I, like all of you I’m sure, am pretty chuffed that the sun is out. Campus seems like a different place, suddenly it’s awash with people as if the students of Reading University are solar powered. Of late, just having a scour over campus, there seems to be quite the element of pathetic fallacy what with the current weather. Now that them gloomy grey skies are out the way and the suns shining everyone seems a lot more chirpy. The shorts are out, the dangerously misinformed donning the ever fetching “crocs” and those without sensitive teeth are straight in on the ice creams. Smashing.
Being ever the optimist I want to talk about what you’ve all got to look forward to once those exams are over! A minor distraction allowing you to procrastinate and have a peek at something coming up to get you through these last few days/weeks.
Perhaps I read too much into these things but to me the university year has a strange way of fizzling out. There is a huge build-up of pressure around exams which starts before Easter which is way too early! As a student, every day seems to be a bit of a countdown, you struggle to maintain the motivation to keep going through the revision. Then the day arrives that you finish your last exam… there’s a mandatory polite shandy or two…or three… or a couple of jugs of pimms followed by in my case a somewhat hazy evening.
Once the initial euphoria has worn off however, you crazy Van Wilders out there ( you know who you are) no doubt will have a feeling like someone has just rung the bell for last orders at the bar a little bit too soon. People start going home for the summer, it all ends a little bit too quickly. This was definitely my experience last year, I loved every second after I finished exams, but it was all ending too soon, it didn’t seem as if there was a fitting way to finish all this university lark off. That is until the Summer Ball came around…
It’s very rare that you have one of those evenings where everyone you hope to see will be in the same place. Where there is the opportunity to round off the year or a period of your life on such a grand scale and where you’ll be given the perfect opportunity to say goodbye to people and the place that has played such a large part of your life over the last few years.
I’m hugely excited about this year’s summer ball, a great line up, open for longer than ever before, a bigger festival tent than ever before, more acts, a bigger fun fair, more bars. It promises to be a brilliant event, In fact for the first time ever we are randomly selecting five lucky tickets for VIP treatment. Those five people will get to bring three mates with them to a champagne reception, they will have access to our VIP lounge where they will be given a jug of Pimms, a bottle of Grey Goose vodka and iced buckets of beer. They’ll be given food vouchers for the evening and queue jump for all the fairground rides. They’ll will also be given VIP stage views for all of the acts and most importantly they get a free breakfast in the morning!
While I was writing this blog I thought back to last year’s Summerball… I’m hopelessly in love with Ellie Goulding so it struck me as very odd that she is not the first thing that comes into my head when I do remember that evening…instead like the sentimental old man I’m become, I remember:
Being stood in a festival tent in the middle of a field at 6am, with the sun coming up, Slightly merry (one too many merry) , Singing Never forget by take that in an incredibly manly voice, my suit in an absolute state covered in hog roast apple sauce, looking around me and being surrounded by some of the best people I’ve been fortunate enough to meet.
That was what Summer Ball was for me, after that I remember feeling like I had done my bit with studying at Reading. I felt like I had said all the goodbyes that I needed to and had finished my time as a student on perhaps the best high I could have possibly done.
I hope that you all are fortunate enough to experience what I did last year at this years summer ball and that it’s a brilliant evening. Finally if on the 17th June at 6am if you see someone a little worse for wear in a slightly scruffy suit claiming to go by the name Ben Haines ensure that he makes it safely to Mojo's for a glass of water and some breakfast.
Cheers boys and girls
*winning smile/optimistic grin
See you all soon