Unless you’re a member of the Bullingdon Club, go to Christ Church, or have managed to wrangle some extra pocket money out of your college’s bursary scheme, you will be well aware that life as a student is wrought with fiscal uncertainty. Sure, the student loan is a significant boost to the old savings account, but once you factor in croquet cuppers stash, nights out and a subscription to Good Houseke- sorry, GQ, there’s not really much left to be getting on with.
As someone with far less dignity and a much higher maintenance girlfriend than the average student, over the next eight weeks I’ll be trying a variety of money saving methods so you don’t have to. A new term, with fresh prospects, no exams (if you’re lucky enough to be in the second year), and some cracking weather means it would be a shame not to exploit the finer cultural, scenic and epicurean sides to our city. By which I mean, getting bladdered at every possible opportunity.
The thing about university clubs is that there are lots of them. Too many, if I’m being honest with you – I can say for certain that no sleepless nights would be had on my part if (just picking at random from the OUSU website), ‘Oxford Uni Conservative Association’ was shut down. I don’t even know what Conservatives are – for a bit I was pretty sure it was something to do with an ugly extension that poor people use instead of a morning room, but then my granny kept banging on about Johnny Foreigner, who I presume is some kind of figure head to these people.
Anyway, whilst the majority of us would not be particularly peeved if Underwater Hockey practice was cancelled due to a spate of drownings, the outcome is that a great number of meetings are held all over Oxford with embarrassingly few attendees. Naturally, in an attempt to draw a crowd, many of these offer free wine. I think you can see where I’m going with this. In exchange for a brief/moderate/awkwardly long conversation with an art nut/keen green/proud biologist, you win at least a couple of glasses of Tierra’s finest, and in the best case scenario, even a couple of cheeky bottles of red in tow.
My editor has asked me to stress that this is a hypothetical situation, and that even in that hypothetical situation, they were gifted by the club president anyway. Probably. A quick search of ‘how to get drunk on the cheap’ online yielded some… interesting suggestions, but as a devotee to the piece I embarked on a night out as per its instructions. The results were a mixed bag: I can exclusively reveal that losing sleep (not napping during the day counts, right) and missing dinner (to be fair I forgot to book hall) gave me a dizzy and nauseous turn, rather than heightening my prelash buzz. Avoid.
The dubious doctrine of get your drinks over the counter sounded mental earlier in the day, but after a couple of tasty lagers I was more than game for a cheeky shot of Listerine. The minty freshness is only topped by a pretty savage afterburn, followed by more of that nausea from earlier. Avoid.
The pinnacle of the internet’s wisdom was simply learn the art of flirtation. If you have ever had a girl buy you a drink in Oxford, please write in so I can learn your secrets and pass them off as my own in a future article – ‘VK Orange? Classy choice. Mine’s a vodka Red Bull’ went down like a lead balloon. Baffling.