Giant balloon letters spelling out “BAMA,” a large pepperoni-topped cheese pizza in the shape of an “A,” and a sea of crimson and white University of Alabama hoodies, banners, and other items set the scene for the glitzy party.
Welcome to Daniella Ortiz’s #BedParty, the viral TikTok hashtag with over 8.9 million views featuring college-bound high school seniors celebrating their schools of choice.
“It’s a party that your friends and family throw for you in your room when you commit to college,” Ortiz, 18, a high school student from Emerson, New Jersey, told The Post of the TikTok buzz party.
“Decorate your bed, your entire room, in school colors with lots of gear and gifts,” he continued. “It’s a really fun way to get excited about going to the college you decided on.”
For Ortiz, who will attend the University of Alabama in September as a prospective psychology major, the dorm party was a surprise party orchestrated by her older sister Alexandra, her parents and a few friends on March 18.
In addition to all the college merch, her bed party also featured a custom cake, cookies, white chocolate drizzled strawberries, and color-coordinated cake pops.
The stylish blast, which Ortiz said cost his loved ones around $400, took place just weeks before National College Decision Day on May 1, the deadline for students to accept college admission offers. .
“When I walked into my room and saw everything, how they decked it out in crimson and white and the Alabama merchandise, I thought, ‘Oh my gosh,’” Ortiz said. Online, the images of the revelry garnered more than 93,000 views on TikTok.
The bed party trend initially caught on in 2020, when graduating seniors didn’t have the freedom to come together to celebrate their school selections due to COVID-19 restrictions.
So the creative teens stuck in the house began decorating their bedroom walls, floors, and furniture with colorful streamers, balloons, sheets, snacks, and trinkets to virtually announce where they would be studying in the fall.
And now, while social distancing rules have eased, outgoing high school students are taking the pandemic tradition to new heights.
“My whole room was covered in everything blue and yellow,” UCLA freshman Olivia Goodreau, 18, from Denver, Colorado, told The Post. Her party decorations on her bedside, complete with an avalanche of balloons, candy bars and a huge chocolate cake emblazoned with the university’s emblem, were priced at around $500.
“My parents bought me lots of custom-made UCLA sweatshirts and hoodies, a beautiful UCLA blanket and a beach towel from Etsy,” she said. “It was a very fun surprise and made me very proud of my commitment to the university.”
A clip from their flashy soiree racked up 1.7 million views on TikTok and sparked some digital outrage among peers who felt left out, either because their families couldn’t afford such send-offs or because they weren’t accepted into their dream schools.
“Oh, to be rich,” noted one online detractor, suggesting that Goodreau was flaunting his family’s wealth with the over-the-top celebration.
“I didn’t go in,” another commenter complained.
“The only thing I got from UCLA was a rejection letter,” said another.
In April, Manhattan-based psychotherapist Dana Dorfman warned against sharing College Decision Day videos online, noting that “the process of watching one video after another can be torturous and (more) shame-inducing, anxiety and even depression.
But celebrants like Goudreau champion bed parties.
“I understand that not everyone can afford a big party and that not everyone got into the schools they wanted, but this was just a fun way to celebrate with my family,” she said.
And parents who throw bed parties for their children say they simply express their pride in their children’s accomplishments.
While single mom Ellen Logovinsky-Gorin is sensitive to young people who may not have much to celebrate this spring, she tells The Post that giving her 18-year-old daughter Alexis an elaborate bed party was her way of create a lasting memory before the teen almost moves on. 1,000 miles away.
“She is my only child, this is a huge accomplishment and this was my way of being a part of her college experience,” said Logovinsky-Gorin, 49, of Philadelphia.
Alexis will attend the University of Alabama where she will study marketing and public relations.
Logovinsky-Gorin, a secretary for an insurance company, spent just under $1,000 on Crimson Tide food, decor and gifts for Alexis’s bed party on April 30.
“Seeing the look on her face, that look of ‘Oh my gosh, this is the best day of my life,’ it was totally worth it for me as a mom,” she said.
Atlanta’s mom, LaToya Lee, agrees. She paid more than $300 for her daughter Kennedy’s Kennesaw State University-themed bed party on May 1.
“I am very proud of my daughter and having this little party was a celebration of her achievements,” said Lee, 45, who works in supply chain management.
She feels that her teenage son and others should not be ashamed of getting into a college of choice.
“Everyone chooses different paths in life,” Lee said, “and we are happy to brag and brag about their good decisions and achievements.”