Grad Ball or nothing at all?

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With Grad Ball coming up in Week 30 and we are faced with the decision of whether or not we want to pay the 40 odd quid we are being asked to cough up for a place. As ever, there is a theme, and it may just be me being dumb, but I have no idea what it is. From the posters around the campus it looks like some sort of Greek tragedy thing, but I have no idea really. To be honest though, that is not really my concern about Grad Ball. What do you do if you don’t want to go to the ball?

I am not a party person; never have been, never will be, so I won’t be going to Grad Ball and I am stuck with ideas of what to do instead. As I am graduating this year, I do want to do something different, so I probably won’t be going to Furness bar (not that I don’t love the bar), but having been there four times a week for three years, it doesn’t feel special enough for this last hurrah as a student. I appreciate that there will be people who will be going to the pub but for those who aren’t and don’t think Grad Ball is your thing, here are a few suggestions of what you can do with your evening…

As friends of mine will know, I am a big big fan of food. I love eating and cooking and sharing decent food with decent people, so why not get a group of your friends together and go out for a meal? If you think Wetherspoons is a bit below the grandeur of the event then somewhere like Bella Italia or Pizza Margarita might be an idea. Use your purplecard for the last time with style.

Or maybe eating out is a bit expensive (we are talking about the end of term, after all) and the coppers can be a bit thin on the ground by the time week nine comes around, especially after the post-exam piss up many third years will be having. Get your mates round for a meal in your flat, each other them bringing a dish that they’ve cooked and enjoy their company in friendly surroundings (just remember your flat mates of course).

Not everyone is a food fanatic, so maybe a meal out isn’t your thing, but there are still plenty of pubs and bars in town that can make a change from the regulars on campus. Go to a pub that you have never been to. For many of us, this will be our last few weeks in Lancaster, and while we have had three years to explore this beautiful city, there are still a fair few pubs that slip our attention. Try the Three Mariners, The Brown Cow, The Borough (a very swanky place if you want a good evening out) or maybe the John O’Gaunt. Go to a few pubs in one night, so everyone gets to pick one. Make an evening of it; the people at Grad Ball are, why shouldn’t you?

And there will still be some who think that a night out drinking isn’t their thing. Then turn, my dear friends, to your DVD collection. Have a movie marathon with a whole group of friends and go all out to have fun. Popcorn, sleeping bags, air beds, the whole thing. A sleepover – uni style. For sci-fi and fantasy fans there is the Lord of the Rings trilogy, the Star Wars films (yes, I include the prequels in that, despite their tackiness). There are the Batman films, comedy shows like Friends, Scrubs, Armstrong and Miller. Take a pick of what people enjoy in your friendship group and go with that.

The point I am trying to make is that Grad Ball signifies something quite special to all those who are leaving. It marks the start of your time to say goodbye to a university that has nurtured you for three years or more, has moulded you into the young adults that are now going to step into the big wide world on the other side of the grounds. It is a night to remember all that Lancaster has meant to us. So go forth my fellow third years and have a night that you would want to remember, because while it may sound a good idea to get pissed one last time, I would (personally), prefer to have memories of my last few nights in Lancaster because it has meant that much to me.

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