So it was my birthday on Monday and it has without a doubt been one of the strangest days of being at University so far.
Mainly, for the obvious reason, it was the first time of not being at home with my family. Naww. I know. What a wuss.
I spent the Sunday before defying tradition of doing grown up things once one turns nineteen (your eighteenth year doesn’t count, it’s a tester year) by going to Laser Quest with four of the boys who live in my block, and Alison.
We split into two teams, James, Adam and Richie on one side, Alison and David on mine. We looked pretty hot in our fluorescent body packs, let me tell you.
With Alison on my team and her tenacious, crazy ways I thought it was a sure-fire win. It was, but only because David is an excellent shot and Adam, on the opposing team, threw all tactic to the wind and decided attack was the best form of defense. He spent the whole 40 minutes running at people, screaming, shooting blindly, then running away again when he got hit several times in the chest. It was like watching a highly entertaining demonstration of the Doppler Effect.
James was literally the scariest opponent ever. He made no sound but marched calmly through the game room, gun clamped to his chest, steely glint in his eye. It was like trying to take down the Terminator.
I love Laser Quest, with the pumping music and fog machines and general level of terrified hysteria that fills the place. It’s like the best bits of playing Tomb Raider but nobody dies.
When we finished, exhausted and feeling like kids just let out from Wacky Warehouse, we were given our score sheets. Alison and I both beat Adam. He says his gun broke but we know it was all lies.
I was feeling far happier about my looming birthday being spent at Uni by now. Eddie who lives downstairs made me lovely birthday cake and on the way home, David even brought me a Peppa Pig balloon. What with that and the party bag the Laser Quest guy gave me, I’m surprised I wasn’t stopped by a policeman in the street and taken to the nearest station so they could ring my parents to come collect me.
I woke on my birthday to a voice mail from my family of them singing a beautifully harmonious rendition of ‘Happy Birthday’, with my sister taking the bass line for herself and leaving my parents to fight over the alto part.
I found a homemade jam tart in the kitchen from my flatmate Becca and was blissfully showered in presents from Alison who had gotten fed up with me passing Oxfam every day and wailing “Oh look, look Alison! They have another wooden box in the window! Aww, I love boxes! Did I tell you my Mum wouldn’t let me bring all mine from home? I have? Oh.” and had brought me two of beautiful wooden boxes and filled them with Reese’s cups, a Snickers bar and bag of M&M’s because I have a lot of making up to do on the peanut front, due to my family being prone to nut allergies. She also gave me a box of the American cereal Lucky Charms, which are impossibly sugary and delicious and could only pass as a breakfast product and not as sweets in the USA.
That evening we successfully squashed thirteen people into our tiny kitchen for pre-drinks before heading to Leadmill. Lauren presented me with J.K. Rowling’s new book with a promise to borrow it immediately after I had finished it, and both she and Will filled out my cards in shorthand because they simply are that cute.
Leadmill, my favourite club ever due to their delicious tendency to play Arctic Monkeys several times a night, was heaving and in true party fashion we linked arms and high kicked until we could kick no more and also until there was no one left on the dance floor.
For some appalling reason, the club turned on their lights at two and tried to usher everyone out. We were the last ones left in the club, mostly because the boys were taking the opportunity to mine-sweep around the room and also because we are not ones to be put off dancing simply because there is no longer any music.
Not to be quelled, we took a long and amusing route to a late night pub during which several people fell over and one individual had to be saved from jumping into a giant water feature.
We tried really hard, but no one could fit in the golden postbox.
I nurture a great love for pubs since coming to Uni, not just for the great choice of drinks but because it is the only chance I get to sit on a chair that doesn’t have a desk attached to it.
After getting drinks and reveling in having access to a sofa, we realised we had lost Richie. How exactly we will never be sure. He followed us into the pub and to the bar but somewhere between the chair-love and the ginger beers we lost track of him.
Fearing he may be lying stricken in a bus stop somewhere we headed back, relying on the old truth that you should never waste time looking for a missing person – they always find their way home. Wait no, that’s dogs.
Thankfully he was home, so we spent the last remaining hours of darkness frying eggs, eating toast and in my case throwing the marshmallows from the box of Lucky Charms at Adam until he caught one in his mouth. Judging by the amount of mallows left on the kitchen floor, we weren’t very good at it.
It wasn’t until five am we finally decided to call it a night. I have yet to catch up on my sleep properly but am determinedly refusing to give in to using Pro-Plus every time Will waves the box tantalizingly under my nose.
I did miss seeing my family on my birthday, but now I have my own little shoal of Uni beauties here, I didn’t mind too much.
Besides, this means I get my presents when I go home in three weeks. Sweet.
Images courtesy of Google I hope next year I get to try Captain Crunch as well. Because you love me Alison.