How To Throw Your First DEVOLSON Party

Step 1: Win the lottery so you can have enough money to pay a fancy baking person for the elaborate treats featured in this image. Because you definitely won’t have the energy to make them during DEVOLSON.

If you’re just tuning in, there’s an acronym I coined for the period of time every fall when I cry about 10 times more regularly than normal. It’s called DEVOLSON.

During DEVOLSON, the happy, shiny newness of Back-to-School has faded. Boundaries are being tested. The work is getting tougher. The workday is getting longer while the hours of sunlight are getting shorter. And there is no break in sight.

It’s the Dark, Evil Vortex of Late September, October, and November.  

And it is upon us.

Those trained in the martial arts know that the best way to deal with an opposing force is to move your body in a way that embraces the force instead of resists it. In this post, I’m taking the same approach to DEVOLSON. When we try to pretend like DEVOLSON isn’t happening or try to work against it, we merely increase the tension until we reach a point where we become frustrated and feel hopeless. Recognizing DEVOLSON and laughing about it with our teaching buddies? Suddenly this long, break-less period of doom is tackle-able.

I now command you to host a DEVOLSON party for you and your coworkers. Here is everything you’ll need.

1. Invitations

Paper invitations make anything more fun, but let’s be real: it’s DEVOLSON and you’re tired and have no money. Luckily, the good folks over at Paperless Post* have your back. Super cute, super easy online invitations. And many of them are free! 

If DEVOLSON already has you too hopeless to create online invitations, don’t worry! You can just save one of the images below and slap it on an email.

2. A banner

Anyone who walks into your DEVOLSON party needs to know that feelings are okay. Banners with customizable alphabet letters are everywhere these days. I think I want mine to read, “Everything Is Hard.” Simple, true, to-the-point. Other options:

-“The DEVOL Made Me Do It”

-“It’ll All Be Over Soon. Except Not.”

-“We’re all in this together!”

-“Welcome to Your 3-Month Nightmare”

3. Comfort foods

There is a time in life for celery sticks and puffed rice discs, but now is not
that time. Pasta, an ice cream sundae bar, mashed potato stations, this is
where your mind needs to be when planning food for a DEVOLSON party. Here are some recipes I found for treats that are easy and emotionally soothing:

These life-changing ham and cheese sliders

Brownie ice cream cake (For more, see my Pinterest board for DEVOLSON food.)

3. Raffle for an item related to a DEVOLSON-approved activity

  • Massage/spa gift certificate
  • Netflix subscription
  • Candle, miniature Zen garden, bath products, or other relaxation-related item
  • One of these awesome head pillows for sleeping at your desk during your conference period

4. Drinks

If you’re off campus, you will need to make arrangements for lots and lots of wine. If you’re on campus, stick to grape juice and pretend in your head that it has real-wine powers, or try non-alcoholic versions of these not-really-signature-but-with-fun-names DEVOLSON cocktails:

  • Miser-ita (margarita)
  • Whine
  • Angry-a (sangria)
  • Oh-no-sa (mimosa)  

Was that last one too much of a stretch? Don’t care.


5. DEVOLSON Bingo  

Come up with a list of as many DEVOLSON teacher behaviors as you can. Use those statements to create bingo cards. I almost typed out the rules for bingo, but then I remembered we’re all teachers!  Here are some sample
statements to get you started (and WeAreTeachers put together an actual bingo card for me in this article!):

  1. Locked your keys in your car.
  2. Locked your keys in your classroom
  3. Tried to open your classroom door with your car keys, or vice versa
  4. Pressed your snooze alarm more than five times in one morning.
  5. Have given up on any and all health regimens you were rocking this summer.
  6. Are currently wearing some type of unintentionally mismatched clothing (shoes, socks, etc.)
  7. Called your student the name of your child/cat/spouse, or vice versa.
  8. Had a school-related stress dream.

I sure hope you’re all ready to throw your first DEVOLSON
party, because it’s time for me to go to bed. (It’s 8:32).  

Share your party (and just general DEVOLSON shenanigans) with me using the hashtag #devolson!  

And remember:  

You can’t spell DEVOLSON without LOVE,  


*They are not paying me to write this. I have yet to encounter any company that wants me as a product spokesperson.