What’s the use of getting sober?


With just under a fortnight to go until I am free from exams, this article is a painful one to write. By no means do I spend every waking hour of my day revising – does anyone?

However, I find that whenever I spend time actively not revising – whether it be through cooking a non-microwaveable meal, writing this article, dedicating an hour to high-intensity sock organisation, or watching endless repeats of The Big Bang Theory with my housemates, I am constantly plagued with visions of the books and note-cards lying neglected on my desk, waiting to be used for revision. I think it is important, therefore, to have a few activities lined up for the end of exams, to act as motivation for the final push.

For many, the post-exam priority is getting obscenely drunk, and forcibly removing your recently acquired, in-depth exam knowledge of the medieval cloth market (or whatever) with jaeger bombs and shaggers, courtesy of Lancaster’s finest boozing establishments. It is worth bearing in mind, however, that if you abstained from drinking over the exam period, your alcohol tolerance may have vastly depleted.

Consequently, you will probably be incapacitated for the next three days until you can muster up the energy to acquire the elixir of life adhered to the back of the freezer in the form of some long-forgotten potato smileys. Mmm. If this does not sound appealing, perhaps you are looking for some non-alcoholic activities to celebrate your freedom…

Lancaster may not be a buzzing metropolis, but it is within spitting distance of some phenomenal countryside. If you book in advance and have a student railcard, an open return to Windermere will set you back less than £10, and takes well under an hour to reach on the train.

Whilst there, you could spend the money you saved from skiving a night out on a picnic by the lake. For around a fiver each, a group of four could hire a rowing boat for an hour to enjoy the views from the water. Just think of all those likes on your instagram pictures of your #boatfriends!

If you break into an agoraphobic sweat at the prospect of being at one with the hills, lakes, and fresh air, then why not hop on a train to Edinburgh, Glasgow, Manchester or Liverpool? Go and blow your overdraft on a shopping spree, or visit a museum or art gallery FOR FREE. If you choose Scotland, you could visit Edinburgh Castle, and indulge in a deep fried Mars bar to compensate on the heart-damage you avoided from not drinking. In any of these cities, I’m sure you’ll be thrilled to hear you could treat yourself to a cheeky Nando’s, which is surely worth leaving Lancaster for.

A meal with friends is always a great way to celebrate the end of exams as a group, and while Lancaster may not have a Nando’s, it does have a huge amount of choice when it comes to independent restaurants. The Water Witch, The Borough, The White Cross, and Merchants all serve generous portions of pub grub, but if you fancy something a bit cheaper, Paulo Gianni’s and Molly’s both have happy hour menus with main courses for under a fiver!

There are so many ways to celebrate the end of exams without drinking or even venturing further than campus or your house. If you’re confident that you won’t have to re-sit your exams in August, then sit outside with a disposable barbeque and fuel it with your revision notes (undertake this at your own risk, as I will not be held responsible if you fall ill with smoke inhalation or food poisoning).

Perhaps, however, the ultimate end of exams celebration, at no cost, with no hangover risk, and with no travel considerations, is to turn off your alarm clock, close your curtains, and sleep for a very, very long time.

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