Now, this may be of little account to the impressive party scene that some parts of KU offer, but one thing that really pumps up college students throughout the year is the availability of theme celebrations! It’s one thing we can really borrow from the American college scene. What’s more exciting than having a fun dress code to adhere to–and arriving at a party with your friends to see everybody decked out in a way that sets a different mood than just wearing your regular attire?
Fancy dress, costume parties–whatever you might call it back home, theme parties are here to stay at KU!
This is definitely my favourite theme, as it transports you to another time period altogether for a night of guaranteed fun. There’s everything from the roaring 20’s to 50’s rock and roll and 90’s grunge. Rieger Scholarship Hall, my home for two and a half years now, hosts its annual 80’s dance around late September for the totally rad people out there. Not only do people sport 80’s hairstyles by teasing their hair up, wear bright neon colours, and sport biker jackets and what-not, but the hall is beautifully decorated to welcome its wannabe 80’s with fabulous catchy numbers from the likes of Michael Jackson, Roxette, Madonna, Bon Jovi, Cyndi Lauper, Blondie, Whitney Houston, you name it! And there’s something for everybody, so if you’re not so comfy with rocking the dance floor, there are arcades, photo booths, craft tables, and snack tables set up. You can even enjoy 80’s games like Mario Kart and Jenga while munching on some Pac-Man themed cookies and grabbing some fun 80’s props to capture your memories of the night.
This is a wonderful concept that is reiterated in several theme parties on campus. Facebook invitations that keep you aware of how you need to dress and where you can arrive; carpooling arrangements to the location, and then a fun evening with decorations and an atmosphere that can entice you to have a good time. Don’t forget to capture your memories. They sure beat out the stress of a busy college life when you get to shake it off (see what I did there!)
For those who love sport and enjoy the atmosphere that surrounds it. Game themes usually include getting your gameday wear on, sporting Kansas colours, and going to the game at the stadium or the Phog (Allen Fieldhouse, home to the famous Jayhawks basketball team) or enjoying a watch party with your friends, where you can enjoy the comfort of your TV set with good game snacks. Of course, what precedes the game is tailgating, where people socialize and snack to get geared up for the game. The whole town is in such spirit, and it’s worth being a part of.
Hardly a week away, Halloween has an inevitable mention. It is the biggest theme party of all time! Students dress up not necessarily scarily, but anything creative is greatly appreciated. I had the genius of a friend who made his own Iron Man costume, and I’ve had friends who have dressed up as everything from Disney characters to fruits and flowers! It’s always fun to put some work into your costume and capture those pictures of the interesting array! Visits to haunted houses, trick-or-treating, and horror movie marathons are just some fun things to go with this. Combined with the dawn of autumn (called “fall” here in the U.S.), with cold weather setting in, warm-coloured leaves painting the town, and pumpkin deserts spicing up menus, college Halloween is a time to be reckoned with!
I hope this post has taught you much about the things I love about the festivities at KU and the U.S. in general, and I hope it keeps you as pumped as it does me!
Melanie D’Souza is a junior from Muscat, Oman, majoring in Architecture at KU. She loves travelling, writing, sketching and cycling. She is currently the Orientation Chair at Rieger Scholarship Hall Council and a fervent schol-haller and Riegerette. She is also in the Honors Program and is a Student Ambassador for the Office of International Recruitment and Undergraduate Admissions.