Your Zarty Rock Anthem, or, how to throw an (online) rager


A tried-and-true zarty. You can have one of these yourself with a little bit of planning (like 15 minutes). Illustration by Emma Ruck

Emma Edmund, Print Managing Editor

Using Zoom for classes? Sure. To hang out with friends? Fine. To talk to your boss? Okay, I guess. But what about Zoom to… party? That’s the attitude!

“Zarties” are the way of the future. Take your party to the next level by removing the element of physical location. Make the zarty an out-of-body experience. This is how you can do it.

The place

Duh, Zoom. Well, it’s the platform, but your imagination’s the limit on the virtual destination. Want a meme-themed extravaganza? Have your guests set their virtual backgrounds to their favorite memes. Want to step back into pre-quarantine times and have a barbeque in the park? Any nice background filled with trees should suffice.

The time

You could try to maintain some semblance of a typical college lifestyle and have your zarty start at 11:30 p.m., but why wait? Have a party at 11:30 a.m., or, better yet, shake things up with a 7 a.m. rise and zarty.

In all seriousness, consider who you plan to invite. Do they all live in different time zones? Are some limited in how loud they can be in their family’s house? Everyone’s operating on a different schedule, so take care to adapt your zarty plans accordingly.

The people

While Northwestern student Zoom accounts can support up to 200 people in a meeting, it’s going to be hard to handle a large party with everyone talking at the same time (unless you utilize a breakout room to talk with that quarantine cutie you’ve been eyeing on Zoom in your introductory physics class.) You might want to limit who you invite to keep things from becoming a jumbled mess. Or better yet, invite as many people as you want — we love the chaos.

Consider also ensuring your invitees know each other beforehand; it’s a lot harder to get to know someone when you’re in a video conference with a lot of other people. But again, these are just suggestions. Now may be a good time to introduce your college friends to that high school friend.

The logistics

Send that Zoom link out beforehand. Feel free to make a Zoom account if you don’t want to use your Northwestern account to hang with friends (we get it, sometimes you need that work-life separation). Just remember that free sessions are limited to 40 minutes. You could even play a fun game of popcorn and hop from one person’s Zoom session to another.

As for drinks, it’s probably best to BYOB. Show up with the Trader Joe’s Sparkling French Berry Lemonade you splurged on (mask over mouth, hand sanitizer in tow, six feet apart from the other customers) because, you know, self-isolation. A nice cold glass of milk. Maybe, if you’re feeling bold, you can get some water in that one water bottle your parents kept from your brief stint playing soccer in the fourth grade.

The vibes

The zarty is what you make of it. The vibes can be low-key, like a gathering to catch up with friends, or they can be that all-out rager you were planning for Spring Quarter.

Whatever it is — make it count.

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Twitter: @emmaeedmund