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The feast day of Ireland’s patron saint, St. Patrick, falls on March 17th and is widely celebrated all over the world. Many cities host parades and celebrations of Irish culture, and it’s a fun way to gather with friends and have a good time. But just because you’re on campus and away from home doesn’t mean you can’t join in the festivities as well! There are plenty of ways to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in your dorm, and have a great time.
March is a tough month, and you’re probably looking for a break from the seemingly endless classes and studying now that it’s mid-semester. Take this opportunity to relax and unwind a little bit, and have fun celebrating the luck of the Irish! These are our top five ways for college students to celebrate while in their dorm or on campus.
Decorate Your Dorm and Dress Appropriate!
Celebrate the day in true Irish style
One of the best parts of celebrating St. Patrick’s day in the dorm is all the fun you can have decorating. Many colleges have dorm door competitions, and this is the perfect reason to really up your game, so let’s start there. Get together with your roommates and decide on a theme that you’d like to incorporate into your door--after all, this is what everyone who passes by will see! You could do a whole leprechaun theme with a rainbow, pot of gold, shamrocks, and lots of green. This is pretty simple to do with the right supplies. Stop down at your local craft store or dollar mart and pick up crepe paper for the rainbow, and long sheets of felt for the background. You can also construct your leprechaun and pot of gold with construction paper or felt as well. Before you know it you’ll have the best door on the floor!
Don’t forget the inside of your dorm as well. Lots of stores sell green decor and St. Pat’s themed items such as shamrocks and St. Patrick’s Day signs. It’s super easy to hang these from hooks or by using sticky puddy--you can really add them anywhere! Don’t forget the lights as well, because green shamrock lights would be an absolutely perfect way to complete your Irish-themed dorm. Green tinsel is another easy way to add a touch of Irish to your dorm, and would look awesome entwined on bed posts or outlining your door.
In addition to decorating your space, you also need to look the part! First of all see if you have any green apparel, and if you don’t, fix that immediately! You could also go the fun route and pick up a St. Patrick’s day t-shirt that says something funny like “Kiss Me I’m Irish,” or “Luck of the Irish.” But if you really want to make this an unforgettable day, dress up like a leprechaun! You’ll need to get a hat, green jacket and pants, and maybe even a fake beard. Don’t worry about looking silly, it will totally be worth it, if even just for the pictures you can post on Instagram later.
Throw a St. Pat’s Party
Host an Irish celebration right in your dorm
Now that your door and dorm room are decorated fittingly and you and your roommates are dressed in green, why not have a party to celebrate the day? It’s easier than you think to play hosts to a St. Pat’s party. Because everyone on campus will already know the holiday is coming up, you just simply have to get the word out that you’ll be having a party. We suggest making a dress code too--that everyone has to at least be in green to attend!
Every party needs to have snacks, so make sure you head out to the grocery store and pick up a couple of St. Patrick’s day items. Green shamrock cookies are an absolute must, since they’re widely available and extremely popular. You could also include cupcakes with green frosting as well. Everyone loves those famous shamrock shakes, but they may not transport very well to your dorm. So make them yourself! This recipe for “skinny” shamrock shakes takes out some of the calories, and is so easy to whip up--your guests will thank you!
In addition to sweet treats, having some other snacky items like green-dyed popcorn, green veggie skewers, and guacamole and chips that will all contribute to the St. Pat’s theme and keep your guests happy. For a snack that’s super authentic, don’t forget to pick up some Irish cheese as well, we like the mellow taste of Kerrygold Swiss Cheese, and we’re sure you will too.
Don’t forget the music
Every party needs some tunes, and on this special day, try to center your playlist on fun Irish pub songs such as “Whiskey in the Jar,” “The Wild Rover,” “Rocky Road to Dublin,” and “Finnegan’s Wake.” You can find songs such as these sung by traditional Irish groups, or choose a cover of them from your favorite artist. Don’t forget to include native Irish as well as Irish-style bands and singers on the list as well! The Dropkick Murphys, Flogging Molly, The Pogues, U2, and the Cranberries all have songs that would be perfect for a St. Patrick’s day playlist.
