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The Ultimate Guide to Hosting an Exeter House Party

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Exeter chapter.

Being in Exeter for my fourth year, I’d like to think I have some experience in planning and hosting an Exeter party. I am also very much in my Monica era, and live the saying “I am always the hostess!” (Season 4, Ep. 13). Exeter is, arguably, very different from other unis: we go hard, but we go hard early. If you told anyone in Leeds, Newcastle, Birmingham or even Bath that we were “out-out” at 7pm (sometimes 6pm – I see you Wednesday Sport’s Night) they would have an aneurism. It’s weird, but at least this way we get to be home all tucked up in our cozy beds by 2.30am. So, to make sure we all have a great time (and get home safely) here are my top tips for hosting a house party in Exeter.

The Classic Pres

This is something we do in our house on a regular basis before going “out-out” on a Friday to TP (A.K.A. Time Piece) The set up and clear up is easy. It’s always BYOB (bring your own booze – or any drink), we’ll supply the cups, and the music will always be some fun clubby, house tunes playing through one of the speakers. Entertainment wise? We turn to cards. Ring of fire is a bit overdone, so we try and educate each other with other fun games like Irish Snap or Chase the Ace.  

The only rule: if you’re going to host, make sure you have cups, ice and a clean loo (eg use bleach) for your guests. And make sure you co-ordinate your ticket times – TP are strict. Unit and Fever are also pretty strict so be sure to leave lots of time to get there. If you’re on campus, leave about 20 minutes; behind the prison is about 10-15 minutes, and if you’re near Mount Pleasant I’d leave about 20 minutes as well, depending on where you’re going.  

An Exeter House Party

Tip 1: Say a time about 30 minutes before you want people to arrive. Want them to arrive at 9? Say 8.30. Trust me, no one will show up on time. This way you also get to ‘pre’ with your housemates before everyone else arrives.

Tip 2: Tell people to BYOB. And buy cups. No one will bring any… unless you make it a themed party of Anything But Cups. Those are always fun.

Tip 3: Make sure you have lots of mixers – they will be necessary as someone (or lots) will forget their mixer, and they might be helpful to sober up some of your guests. Maybe also make sure you have some bread in the cupboard…

Tip 4: Make, or find, a perfect playlist BEFORE the start. Music is one of the most stressful parts of a house party so it’s important to find the playlist before. Test it out in those 30 minutes before everyone arrives and find another if it doesn’t suit your vibe.

Tip 5: This one is very subjective, but I like to lock my room during a house party. Make sure to hide your keys somewhere sensible so you can still get back in after everyone leaves.

House Party Themes

If you’re in need of some ideas for your up-coming house party, whether it’s for a birthday, end of deadlines or just because it’s a Saturday in February.

  1. Anything but cups – I’ve already mentioned this. It’s fool-proof. Just make sure you do have some actual cups available in case some decides to drink out of a colander…
  2. Dress as your Spotify wrapped artist – prepare to see a lot of Harry Styles, Taylor Swifts and Drake. This, obviously, also works for Apple Music.
  3. Under the Sea – okay hear me out. You can go so OTT with decorations here and make the house look AMAZING (just remember your deposit before ruining any walls), and also get some hilarious photos with friends.
  4. White T-Shirt Party – also known as a White Lie T-Shirt Party, the idea is everyone writes a white lie on their t-shirt. It’s a great way for everyone to get to know each other, and can also be very funny. I’ve heard of some where the host tells you what to write, but I think it’s funnier if everyone comes up with their own.
  5. St Patrick’s Day – it’s coming up (Friday 17th March) and I couldn’t help but suggest that as theme. Make the house green and gold, make your own four leaf clovers to hang up and make sure to get some gold chocolate coins. Tell all your guests to wear something green and put on all the best Irish singers: Westlife, Niall Horan, Girls Aloud (Nadine Coyle), Bono, Boyzone (Ronan Keating), Hoizer, The Script – the list goes on and on!

However you end up hosting your pres and house parties, just make sure you have a great time! Hosting shouldn’t be stressful (honestly, I’m such a hypocrite) and you want to enjoy it too. Cleaning up hungover with your friends is always a chore, but put on your trackies, a hoodie and some calming tunes and it will be done in no time and you can then enjoy your hungover breakfast of choice (it’s got to be a bacon butty for me) before lying on the sofa with your friends and reminiscing about the night before.

Sophie is in her final year at the University of Exeter. She is the President, Editor in Chief, Social Secretary and Campus Correspondent for the Exeter Chapter of Her Campus (2021 - 2023). Sophie would love to work in the media, specifically marketing, when she graduates because of her love for reading and editing... in fact as you read this she is probably wishing that she was lying by a pool with a good book and an iced coffee!