As the weeks of Hilary plodded on, I became increasingly desperate in my attempts to avoid responsibilities and the crushing existential dread of Oxford life.
Park End Wednesday? Sure. PT Thursday? Why not. Wine Café on a Friday afternoon? Sounds good to me. However, my avoidant behaviour had never taken me to such lows as it did in fifth week when, having exhausted every half-decent club in the city and dragged my friends out on a three-day bender, I decided to venture into the underworld of Oxford’s nightlife – Emporium.
Bracing myself for what I already knew would be an awful night, I liquored up and switched my usual black bodysuit for a ‘jeans and a nice top’, in line with the lacklustre dress code of the venue. I hadn’t been to the club since Freshers’ Week, despite the incessant promotion from our college’s club night rep, and yet memories of an overcrowded bar area and bizarre concentric dance floors still haunted my nightmares.
VK in hand, I made my way to the queue where, surprisingly, I didn’t have to wait that long before I was let in. The ease of my entrance was unexpected, and raised my hopes that perhaps it wouldn’t be as awful a night as I’d anticipated.
Once I got inside, however, my expectations plummeted back to their subterranean origins. The bar was being swarmed by desperate rowing boys, eager to make the most of their one night out all term by getting absolutely smashed on vodka cranberries and chatting up the (clearly uninterested) girls next to them. I took a deep breath, said a prayer, and dived head first into the pseudo-mosh pit, desperate to make my way to the front of the queue. By the time I had my double G&T in hand, I was also covered in various other nondescript liquids and the sweat of several over- friendly strangers.
Back to the dance floor, then, and this was where I began to really let go. The music was crap, but not in a particularly shocking way – more in a ‘the DJ is clearly as fucked as we are and still thinks that Despacito is relevant’ kind of way. Regardless, my boozed-up self was able to gain some enjoyment out of the painfully mediocre playlist, and if I closed my eyes, I could almost pretend I was in Bridge.
Overall, it definitely surpassed my expectations of what the night would be like, but only because they had been abysmally low in the first place. Moral of the story, kids: aim low, and you’ll never be disappointed.