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How to survive a bop

Abby Ridsdill-Smith guides freshers through her tried-and-tested bop survival techniques

Picture the scene: it’s two minutes into the first bop of the year. The theme, something tenuous like ‘Churches of Northern England’ or ‘Examples of Longshore Drift on the South Coast,’ is being represented by a series of poor quality print-outs from the library computers. The drinks, mostly weak vodka mixers, are flowing at a rate of one free token to one drink, and the allure of Taylor Swift’s ‘Love Story,’ remixed with a combination of violins and reggae beats, is already beginning to fade. This horrifying, if universal experience, is one that unites all Oxford students – an experience that makes getting through Fifth Week look easy and the Bridge queue a breeze. The bop is a survival experience, and, just like Bear Grylls, you need to find a way to get through it (at least until 10:30pm, when it’s socially acceptable to leave).

First: you need to know how to prepare. Wear waterproof facepaint or make-up, so that the tears which will (doubtless) be running down your face by 9pm won’t ruin the effect of your geographically detailed depiction of Swanage.

When you’re there, it is best to remember that bop is actually an acronym, standing for:

B: ‘(Mr) Brightside’ – a song to be requested repeatedly throughout the night. When it comes on, be sure to embrace it with the commitment it deserves: whether this means starting a bar-wide mosh pit or reenacting the 2004 music video with perfect accuracy.

O: “Oh my God! I’m having a great time!” – a phrase to be said every 20 minutes in order to convince others you’re enjoying yourself, even if your soul looks as if it is leaving this mortal plane.

P: “Post-drinks?” – a great way to remove others from the bop, and relocate to a safer and less painful location. Good luck – I hope these tips can help you all survive and, even, dare I say it, thrive at a bop in future.

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