During the fall of my freshman year of college, I threw a Friendsgiving at my dorm. I bought groceries and decorations. I assigned my friends to cook sides, main courses and desserts. The event wasn’t a complete failure.

Here are the highlights and what I learned the hard way from my infamous Friendsgiving:

First, check the weather…

Two hours before my Friendsgiving, I was on my dorm’s rooftop trying to tape down a plastic tablecloth to the picnic tables. I have no idea what I was thinking when I planned to have my party outside at night in November. The wind was whipping my face and my holiday hinny into shape as I wrestled with decorations that kept flying away. I didn’t check the weather because I thought, “It’s Texas,” but Texas will turn on any good party in a moment. After 15 minutes of wasting tape and shedding a few unwanted tears, I walked back inside determined to keep the show on the road.

Pass me some elbow room, please.

My entire plan — a large enough space for 15 friends — crumbled. I had to rearrange our entire living space; I pulled up the carpet, took out chairs and shoved everything into the bathroom. When my roommate came in, there was a made up “table” on the floor and everything was gone from the room except our beds. Later in the evening, when we all sat on my dorm floor crowded, uncomfortable and hoping not to knock anything over, I realized we had everything except elbow room–it’s necessary, especially at the Thanksgiving table. Our feet were falling asleep from sitting and our backs hunched over the food. At the very least, I can laugh about it now.

Save an extra slice of pie for your roommate, they are going to need it.

The Friendsgiving was my own brilliant idea. She wasn’t excited and when I swiped her bowl for mashed potatoes she was done with the festivities. For the entire night, she didn’t talk to me, and I didn’t talk to her. We couldn’t stay mad for long; good food has a way of massaging hearts.

If I were to throw a Friendsgiving this year, which I am heavily considering, I have the large apartment to do it and time to plan. I am proud of myself for my ambition, but I can’t help but roll my eyes. When I think about it now, I know my intention was to throw a Friendsgiving to celebrate the first semester of college with friends and homemade food. I wanted to watch my friends stuff their faces and laugh about all of our semester hiccups. It was memorable, at the very least.

Photo Credit: Andi Risk