus? You might even get a new boyfriend or FWB out of the evening.

The Darty

The darty, short for day party, is exactly that: a chance to day-drink with a very high possibility of some slip-n-slide fun to summer’s greatest hits playing in the background. Darties held at the beginning of the fall semester are a great chance to send summer a final send-off and get a in water gun fight with your best friends while you sip a frosty beverage. And darties held after the middle of March (or depending on when your region’s spring starts) are a great way to break out your bikini body after a long, hard winter at the gym and rejoice that the warmer weather is back again. If you don’t like to day-drink, you’re a dirty, dirty liar.

The Frat Party

Some will have mixed opinions on this one, but I have long been a huge fan of the fraternity party. Girls are guaranteed an in, and if there’s a theme, you can dress up and act like it’s Halloween all over again. Beer and jungle juice are most likely flowing, and you can bet there will be lots of dancing and grinding on that cute guy who invited you there in the first place. And if he lives in house? You get to shut the party down, have a place to sleep, and possibly get breakfast from his chef in the morning. Win-win.

The Crush Party

Nearly identical to the date party, except it is allowed and encouraged that you bring as many dates as you can fit in your car to the crush party. I know a girl who met her fiancé at his organization’s crush party, and more people generally equates to more fun had. Hard to argue with that logic.

The Bar Tab

Finally, the most-arguably lively college party that there is the bar tab. When a fraternity or other group throws down cash at a bar and lets the attendees have whatever their heart chooses to drink, and as many as they can imbibe without being cut off, you know that it’s going to be a damn good time. Bonus points if there’s a theme. There is absolutely nothing like walking up to the bar, asking the bartender for your usual vodka sour, and not being handed a bill afterwards. Bar tabs are absolutely a sprint and not a marathon, because you never know when it might run out and you have to finagle the creep in the corner to buy you another drink, or, worse, pay for your drinks yourself. Free is every college student’s favorite prefix. We all love free t-shirts, free pizza, and free drinks. That what makes the bar tab so special: free.

Whatever your preference of party type may be, know that as long as you have your sisters and/or best friends at your side and a drink in your hand, it will be a night to remember. Or at least, sort of remember.

Email this to a friend


She's a fast food connoisseur with a weakness for making the worst decision whenever possible. Dancing on tables is her favorite workout, and she likes her martinis as cold and bitter as her heart.

For More Photos and Videos

Latest podcasts

New Stories

Load More