We spoke to the people who had an East Slope reunion 11 years after leaving
“We used to drink snakebites in our pyjamas with joints tucked behind our ears at East Slope bar. I’m sure many still do.”
The demolition of our beloved East Slope is rapidly approaching. When Elissa and her friends found out, they came back to Sussex to reminisce and pay their East Slope respects. We look back with Elissa on her East Slope memories and hear about their reunion antics.
Josh, Elissa, Becci, Guy, Rosie and Ben were all East Slope residents 11 years ago. After hearing about East Slope being knocked down in June, Elissa gathered her group of old flat mates and asked them to join her for a Sussex reunion. Elissa and her friends felt like the knocking down of East Slope was the end of an era for them and after twelve years, coming back to Sussex was something quite special.
How do you feel about East Slope being knocked down?
Speaking to The Tab Sussex, Elissa says "we're gutted that East Slope is finally being demolished, the threat has loomed for years".
She goes on to reminisce her East Slope days, "you know it has the exact same vibe, both the bar and the halls. They have that really laid back, come as you are vibe. Although, it is a bit sticky and grotty, but that is the magic of student life. It is so free to be that comfortable with who you are."
What did you up to on your reunion?
Elissa tell us, "we met at the bar, had a few drinks, well I say a few, we literally had two, we're old now you see! Then, we went on a walk around East Slope and knocked on the doors of our old flats, which was odd. I think we freaked a few young students out, trying to impose our nostalgia on them!"
Grateful to not be a poor student now, Elissa and her mates enjoyed the sun the next day, swimming in the Baltic sea and drinking cocktails, "because we can afford them now!" Elissa also told us: "we may have also secured some mementos from campus, and for that, we are truly sorry!"
What was the best East Slope night during your time at Sussex?
"There was so many. Halloween was always a good one, we got into all sorts of mischief " says Elissa. "Once me and two other girls decided to wear our watermelon 'fancy a bite?' knickers on top of our tights and went and tore up the dance floor in the Hothouse. We danced in our pants until dawn, it was legendary". Hothouse was what is now Room 76. Back then, it was a nightclub behind Falmer bar.
Not much seems to have changed at East Slope, Elisa talks about how even the walls are just as sweaty now as they were back then. "We used to drink snakebites in our pyjamas with joints tucked behind our ears at East Slope bar. I'm sure many still do." Yep, not much has changed at all.
What was your best memory at East Slope?
East Slope is renowned for its naughty parties. Speaking to The Tab Sussex, Elissa says "we had some infamous house parties in our opposite flats number 34 and 37".
The classic Christmas dinner came up too and it looks like things haven't changed much there either. Elissa shared memories of using both ovens to host a massive Christmas dinner. "Of course, the best memory from my time at Sussex were the friendships made and cycling down to the beach in a storm, with a flask of red wine and a box of cookies, talking about all the things we were going to do with our lives".
What advice would you give your Eastslope self?
"I'd tell my 19-year-old self to give the impossibly difficult classes a real go. I always felt like I wasn't academic enough to deserve a seat in lectures, I wish I could have owned it more, and had the confidence to really seek out a mentor in my tutors".
For Elissa, it was East Slope's feisty free spirit that won her heart, "even after East slope is gone, just retain that feisty free spirit that's associated with it" she says.
How did coming back to Sussex make you feel? Would you have changed anything if you could?
"It made me feel like a kid again. It was the perfect weekend actually. I felt a pang of sadness for lost youth but everyone thought we were 23 so that was great to hear. We're 31-34! But mostly I just felt really privileged to still know the people that made the experience what it was."
Elissa tells us: "uni can be hard. Having to discipline yourself to get through the degree can be overwhelming at times. However, I wouldn't change a thing. I made life long friends and it's all part of the journey!"
Would you prefer to be a Sussex student now, or when you were 11 years ago?
The best part of uni back then for Elissa was the lack of social media. The idea of the running commentary on life that is open to judgement through social media terrified her and her mates. "I'm really grateful that I did uni before social media took off, we were just living in the moment, not curating it. I miss that."
After eleven years, it looks like East Slope, its residents, and its free spirit vibe hasn't changed so much after all.