It’s two o’clock in the morning, the throbbing beats from next door reverberating off the wall keep you awake despite every effort at sleep. Somewhere a piercing scream shatters the night air as a girl is thrown into a pool. More often than not, at our age, the feeling experienced during this noise is not anger, but rather that of missing out. These are the sounds associated with living next to students, and now, as first years, you can be part of this wonderful cacophony of night-time madness. Here are some of the key ingredients needed to throw an epic house party on a student budget.


As with real estate, a party is about location, location, location. Rifle through your contact list to find that friend whose commune has some grass, a braai area perhaps and even a swimming pool. People enjoy parties more when they are only semi-clothed – everyone knows that. Another key factor in location is the proximity of one’s neighbours. Getting evicted from a flat because of excessive noise and drunken debauchery sounds hilarious but will hamper one’s ability to get a tertiary qualification


Two people drinking beer and mulling over the meaning of life is not a party, it’s a DMC (that’s “deep meaningful conversation”, if you’re wondering). You need people for a party. Having said that, it might seem like a good idea to print flyers and throw them down a stairwell like they do in the movies, but the subsequent crowd rocking up at your rented pad will be less than cool. Actually, that sounds like a great idea, someone reading this article should do that. It would be legendary.

Not only the number, but also the type of people at a party is important. Hatfield Square is a success because anyone can go there no matter what clique they belong to. Variety is the spice of life and nowhere will you encounter the diversity that you do at varsity, so mingle with the jocks, the emos, the hipsters and maybe even Perdeby. Especially if there will be free alcohol.


If people are the heart of the party then music is the pulse. If you will excuse the lameness of the previous statement, it does ring true. Who can say that they have never experienced the feeling of hearing that song that just strikes a chord in you and you can’t help but scream along like a deranged maniac? Music fosters the vibe and no one tapping their feet in time with the beat is going to be unhappy.

Make sure you spend some time making a playlist or three. Shuffle is a good idea until that song comes on that is “only on my iPod because of that one day that I really felt like listening to it” and then it’s too late. Even better than a playlist is the wonderful facility provided by our beloved institute of higher education: Tuks FM. This should be one of the presets programmed into your music system. Friday nights kick off with a show called Total Radio Takeover Maximised at 18:00 directly followed by Solid State 19:00-22:00. Saturdays start at 14:00 with the Weekend Windup and culminates in a show called Domestic Disturbance which runs until the early hours.


Because there ain’t no party like an alcoholic party. Perdeby is not advocating mass alcohol binging and wildly hysteric behaviour. But if you’re going to have a couple of drinks at a party you might as well do it right and in a way that will be easy on the wallet. The easiest way of guaranteeing everyone a tipple or two at an affordable rate is that old proven favourite: punch. Now every human being on earth has their own recipe for the ultimate punch, so it’s almost impossible to get it wrong. Cheap booze remains the key ingredient and Perdeby strongly recommends adding chopped fruit such as apples or pineapples. Go ahead, when in Rome and all of that.

The gauntlet is laid down and the objective is clear. Party your hearts out and enjoy “the best years of your life”. Just remember that when it comes to crunch time, university will separate the diligent men from the lazy boys. So work hard and play hard, but keep the two distinctly separate or the memories made in this wide open paradise will be few and short lived.

Photo: Charné Fourie

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