The summer is here and that all too familiar bitter sweet end of the year feeling creeps up on you. On the one hand, your exams are almost over and you can almost taste the sweet nectar of freedom the 4 month long summer holiday will bring. In a few weeks you are going to have to leave your uni mates, the uni-lifestyle and head back to the watchful eye of your parents. If you graduating, you are leaving all this forever...
Luckily, just before you go there are about 3 weeks of parties, barbecues and general dossing about to be done. To top this off, it is well and truly summer ball season, which gives you the perfect opportunity to have one (or a couple) of massive blowouts before you head home. For those who are graduating, this will be the last big uni night before you enter the ‘real world’ and get a job. Or before you go travelling for 3 months, realise you miss university too much and sign up for a masters. Either way, this is your chance to make your last uni night out the best . . .
Here’s how to make your summer or leaving ball absolutely incredible...
Dress to Impress
If the dress code says black tie, that doesn’t mean that some nice chinos and a blazer will do! Get your posh frocks and dickie bows out and go in some serious style. If you still haven’t sorted it yet, they do say that online shopping with money you don’t really have is the best revision break. But if you really don’t have money, you can always rent a dress or a tux or raid those charity shops!
Host a Big Pre-Drinks
The whole point of a ball, especially the grad ball, is to bring everyone together for one last celebration. Instead of relying on someone else doing it, why not invite everyone round to yours. That way you decide who comes but try to get as many people involved as possible. It’s the last day and does it really matter anymore if your coursemate slept with your housemate’s ex’s best friend and didn’t call after? There’s no point holding grudges beyond uni. Plus, if the feelings of dislike are mutual, they probably won’t come.
Take Ridiculously Arty Photos
Well, if you are going to dress up you may as well take some ridiculous photos. The kind of photos that you will look back on in 30 years and, despite what everyone else thinks, believe you were once cool… I’m not just talking about hand on hip pose or the head tilt, get carried away with it. Nothing says I’m going to a ball like a ‘bullingdon club’ style looking away from the camera and posing shot. Why stop there? Get some props out and some filters to make it look like a terrible Jack Wills poster. Anyone got a vintage car?!
Most of your uni life, you’ll be drinking very cheap Ukrainian sounding Vodka that tastes more like paint stripper, mixed with an extremely sugary tropical fruit juice from the corner shop. For the summer ball it may be time to move beyond your student staple and go for something that matches your outfit… martini anyone? You could even stretch as far as a couple of bottles of champagne... or Prosecco (you still have a student budget after all)!
Have an Awards Ceremony
Get your gracious losers face out and host an awards ceremony amongst your mates. It’s been a long year or three for many of you, and a lot of stuff has gone on (hopefully mostly good). This is the time to reflect on the great times and reward those for the good, the bad and the ugly moments that you most likely barely remember but will be the stuff of anecdotes (accurate or otherwise) for years to come. If you are really keen, there will be some poorly made Word certificates, but that’s a fitting way to commemorate the biggest slacker, the worst barnet and many more notable ‘successes’.
Play Freshers’ Drinking Games
When you get to 3rd year, sometimes the classic drinking games of freshers’ year can be neglected. When they were new and exciting in freshers, you would be playing them every night but now they are only saved for special occasions. So get a pack of cards, cups and a ping-pong ball, and get a beer pong tournament going. After that, a round of ring of fire is a must, followed by a bit of ‘never have I ever’. Yes, you already know far too much about everyone, but it’s the last time you’ll be able to relive these stories at uni.
Travel in Style
You are not on an episode of My Super Sweet 16, so you don’t need to hire a pink stretched hummer, but there are cooler, and mostly importantly, cheaper ways to get to the ball. If you’ve got enough of you together, how about a double decker bus? Or a VW campervan! If it’s not too far and you’re a bit hipster, a tandem would go down a treat, but warn your date or you could be peddling on your own due to inappropriate dress/footwear choices. Getting it back after could be problematic as well! Maybe these are a bit far-fetched but make sure you at least think about booking a cab in advance… it’s going to be a busy night!
Have an After Party
After an epic pre-drinks, your house is unlikely to still be in pristine condition, so it’s the perfect place to host an after party too. The alcohol is already there, everything is set up and the floor is as sticky as it’s ever going to be. Many balls don’t actually go on that late, so it’s always worth having an after-party plan ready to keep you going until morning. All of these parties may have a detrimental effect on the chances of getting your deposit back… you were so close!
Time to Reflect
OK, those of you who are leaving – it’s a moment to reflect. You have been together for three, or maybe four, years. You have laughed together, cried together, drunk together and possibly been to the odd lecture together. And now you are going your separate ways. It’s time for telling your friends what they mean to you, how they’ve shaped your life (possibly not in the best way, but it was fun) and how you will always stay in touch with them (you always have to say that even if you don’t even recognise them when you look back at the photos the next day). Even better if your uni has some wonderful scenic feature or a view over the city that you can come back to in years to come and say “I remember after our grad ball . . .” Use your imagination!
The Big Breakfast
No big night out would be complete without meeting up the next day to discuss the events of the night before. Head to your local Wetherspoons and get the biggest fry-up on offer. What more fitting way to end your uni days than in a cheap pub eating a massive unhealthy breakfast with your mates?
Enjoy your ball!