I’m not even graduating (curse you, five-year degree), but there was never any doubt that I’d be making the journey back for Grad Ball to say goodbye to the class of 2014. I’d be lying if I said that a part of me wasn’t dreading it: fear for the future, nostalgia for the past and a good helping of alcohol can turn even the most stoic among us into emotional wrecks. However, after a month away from the Bubble, I think most people had come to terms with their inevitable departure, and as such there were fewer tears than I expected.
The relief of finally becoming a ‘graduate’ had left everyone a little giddy, and the crowd seemed in good spirits when I arrived at Lower College Lawn a little late at 22:15. Some of my friends had opted for dinner tickets, and reports were generally very positive of the three-course meal and relatively generous amount of alcohol included in the £70 ticket price.
For the rest of us, who had paid a reasonable £40 for our tickets, there was some food provided along with a free glass of champagne, although I somehow managed to miss both. The St Andrews classic that is Jannetta’s ice-cream was also on hand for anyone who wanted one last taste of the sweet stuff before popping the Bubble.
Two adjoining tents gave guests plenty of space to move around, as well as providing both live music and a DJ. The cynic in me can’t help but think that the playlist seemed a little contrived; a sort of last ditch attempt to make you yearn nostalgically for a childhood gone-by. But I suppose Steps and S Club 7 did make for a nice break from the mindless beats we’ve all become accustomed to thanks to years of nights out at the Vic. Regardless, everyone enjoyed it and bodies filled the lively dance floor for the whole evening.
The only downside to having music in both tents meant that choices were limited over where to say your drunken goodbyes to the friends you’re unlikely to cross paths with any time soon, or where to hit on that girl/guy you’ve been eyeing up in the library for the past four years (yes, the infamous ‘Goldrush’ really does exist).
As a result of the noisy music, many people were driven out onto the freezing lawn to say their farewells, with the cold weather rendering the – at times emotional – conversations yet more uncomfortable.
Speaking of cold, something that actually did benefit from the polar conditions were the two ornate ice sculptures decorating the tents: one of St Salvator’s Cathedral and the other of the St Andrews crest. Beautiful though they were, we St Andrews students are nothing if not innovative and I’m pretty sure I saw them being put to good use as vodka luges later in the evening.
Given that I had taken the train up from London at 7 am that morning, by 1 am I was worn out and decided to call it a night. As I walked out into the Quad, I noticed a sentence projected in lights onto St Salvator’s tower: “The Bubble will miss you”. And we will, class of 2014.
The Saint wishes you all the best for whatever you go on to do. We hope that St Andrews has given you more than just a great education, but also lifelong friends and incredible memories.
… And if you do decide you’re not quite ready for life outside of the Bubble, you can always come back and do a master’s.