How I celebrate the end of the term

Course balls and big end of year parties are often what mark the end of the year, but are there better ways to celebrate?

Mitchell Hall
31st May 2022
Image credit: Cottonbro, Pexels
Mitchell Hall - Closely knit
I may be in the minority when it comes to celebrating the end of the year. As much as I can understand the draw of the big party at the end of the year with everybody dressing up for the occasion, I just can’t get myself to like the idea.

I know to some that’s blasphemy, but considering a ticket typically costs in the £30-40 region, I argue you can have a better time elsewhere. I’ve always been a little smaller in scale when it comes to spending time with friends, preferring a pub trip or hanging out at someone’s flat than anything grander. This means I always lean more towards the alternatives to a ball straight away. £30 can go a long way in regards of drinks, music and food, and for me this makes the draw of the ball’s spectacle less enticing.

Even more than that, at smaller parties, you can have people there from across different courses that you really like and can have a laugh with. Most of my friends didn’t come through my course, so it feels like I’d be spending all that money to hang out largely with people I don’t really know. I like socialising with new people, but to pay for the privilege of doing so when I can spend less over 2 or 3 parties with all of my friends, it doesn’t feel like great value. Perhaps I sound like a cheapskate, and not everyone will have the same perspective and experience as me, so I don’t expect everyone to agree. To anyone celebrating the end of the year in any way, have fun!

A trip to the pub with a small group is preferable to a ball for some. Image credit: Tookapic, Pexels

Emily Kelso - Me, myself and I

Reaching the end of the academic year is always a cause for celebration. June signals marking surviving another year, or for some, the end of an era. But how best to celebrate?

Big events like balls are nice, especially when you're not the one organising them. Such events have a lot of stipulations, like expensive dresses and makeup, and pressure to look your best. Honestly, such events are sometimes not worth the effort.

Even trying to get smaller groups of people to meet up is hard. Anyone who has ever tried to organise anything with students will know it is easier to herd cats than it is students. It is no exaggeration when I say I have tried to plan a meetup with my flatmates from first year for months with little success thus far. Everyone has hectic schedules and different times they're headed home. That being said, small gatherings are still possible, and they can be fun. But not always. The honest downside is that sometimes not everyone can make it, and there's somebody left out.
Sometimes, that person is you. You're the person left out from the parties, the dinners and the group Arches photos. Like me.

A night in with Netflix still counts as a celebration! Image credit:  Vlada Karpovich

But don't let others rain on your parade! You've put in all that hard work, so don't let other people ruin it for you. Society as a whole has created this harmful stereotype that you celebrate as a group, celebrating alone is for weirdos and losers. Not everyone enjoys group celebrations. Not everyone has the connections for group celebrations. Society as a whole needs to learn the value of solitary activities. When I submitted my dissertation, I did nothing remarkable. I had some lunch, watched Line of Duty, read a book on the green beside the Civic Centre and went to bed. It was a solitary experience and yet I wouldn't have done anything different.

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