Diary Of A Fresher: 'I got to indulge my James Bond fantasies in a tuxedo'

May Week, which just happens to take place in June, is to the end of the year what Freshers' Week is to the start. It's an opportunity to celebrate that brief but blissful period between finishing exams and finding out how badly we did, and to make up for a month of not drinking.

Having been given a role in one of the many outdoor Shakespeare productions traditionally put on during this week means I can't indulge as much in May Week's boundless hedonism as I'd like to. Luckily, though, the night before my parents come to take me home is there just to be enjoyed.

My show is finally over: Mum has told me I'm wonderful, Dad has told me he never really enjoys Shakespeare anyway and some cretin has written a semi-coherent review which characterises yours truly as utterly unable to convey emotion. I'm ready to get rather drunk.

This is fortunate, because tonight a big bunch of my friends and I are going to one of my university's many May balls. These, I am reliably informed, are easily the most fun you can have in an evening without taking off your tuxedo. For your ticket, purchased months in advance and normally costing about £100, you get everything you could possibly hope for: unlimited food and alcohol, live music and whatever else the organisers think might appeal to a bunch of drunk-within-reason students.

The only May ball I've been to before was a couple nights ago as a hired help, entertaining a small tent full of undergraduates at 3am before being escorted out promptly an hour later. I've also spent many long evenings learning lines in my room, fuming at the ceaseless fireworks display coming from a nearby college. I'm hoping this one will be pretty spectacular.

Spectacular it is, after a fashion. There's an hour-and-a-half queue to get past security (breaking into these things, or trying to, is considered something of a feat if successful), then we're into the magic kingdom. The trick is to be in the right place at the right time, with "the right place" being wherever there aren't enormous queues and "the right time" being before everything consumable runs out.

For some reason, I find myself perpetually in the wrong place. I'm a bit disappointed when, craving port and cheese at 2am (in context, less weird than it sounds), the relevant stand has only crackers left. Unlimited, it seems, means while meagre stocks last. I munch away at some anyway. Any more glamour might kill me.

At 4am, those of us who have real bow ties on, having learnt how to tie one from the man on the 'How to tie a bow tie!' video, now undo them and feel a bit cooler. The chocolate fountain, unfortunately, is now out of action (something to do with a drunk guy's head and health and safety. I hate to imagine). By the official end of the party at 6am, there isn't a smidgeon of food or alcohol left. Even the crackers are gone.

It's not all bad, though. I would not be griping if the tickets hadn't cost a small fortune. I did get to indulge my James Bond tuxedo fantasies after all. Besides, overpriced as it was, there's no better way of saying goodbye to your friends for three months. Maybe next year I'll have a go at sneaking in.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Arts and Entertainment
'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvOnly remaining original cast-member to leave long-running series
Arts and Entertainment
Game Of Thrones
Uh-oh, winter is coming. Ouch, my eyes! Ygritte’s a goner. Lysa’s a goner. Tywin’s a goner. Look, a dragon
tvSpoiler warning:The British actor says viewers have 'not seen the last' of his character
Sport
The Etihad Stadium, home of Manchester City
premier league

The Independent's live blog of today's Premier League action

News
Rumer was diagnosed with bipolarity, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder: 'I was convinced it was a misdiagnosis'
peopleHer debut album caused her post-traumatic stress - how will she cope as she releases her third record?
Life and Style
Couples have been having sex less in 2014, according to a new survey
life
Voices
Holly's review of Peterborough's Pizza Express quickly went viral on social media
voices
Sport
Radamel Falcao was forced to withdraw from the World Cup after undergoing surgery
premier leagueExclusive: Reds have agreement with Monaco
Arts and Entertainment
musicBiographer Hunter Davies has collected nearly a hundred original manuscripts
Sport
A long jumper competes in the 80-to-84-year-old age division at the 2007 World Masters Championships
athletics
Arts and Entertainment
tvReview: 'Time Heist' sees a darker side to Peter Capaldi's Doctor
Life and Style
Walking tall: unlike some, Donatella Versace showed a strong and vibrant collection
fashionAlexander Fury on the staid Italian clothing industry
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Education

KS1 Primary Teacher

£100 - £150 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Qualified KS1 Supply Teacher re...

KS2 Teaching Supply Wakefield

£140 - £160 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Qualified KS2 Supply Teacher r...

Year 1/2 Teacher

£130 - £160 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Qualified KS1 Teacher required,...

Primary Teachers Needed for Supply in Wakefield

£140 - £160 per annum: Randstad Education Leeds: Qualified KS1&2 Supply Te...

Day In a Page

Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam