Night Out: the Oxford experience

The trials and tribulations of a typical Oxford night out


Any Oxford night out inevitably starts with pre-ing in your corridor. Almost equally as inevitable is the arrival of a junior dean, who reminds you more than three people in a room is a ‘party’ and that you will be ‘deaned’ if you don’t stop making such a racket.

Don’t they understand our need as students to relax after an intense day of skipping lectures, endless repeats of Friends, and a brunch outing? So you proceed to your college bar. Despite being ‘heavily subsidised’, the drinks are of course the same price as those at a rooftop bar somewhere in trendy East London. But, unlike trendy East London bars, your college bar is a sweaty basement with sticky tables and peeling wallpaper. And what’s that funny smell?

When the bar staff tell you ‘you can’t drink your own drinks in here’, you explain that it isn’t your drink but your friends. Yet they’re still intent on halting your consumption. But there’s no way you’re arriving at that club sober. No. Way. There’s nothing for it but to down the bottle on the walk to the club. It’s the sensible thing to do.

As usual you forgot to buy a ticket, so as you arrive at the club and all your friends proceed to the door, you are consigned to the very back of the queue. It’s fine though, you’re just tipsy enough to bear it and you still have more to drink. The queue inches forward, and so far you can ignore the cheers of the ‘lads’ behind you. Actually, they’re pretty close behind you. Some personal space please?

After drunkenly reassuring the bouncer that the photo on your learner license is indeed you, they let you in. Even though you’re in the second year of a law degree, and you’re pretty sure there are discrimination laws against charging men more than women, you hand over your money. You’re in.

In hindsight, the hurdles you have to jump over before even being admitted into the club and the just about average – or, depending on the club, below average – night you’ll have, don’t make the experience seem worthwhile. I’d rather watch another episode of Friends – the one where Rachel turns 30, or ‘The One Where Chandler and Monica Get Engaged’ (gets me every time). Hey, don’t let me stop you – but you should probably start queuing now if you want to get in.

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