1) E-mail as many of your closest friends as you can fit comfortably in your digs. Ask them to let you know how many guests they will be bringing.
2) Remove all breakables from the rooms in which you’ll be hosting guests. If you live in a studio, put anything fragile in your kitchen cupboards, out of reach of elbows and the excessively exuberant.
3) If you’re at all worried about the noise level, let your neighbors know that you’ll be having people over. Give them your phone number so that if you do get too loud, they can call you directly to complain, rather than jumping to your landlord or to the police.
4) Stock up on munchies. Pretzels, peanuts, and potato chips are cheap, surefire nosh-satisfiers, but if you want to get a little fancier, check out the freezer case at your local supermarket. You can get mini-pizzas, quiches, satay, and any number of other more sophisticated finger foods that you just have to pop in the oven for a few minutes.
5) Don’t forget beverages. Stock up on ice, juice, soda, and plastic cups to keep your cleanup minimal. Trader Joe’s sells two or three buck Chuck, depending on your coast, inexpensive but very drinkable wine that’s perfect for your first social forays into adulthood.
6) If your friends do drink, make sure that they have a safe ride home or a blanket to keep them warm while they sleep it off on your couch.
7) If you don’t have a stereo system, play DJ by hooking a pair of inexpensive speakers up to your computer, laptop, or mp3 player.
8) Most importantly, have fun!