Try Some Irish-Themed Food (and Drink)
Head to your favorite restaurant and try their fare
If going out to celebrate St. Patrick’s day is more your style, then why not indulge in some thoroughly Irish--or at least Irish-themed-- meals? Kick your day off right by stopping into a local pancake house or even your favorite go-to breakfast spot near campus. They’re bound to have a St. Patrick’s day themed breakfast special! Whether it’s green shamrock pancakes with green whipped cream, or eggs, toast, beans, bangers (sausages), and rashers (bacon)--you can’t go wrong starting your day off right with these options. Add a cup of coffee or tea, and you’ve got your Irish breakfast complete.
If you’re more in the mood for heartier fare, consider going out to one of the pubs near your campus where you’re sure to get your fair share of corned beef and cabbage, shepards pie, and plenty of potatoes! If you’re 21, try one of the fantastic green cocktails available or green beer that is sure to be on draft. You could also get more authentic and try a Guinness stout, a Bailey’s Irish cream and coffee, or even a pour of Bushmills or Jamesons whiskey.
Watch Irish Movies or TV Shows
Make a it movie night (or day) with these favorites
There are a lot of Irish-themed movies that you and your friends can enjoy while munching on some amazing St. Patrick’s day treats. Everyone knows and loves Disney’s “Luck of the Irish,” so make sure that’s on your list. But don’t overlook other Irish movies that you might not have heard about:
- Darby O’Gill and the Little People. This follows the mishaps of an older gentlemen who stumbled upon the King of the Leprechauns and is granted three wishes. There’s all kinds of mischief and laughs that ensue, plus you get to see an extremely young Sean Connery in a supporting role.
- The Wind that Shakes the Barley. If you’re curious to know something more about Irish history, this is a must-see as it follows their fight for independence and subsequent civil war. Irish bonus, it’s also where Irish actor Cillian Murphy got his big break.
- Waking Ned Devine. This is a lighthearted look at what would happen if you played the lottery for years, and when you finally hit the jackpot, you also bit the big one? When the man who won the money died with no family, the whole town goes amuck trying to find a way they can cash in on his winnings.
- The Secret of Kells. This movie is not only adorably whimsical, it was also nominated for an Oscar for Best Animated Film. It follows the story of a young boy who befriends a fairy and embarks on an important magical quest.
There are also some great Irish options available on streaming services Netflix and Amazon Prime. You could spend your St. Pat’s binging on these episodes and really feel like you’re in Ireland!
- Derry Girls (Netflix). This funny show follows the exploits of four Northern Irish girls and one boy as they navigate through high school in the 1990s in the city of Derry. Their teenage hijinks are hilarious, but there’s also some interesting themes and interpretations of historical events in the series as well.
- Father Ted (Prime Video). Although it may look a little dated since it was filmed in the mid-1990s, this show is extremely well written, and the silly scenarios that these Irish priests find themselves in is just comedy gold.
- Bridget & Eamon (Prime Video). Nothing says funny like this unhappily married Irish couple living in the 1980s. You not only get your retro 80s hair, clothes, and music, but you also get a well written and hilarious show that is extremely easy to binge.
Attend the Local St. Patrick’s Day Parade
Join your fellow St. Pat’s revellers!
If the city or town where your school is located hosts a St. Patrick’s day parade, by all means make a point to attend it! These are some of the jolliest parades, and everyone dresses in their best green attire. Parades are usually full of high school bands, troupes of Irish dancers, local Irish fraternal organizations, politicians, and even Irish dogs and horses! There are always vendors selling any Irish merchandise you don’t already have, as well as some great food, so take advantage of this and celebrate with your school and local citizens.
Everyone loves a reason to celebrate, so why not go all out this year for St. Patrick’s Day? You’re guaranteed to have a great time even if you only get around to some of these fun ideas for celebrating the day. How do you and your friends like to enjoy St. Patrick’s Day? Let us know in the comments!