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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UCSB chapter.

New Year’s Eve is right around the corner! Although this may be a time of the year known for people going to exciting parties and kissing their soulmate once the clock strikes twelve, not everyone has the same thrilling evening. Without a party invite or significant other, this celebration may be quite lonely for some. Of course, there’s always family to spend time with too.

But, if you’re spending New Year’s in Isla Vista and have no idea how to get in the spirit, here are some ways to create your own celebration, whether you’re on your own, or have a couple of friends to spend a fun time with. 

Create a Theme: 

Every New Year’s party, no matter how big or small, should have a cute theme. Personally, I would lean towards a black and white themed party, based on the classic, sleek New York City-style party. Almost everyone has something black or white in their closet, therefore this would be a perfect theme for a casual Isla Vista celebration. You could also spice this theme up by adding something glittery and sparkly for the celebratory effect! Depending on the theme you chose, you can get some cheap Amazon or Dollar Store decorations to turn your IV apartment into a little party!

Invite your Friends: 

To plan out your night, figure out who you’re going to spend time with. Would you rather enjoy one of your favorite nostalgic movies on your own while snacking on some Trader Joes’ favorites, or would you prefer to invite one or more of your friends over and celebrate together? I’ve personally spent New Year’s doing both, and I loved them equally! If you prefer the latter, text your friends what time to come over, and tell them to dress accordingly to the theme you’ve created. Dressing up and getting ready together can even be a fun activity to do together before the party even begins.

Get Some Food and Drinks: 

Although the theme may be classy, not many college students have the time or money to whip up fancy, savory hors d’oeuvres. If you’re up for the challenge, make something special! At my own party, I would serve some comforting appetizers. Mini pizzas, chips and dip, and mozzarella sticks would be perfect for my friends and I, especially considering our lack of cooking abilities. You can also create your own charcuterie board with your favorite cheeses, salami and meats, fruits, and nuts. This is a great activity to do on your own, or with others, to create the most aesthetically pleasing wooden board of delicious foods!

A classic New Year’s drink has to be champagne, but if you’re not yet of age, sparkling apple cider is just as delicious! Cheers your glasses with friends as a tribute to the new year, and sip while you watch the New Year’s TV specials.

Engage in Group Activities: 

Once friends have arrived and have gotten comfortable, bring the group together through games and activities! Perhaps my all-time favorite party activity is karaoke. You don’t have to be good at singing to enjoy it, but it’s a perfect activity to do to laugh with friends and sing along to your favorite songs. Bring in some classic oldies songs from the 80s, or some throwbacks from the early 2000s. As long as everyone’s singing along, you can’t choose a bad song.

You can also play some interactive group games to get everyone together. Games like Cards Against Humanity, and We’re Not Really Strangers, are exciting games to get to know one another and their humor. While waiting for the main New Year’s event, get to know each other on a deeper level, and have fun with it while drinking and snacking on your delicious eats.

Enjoy the Main Event: 

Of course, every New Year’s celebration must include the countdown to the new year, and watching the bright, glittering ball drop in New York City. These New Year’s Eve events also include performances from your favorite artists, so turn on a channel like ABC, and watch while enjoying your New Year’s activities.

It doesn’t matter if your New Year is being spent on vacation, at a crazy party, or not. There are so many ways to have an exciting evening on your own or with a couple of your closest friends. Making your own party is a perfect and creative way to get in the spirit of the new year, and spend time with those you love most.

Nina Breister is the Co-Campus Coordinator and Head of PR for UCSB's chapter of Her Campus. She is a fourth-year Communication major pursuing the Professional Writing minor & TMP certificate. Originally from San Diego, Nina adores the warm weather and has grown to love Santa Barbara as her second home. In her free time, she enjoys journaling, going to the beach, playing the drums, and dancing.