Why snagging May Ball tickets is more important than your degree
Cinderella, you shall go to the ball!
"It’s not what you know, it’s who you know".
And by this I mean, living in Cambridge is not really about working for your degree, and expanding your knowledge in the library… it’s actually about tactically making friends in Trinity and John’s in Michaelmas Week 1 and slowly but strategically, ensuring that they give you a ticket to the ball.
With endless May Balls or June Events either being cancelled, or on their alternate year-off, there is a legit shortage of balls in 2018! This is a true crisis. Forget people still needing clean water in Flint, or the lack of electricity in hurricane-struck Puerto-Rico, this is the only humanitarian disaster that matters.
May Ball tickets are gradually being released like portions of Manna from heaven. And people, you need to get your dirty paws on them.
Because, this is it. The real reason why we are all here. The only thing we have over Bristol. May Balls are our only trump-card. All the weeks of club nights ending at 12:40, bopping to the white-noise of The Lion King, with a watered-down jagerbomb, are finally being made worth it.
The fact that May Week is actually in June, and that it is mind-blowingly extortionate and incredibly elitist is all going to have to fall by the wayside.
Of course we’re all anti-privilige and anti-elite marxists – but fuck it, we are all gonna have to blow 200 red ones on a one-night bonanza!
‘Girls in white dresses, with blue satin sashes….’ Nope not just the lyrics from the Sound of Music, but the dress code to these ostentatious affairs.
White tie, silk gloves, tuxedos and floor-length gowns… yep, we all look like total twats, but you do it for the insta, for your Mum to show off to her colleagues at work, and for the A-Level school teacher who believed in you. This is what they would want, you tell yourself, as you begin to double your ball expenditure on hair, make-up and the ancient torturing device some call high-heels.
On a casual Tuesday afternoon, your friend barges in on you… trying to sell one of your kidneys on the black market. And by the black market we mean Depop, and by your kidney, we mean any organ that is simply irrelevant [I’m thinking appendix, colon, some skin]. Yes, this is a moment of pure weakness, but we have all been there. The fact that your student loan can’t even cover your rent, let alone hot tickets to balls means that desperate times call for truly desperate measures.
You’ve provided backing vocals for the guitar-man in the bin to get busking money and you have now even started selling The Big Issue outside of Sainsburys.
But here comes the tricky part…
In this situation, money is no object.
Trust me. I have one less kidney and a lot less dignity, and I am still desperately searching for tickets.
You need connections people. Whip out your Linkedin, Myspace and Pinterest because we need to delve deep into the trove of social media to snatch some tix.
This is the very epitome of trickle-down economics in action. May Ball tickets begin with the alumni and members of college, but never manage to fucking trickle down to us plebs!
You and your pals, one-by-one scuttle into the JCR, its 3AM.
‘How are we gonna crack this?’ One friend asks.
‘Does anybody know anyone, literally anyone, at Trinity?’
‘Have you hooked up with anybody from Johns? Even Alumni?’
‘I mean I guess that horrific guy from Tinder could maybe help us out. Wait. What am I talking about? It’s February, he’s definitely been snapped up by now. It’s too late.’
‘Maybe I could post for the 34th time on Agora, begging for tickets. Even though each post only garners ‘cry reacts’, all press is good press.’
… The John’s dream dies, you all decide to apply to work.
They say you'll be paid hourly on minimum wage…
They say it will give you the ‘right to buy in 2019’…
But for all we know this is all a pipe dream.
Also, God only knows what financial and emotional state we will be in one year from now, but one can only hope that we survive another year of Cambridge just for this.
So you choose to apply for picking up ‘glassware’ so you can get some second-hand drinks, or working ‘catering’ so you can finish off those wasteful portions. You are very much cracking the system. Hats off.
Some of the Balls even have a democratic system for this madness. With a dash less elitism, any student can purchase the tickets, if they wake up at the crack of dawn and continuously refresh their laptop until it crashes, prepping for this Beyoncé style ticket release.
So, you’re up at 6AM for the first time in your life, heart beating way too fast and hands sweating. All in order to 'catch' tickets to the 'ball', this is definitely exercise of some form!
You finally have managed to get yourself to a May Ball.
You may have traded in your hard-earned wonga, your extraneous appendages, and your blood/sweat/tears. But you have made it!
Now here's to spending the night continuously agonising over how much each exact hour is costing you, whether the food queues are worth it, how many snapchats you can bombard your home-friends with, and when it is appropriate to finally put on your trainers.