The Saint’s guide to surviving Raisin


Whether you’re a parent or child this Raisin Weekend, Caitlin Hamilton has some worthy wisdom to pass on to you.


Purchase in advance

This is the biggest weekend in our academic calendars, so don’t be the parents who throw the lame party because all the party supplies were sold out when you made the Sunday morning dash. Set aside an afternoon to stock up on all the weekend essentials: fill your shopping trolley with plentiful non-brand alcohol, bottles of water, foam cans, weird and wacky costume pieces and (sorry to say) cleaning utensils.

It is the little things that make Raisin memorable, so take the time to get creative and make fun personalised name tags for your children (equipped with their names and your contact details). Also decorate your flat with streamers and banners, charge up your camera to capture memories for the family album and have the oven heated up to prepare those bacon rolls to welcome your kids.

Be a quick learner

For those who are first-time parents, learning on the spot is an essential skill to acquire. Much like looking after a bundle of new-born joy, our grown up teenage children will still need you to be by their side, spoon feeding them at all times.

Children can be unpredictable – one minute they can appear to be chirping away happily to the other children, and the very next moment, that 17th glass of white wine spritzer can spell total disaster. Before you can locate your better half for moral support, your child may be sobbing, violently throwing up behind your sofa, or worse still – completely missing.

This is where you can benefit from forward planning: before your Raisin party, plan out these following steps, which will be paramount in relocating your lost and very confused child:

  1. Time how long it takes you to run round every room in your flat (you should get this down to approximately 30 seconds), as the likelihood is that your child has attempted to locate the bathroom.
  2. Locate every possible hiding place in the flat (children can be incredibly creative), as your child may find have gone to look for a quiet place for an afternoon nap.
  3. Map out the most direct route (which, should be noted, is not always the most logical) from your flat to the nearest take-away shop in town. When kids want chips, there is no stopping them.

Gang up

All good parents should know that children need constant entertaining. Even smarter parents will know that there is safety in numbers. Whether you are the mums hosting the children through the daytime or the dads who get custody at night, get your friends on-board. Inter-family games and competitions are the way forward.  It takes the pressure off you as an individual having to provide all the entertainment, and children always enjoy a bit of friendly rivalry.

Meet your fellow parents before the weekend, and each bring a game idea to the drawing board and make a schedule for the day: you may wish to even share out your flats – use activities like scavenger hunts or three-legged races to move the babble of excitable children from one flat to another.


Stick together

You have academic siblings for a reason – they are your support network.  Raisin Weekend is a family occasion, and so don’t spend it quibbling with your brother as to who has to run to Starbucks to buy mummy the venti mocha she demanded. Instead, work as a team: one of you run for the coffee and the other grab the accompanying muffin.

Amongst your siblings, get your game plan on and tactfully work your way through challenges – make your parents hold back tears of pride as you annihilate the other kids at inter-family games.

Respect your elders

Raisin Weekend is the wrong time to display your dark, inner teenage mood swings. Be rude to your elders and you will be punished, and believe me, your parents do have the resources to make you suffer.

Whether that punishment comes in the form of being paraded down Market Street in a rather embarrassing ensemble, or being asked to drink the increasingly viscous dirty pint that has been festering all day, you will be made to regret that cheeky comment about your auntie’s extra-marital affair.

Remember your weekend

Yes, go out, have fun, get drunk and undertake some crazy (but totally legal) antics. But be sure that you can remember every second of the weekend – it could well prove to be a crowning memory of your time spent here.

One day, you too may be a parent. And by gosh it’s always fun to inflict upon your children the same pains that were inflicted on you during your Raisin Weekend.


You can view the Students’ Association tips for having a fun but safe Raisin here.


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