Ten Things I Hate About AU: Except it’s all a lie and I love every second

Regardless, I will be there every single week

For those of you that aren’t lucky to be enough to be part of the cult that is university sport, Wednesday is that insignificant mid-week day that means nothing except being that bit closer to the weekend. For me, and most other cult members, Wednesday is a weekly highlight. As another AU event rolls around, I find it almost impossible to focus in my lectures (and my matches) as my mind wanders to the costume I have lined up for tonight, the jägerbombs I will be purchasing and the shapes I will be throwing on the 256 dancefloor.

Just like the 1999 classic this article is based on, AU nights are also filled with romantic comedy. Everything about it feels like home. The familiar smells, tastes and faces. Oh, and of course the all-too-familiar Thursday morning hangover.

If anything, this list is a poor attempt at convincing myself that my week does not have to revolve around a Wednesday night. Spoiler alert, I failed.

1. The heat

Now the heat is truly unbearable. Especially since you are usually clad in fancy dress of some kind (swimming cap season is here- sorry Freshers’). 256 does actually have air conditioning but they seemingly they refuse to put it on during AU events. I used to have a theory that the heat was on purpose to make you buy more drinks but according to my next point, this surely cannot be the case.

2. 20 minutes to get one drink

Do not even bother overcomplicating your order with an exotic choice like Gin and Tonic. There is never a good time to get a drink and brave the queue. It’s banger after banger in that place so you just have to resist the urge to sacrifice your space in the queue in order to scream Olivia Rodrigo at the top of your lungs. My advice would be, double park yourself and down one immediately. Holding two at a time is just not an option.

3. Swilling yourself

So you finally get your drink. Approximately three-sips-worth and 12 cubes of ice (which will be useful later as a cooling device). You turn around from the bar, £5 lighter, and have to make your way back to the gaggle of sports people you came with. Personal space is out the window and by the time you’ve made it back, theres one sip and one ice cube left. Just make sure your top has not turned transparent.

4. Toilets with no door

The queue for the girls’ toilet never seems to get any shorter and its always a particular highlight when the only option you are presented with is the toilet without a door. Pretty sure this very cubicle hasn’t had a door since I started at university… three years ago. Just make sure you go with a good friend- for it is not what we have in life (a toilet door), but who we have in our life that matters (a friend that will act as a door).

5. Losing your fancy dress

If you’re anything like me, you commit to your theme week in, week out. This usually means you make a weekly Amazon Prime purchase for that one accessory that will make your outfit. Your justification for each purchase is that you’re building your fancy dress collection and you will definitely use it again. What actually happens, is you contribute to 256′ fancy dress collection or some hockey boy steals your hat (and yes, it is always hockey).

6. Not being allowed to dance on the bar

I’m hoping it’s not just me and my friends that always feel the need to get on an elevated surface in 256 otherwise this one is a bit niche. If you’re caught vaping on the dance-floor, you can usually sweet talk the bouncer round (with excessive promises that you won’t do it again). If you’re caught climbing onto the bar however, theres no doubt you will receive the unmistakable “get down or get out” look from that one bouncer that stands on the stairs and doesn’t move for five hours.

7. When it’s held at the SU

Petition to never have an AU night at the SU again? When you get that dreaded announcement that AU is being hosted at SU, all I hear is the trek to the Students’ Union, queuing outside Ali G and paying more for drinks. There might be a little bit more space but that just means that you cant find any of your friends all night. It just does not compare to a night in 256.

8. The photographer

This is a pretty recent addition to AU nights, and a very unwelcome one. No one needs to see a high-res version of themselves plastered all over Facebook the next day. When you’re already feeling rather delicate, being graced with your own shiny face on your feed is the last thing you need. There are some faces that seem to feature a little too often on the official photos page. Please stop feeding the photographers ego. On top of the beer fear, we do not need it!

9. When the lights come on and you see your reflection

Congratulations if you made it to ‘lights on’. Pretty impressive considering the drinking challenges you endured a mere four hours ago. Just be careful to avoid your front camera at all costs. You will not like what you see and it has the potential to ruin your whole night. Go home, get some sleep, you will look better in the morning (maybe).

10. ‘But mostly I hate the way I don’t hate you. Not even close, not even a little bit, not even at all’

I hate that, no matter how busy I am, I will never miss an AU week. The FOMO is literally unbearable. It is hands down the best student night of the week.

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