In the week following the end of exams, lavish celebration, spectacular fireworks, and drowsy afternoons fill the timetables of all students, as we partake in what is, in my opinion, the greatest tradition at the university: May Week.
During May Week, colleges hold either May Balls or June Events, which are Black Tie/White Tie events that last from around 8pm until 6am, providing excellent entertainment, food, drink, meaning we party until the early hours of the morning before sleeping all day and doing the same thing all over again the next day. Its a wonderful routine, one which differs from the bed-library-bed routine we experience during exam term. As much as i would have liked to have attended more than two of these events, frankly I didn’t have that much money (tickets range from around £80-£170 depending on which college ball you want to attend), and so I attended two: Downing College May Ball, an extravagant black tie affair, and The King’s Affair, something a bit edgier where the dress code was fancy dress under the umbrella-like theme, ‘GLITCH’.
Downing College May Ball had the theme, ‘Written by Roald Dahl, Illustrated by Quentin Blake,’ fitting as the latter is a famous alumni of the college, who was actually in attendance at the ball. The theme was expertly pulled off, as the main cocktail tent was called the ‘Giant Peach’ (and looked like it too), there was a Charlie & The Chocolate Factory room with the biggest chocolate fountain I have ever seen alongside a bathtub full of sweets, and there were some Roald Dahl characters walking around on stilts as we walked through the college. It was, to put it short, stunning to see. And alongside the unlimited food, drink and music, with the headliner DJ Fresh, the ball was honestly one of the best I have experienced.
The King’s Affair was something different, but was one of the best nights of my life, just because it was so fun. Whereas the drinks at Downing consisted mostly of cocktails, wine and champagne, at King’s there was unlimited amount of your good old spirit/mixer, but this was still so amazing. There was a massive inflatable slide which was extremely fun (and really quite steep) when you had had a few of those generously poured drinks, and with a photo booth, comedy tent (where many student stand-up comedians performed), and silent disco, there was so much to do. Plus, King’s College looked absolutely stunning as it was lit up, with the colourful interior of King’s Chapel looking in particular very impressive while providing a great ‘chill-space’ with inflatable chairs and live acoustic music.
I feel like I have had the best experience of May Week that I have had since being at Cambridge, and it was quite honestly the best way to end the year with my friends. I’m planning to save money & go to even more stuff next year, plus we have Girton Spring Ball in March which will be fabulous!