As seventh week arrives and we all surrender to the inevitable zombie-like exhaustion, Scrooge’s words can seem more pertinent than ever: “Merry Christmas! What right have you to be merry? What reason have you to be merry?” However, the trick to surviving, if not thriving, during Oxmas is recognising that even if discernible reasons to be merry are a bit thin on the cobbled ground, we all have the right to enjoy ourselves after weeks of gruelling term time.
The first and most crucial tactic for getting through Oxmas is to engage in mental time travel, or at least intense wilful ignorance. Accept the fact that a college Christmas tree is up, and that Hall is serving inexcusable numbers of brussel sprouts and soggy Christmas pudding over a month before the big day.
It is worth highlighting here how uniquely Oxonian (read: illogical and freakish) these premature festivities are. Nowhere else in the country are the not-so mellifluous tones of Mariah Carey’s ‘All I Want for Christmas is You’ so universally audible, from the cheese floor of Park End to the depressing shops of Westgate – although, let’s face it, they’ve been decked up in festive trimming since their opening in October.
My second tip, although admittedly this may be one more for the girls and anyone identifying as such, is to find any and all festive formal events, and shamelessly exploit this opportunity for sequins and red lipstick. Let’s be honest, gratuitous formal events (and the consequent Instagram material) are the USP of an Oxbridge education.
When academic zeal fails you, and you find yourself crying over the Shmoop summary of Paradise Lost and an unsympathetic cup of Mug Shot instant pasta, put your name down for as many Oxmas formal dinners as you can find within a one-mile radius. Then, spend whatever remains of your student loan (for me, this is a humble £6.20) on a glittery ASOS mini dress. It doesn’t matter if you only attend a single guest formal with incredibly disappointing prosecco: there is always next November!