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.

News
Ian Thorpe had Rio 2016 in his sights
people
Sport
world cup 2014A history of the third-place play-offs
News
Tommy Ramone performing at The Old Waldorf Nightclub in 1978 in San Francisco, California.
peopleDrummer Tommy was last surviving member of seminal band
Life and Style
Swimsuit, £245, by Agent Provocateur
fashion

Diving in at the deep end is no excuse for shirking the style stakes

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Life and Style
Several male celebrities have confessed to being on a diet, including, from left to right, Hugh Grant, Benedict Cumberbatch and Ryan Reynolds
life...and the weight loss industry is rubbing its hands in glee
Sport
The Mexico chief finally lets rip as his emotions get the better of him
world cup 2014
Voices
Spectators photograph the Tour de France riders as they make their way through the Yorkshire countryside
voicesHoward Jacobson: Line the streets for a cycling race? You might just as well watch a swarm of wasps
Life and Style
lifeHere's one answer to an inquisitive Reddit user's question
News
peopleDave Legeno, the actor who played werewolf Fenrir Greyback in the Harry Potter films, has died
Arts and Entertainment
'Eminem's recovery from substance abuse has made him a more potent performer, with physical charisma and energy he never had before'
arts + entsReview: Wembley Stadium ***
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
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

Linux Systems Administrator

£33000 per annum + pension, 25 days holiday: Ashdown Group: A highly successfu...

SEN Teacher, Permanent Role in Ashford

Competitive Salary: Randstad Education Group: Randstad urgently seeks a qualif...

Drama Teacher

Negotiable: Randstad Education Liverpool: We are looking for someone who can t...

**Science Teacher Urgently Required for September**

£120 - £160 per day: Randstad Education Liverpool: **Science Teacher Urgently ...

Day In a Page

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting
Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

In the final part of our series, Chris Green arrives in Glasgow - a host city struggling to keep the politics out of its celebration of sport
Out in the cold: A writer spends a night on the streets and hears the stories of the homeless

A writer spends a night on the streets

Rough sleepers - the homeless, the destitute and the drunk - exist in every city. Will Nicoll meets those whose luck has run out
Striking new stations, high-speed links and (whisper it) better services - the UK's railways are entering a new golden age

UK's railways are entering a new golden age

New stations are opening across the country and our railways appear to be entering an era not seen in Britain since the early 1950s
Conchita Wurst becomes a 'bride' on the Paris catwalk - and proves there is life after Eurovision

Conchita becomes a 'bride' on Paris catwalk

Alexander Fury salutes the Eurovision Song Contest winner's latest triumph
Pétanque World Championship in Marseilles hit by

Pétanque 'world cup' hit by death threats

This year's most acrimonious sporting event took place in France, not Brazil. How did pétanque get so passionate?
Whelks are healthy, versatile and sustainable - so why did we stop eating them in the UK?

Why did we stop eating whelks?

Whelks were the Victorian equivalent of the donor kebab and our stocks are abundant. So why do we now export them all to the Far East?
10 best women's sunglasses

In the shade: 10 best women's sunglasses

From luxury bespoke eyewear to fun festival sunnies, we round up the shades to be seen in this summer
Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014: Lionel Messi? Javier Mascherano is key for Argentina...

World Cup final: Messi? Mascherano is key for Argentina...

No 10 is always centre of attention but Barça team-mate is just as crucial to finalists’ hopes
Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer knows she needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

18-year-old says this month’s Commonwealth Games are a key staging post in her career before time slips away
The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

A future Palestine state will have no borders and be an enclave within Israel, surrounded on all sides by Israeli-held territory, says Robert Fisk
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: The German people demand an end to the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

The German people demand an end to the fighting
New play by Oscar Wilde's grandson reveals what the Irish wit said at his trials

New play reveals what Oscar Wilde said at trials

For a century, what Wilde actually said at his trials was a mystery. But the recent discovery of shorthand notes changed that. Now his grandson Merlin Holland has turned them into a play
Can scientists save the world's sea life from

Can scientists save our sea life?

By the end of the century, the only living things left in our oceans could be plankton and jellyfish. Alex Renton meets the scientists who are trying to turn the tide
Richard III, Trafalgar Studios, review: Martin Freeman gives highly intelligent performance

Richard III review

Martin Freeman’s psychotic monarch is big on mockery but wanting in malice