How to celebrate finishing your exams and the end of a uni era
What do adolescent toy-abandoner Andy, drifting palm-faced volleyball Wilson, and dangerously wet Leo Dicaprio have in common? They all said goodbye memorably, of course.
Finishing your exams is a cause for celebration, so try to dial down the heartbreak. But if you want the end of this uni era to be memorable, how do you do it?
Here are 11 ways to say goodbye with style.
1) Blow out with a BBQ
Here’s the perfect excuse to show off the culinary skills you learned this year. If you’re living in a shared house, and you’re lucky enough to have a garden, send the BBQ invites out now.
On a student budget, it’s more than enough to play host. Ask your guests to bring a drink, as well as a pack of meat / halloumi / bean burgers / cauliflower steaks. Just don’t poison anybody.
2) Part with a picnic
Don’t want to host? Get down to your local park for food and fun in the sun. Take a couple of old sheets, some supermarket meal deals, and a frisbee.
If you’re thinking of combining points 1 and 2, check your council’s website first to see which public parks you’re allowed to BBQ in. You’ll at least need a BBQ that has legs.
3) Lounge at the lido
I’m not one for dualisms but, in my experience, there are actually only two types of people: those who like the pool, and those who like the beach.
In the pool camp? Organise a group day out at an open-air swimming pool and get that holiday feeling right here in the UK. If you live in London, you’re spoiled for choice.
4) Camp with company
Now we’re thinking outside the box. Take a leaf out of Kerouac’s book and spend a night under the stars with your fellow intellectuals.
If you’re one of the garden people from point 1, you could camp out after your BBQ for a laugh. Otherwise, find a local campsite and make a trip.
5) Fun at the flat
These ideas are all well and good but have you ever actually tried to organise a group outing? Sometimes a simple night in is preferable to the endless Whatsapping and date shifting.
Board games, box sets, video game sessions, movie nights - the flat is your oyster. Get some snacks and drinks in, and enjoy a last hurrah in your shared home.
Read more: How to have a great night in with your group
6) Bathe at the beach
Living, as you do, on an island means you’re never too far away from the sea. Even in the midlands. Gather up some friends, pack a beach bag, and head to the coast.
If you’re in London, I can thoroughly recommend Southend-on-Sea - the home of Adventure Island - as an alternative to trendy hotspots Brighton and Margate (both of which are actually delightful).
7) Depart with a dinner
Another one for fans of staying in. Hopefully you discovered over the last year that there’s nothing like eating together for forming family-strength bonds.
Invite as many people as you can get around the table. Do a potluck dinner, where everybody cooks and brings one dish. Yes, you can call it the last supper if you want to.
8) Frolic at a festival
Glastonbury, Reading, and Leeds are not the be-all and end-all of the summer season. You don’t have to look very hard to find smaller, cheaper festivals going on all over the country.
Round up your most glitter-friendly pals and head off to a festival for the weekend. You’ll find something to suit all tastes but those who like forgotten 90s pop acts are especially well catered for.
9) Combine with another campus
Worried about losing touch with your uni mates when you move back home? You could try to connect them with your old friends by organising a weekend road trip.
See if a friend at another uni will host you and your uni group. With a cheap hostel and some cut-price coach tickets, some beautiful new friendships could emerge from your uni goodbye.
10) Travel as a troupe
Ready to escape for a while? If you’ve got the funds, jet off somewhere with a few friends.
For something less strenuous, Europe is still the place to satisfy your summer wanderlust. Hvar and Budapest are so hot (and affordable) right now.
11) Theme park festivities
As a kid, a theme park trip told me the summer holidays were ending. My mum and her mum friends would drag us to Chessington or Thorpe Park before September arrived and it was too late.
Do the same with your mates. We’re not short of options here in the UK, with Alton Towers, Drayton Manor, Flamingo Land, and Blackpool Pleasure Beach just a few of many.