The Ultimate Guide to A College Night In

The Ultimate Guide to A College Night In

I’m a huge proponent of the idea of a “college night in” because as much as getting all dolled up and putting heels on is fun, it’s also fun to sit on the couch in your pajamas eating junk food and playing board games.

Now, for a night in, there’s a fine line between FOMO-filled boringness and a grand ‘ol time. The people, obviously, are crucial but there are other elements that must be on point for the perfect night. Here’s how to get them just right…

1. Music & Comfort

Music makes any potential silences less silence, encourages jamming and generally brightens the mood. Be sure to place a ton of upbeat songs and throwbacks from the early 2000s that everyone will be able to jam to and feel nostalgia with.

A fun idea to get everyone involved is making a shared playlist on Spotify and having everyone add some of their favorite party/upbeat songs. This ensures that everyone will have a chance to jam and vibe with the song, rather than just having one person blast their playlist.

Make sure you have speakers or ask your crew if anyone has one they can bring. If you don’t have speakers, placing your phone in a cup does actually work and help amplify the sound.

In addition to music, comfort is key. Encourage your pals to wear their favorite pajamas and slippers and fuzzy socks. No need to dress to impress.

2. Entertainment

If you’re having a good ‘ol college night in, you’re going to need some entertainment. Truthfully, when you’re with your friends you can always have fun even when doing nothing, but entertainment is a great way to break the ice and actually do something.

A. Board Games

love board games. With this being said, I love board games that are more of a mental challenge or “figure it out” sort of game. Namely, I hate trivia because you actually need to know things, but this isn’t about me. This is about a board game that’s both age-appropriate (16+) and enjoyable.

The Ultimate Guide to A College Night In // ew & pt

This game is Escape the Room: The Game and if it sounds familiar to you, it’s because you’ve probably heard of those places Escape the Room. Those places are SO fun and amazing and wonderful but since those can be hard to coordinate and this is a night in, I present to you the board game version.

The game comes with four different “rooms” to escape including Prison Break, Nuclear Countdown, Virus and Temple of the Aztec. They’re each very different, which keeps you on your toes. The players get 60 minutes to work together to crack the code, solve the puzzles, find clues and escape from one of the four rooms included in the game. Basically, it’s super energy-boosting and you’ll probably end up feeling like Sherlock Holmes or feeling like “Why didn’t I think of that?” when your friend solves a clue that you couldn’t. You can buy the game here.

The Ultimate Guide to A College Night In // ew & pt


Before playing, have everyone put their phone on Airplane mode. This mode still lets you use your phone’s flashlight and calculator, which are handy in the game, but it stops messages and social media updates from coming in, which could distract from the game and take away from it.

Ensure everyone has a pen and paper. When we played we kept constantly writing things down, so it’s helpful if everyone has something they can write with.

Use a big table (or the floor). You’ll definitely want to spread things out as much as possible because sometimes looking at the bigger picture is easiest.

Pssst, I mentioned this in my Holiday Gift Guide for College Students if you’re looking for ideas.

B. Movie

After the high-energy board game, reward yourself with a nice movie. It’s nice to combine the two because sitting in and watching movies back to back can get a little bit boring.

Movie Suggestions: 
If you’re in the mood for a throwback or classic…High School Musical, Life-Size, The Parent Trap, Camp Rock, Uptown Girls, The Devil Wears Prada, The Breakfast Club
If you’re in the mood for a rom-com…27 Dresses, 13 Going on 30, Legally Blonde, Just My Luck, Confessions of a Shopaholic
If you’re in the mood for something scary…Hush, The Ring, The Grudge, Dead Silence
If you’re in the mood for humor…Napoleon Dynamite, 21 Jump Street, The Heat, School of Rock

3. Food & Drinks

This is crucial for a perfect night. I recommend going with a salty snack and a sweet snack to keep things balanced. Microwave popcorn mixed with m&ms is delicious. If you want to be a little bit extra, have a sour snack, sweet snack and salty one.

The Ultimate Guide to A College Night In // ew & pt

If you want to turn this into an activity, hit up Pinterest for some recipes. A college favorite that’s very easy to make and requires no homemade baking is Slutty Brownies.

In terms of drinks, use plastic cups. Glassware can be dropped and can break and it can also be a pain to wash later.


1. Write names on cups with a permanent marker to be able to tell them apart.

2. Have ice ready to go; cold drinks are always best.

3. If you’re on a budget, have each friend bring a drink or snack and make it a bit of a potluck.

4. If you have popcorn, give each person a bowl or cup to put popcorn in. By doing this, you avoid having a bunch of people fighting over and pawing at the same bowl. This also makes it easier to customize with toppings.

5. Let your friends know what the snacks will be before they arrive so if they’d like they can bring their own. This is good for the picky friends.

What are your favorite tips for a college night in?

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  • As much as I love being out and about I also love a cozy night in! My suite mates and I paint each others’ nails, especially when there’s an upcoming sports game at our school so we can do really spirited nail art!


    • I agree! That sounds so cute!! 🙂 My nails are so chipped, I think a holiday nail art night in might be in the stars for me and my housemates this weekend.

  • that game looks so fun! i’ve done a breakout room before and loved it but didn’t know there was a board game version. i love this post!
    xo, hannah

    • The rooms are SO fun! I was so excited that this game was being released because I could have the same fun while also wearing pajamas and eating snacks, haha.

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