June 23, 2013, by Ollie


There are according to a thesaurus I just found 12 common variants of the word Goodbye, including swan song, ‘Ollie Steels’ swan song blog’ might be a bit too dramatic but it has a good ring to it. Luckily for me it’s not going to be my swan song nor godspeed or goodbye. It’s farewell until next time, as there IS going to be a next time. I will be continuing to share my anecdotes, my musings and my experiences of University next year. Hooray! I’m sure you’re all celebrating with me!

So that’s why I thought it was appropriate to say farewell.

Briefly I want to reflect on a hectic few days I’ve had. Sunday saw a farewell meal at the Rose & Crown. A favoured student haunt in Lenton and home of that infamous Flaming Burger Challenge. The challenge that I and many other students have undertaken and as shown in a few blogs back a challenge that defeated me easily. My dear friend Joe tackled the burger in a spiffing hour and a half, although a good 5 minutes of that time he spent walking off some meat and playing mind games with the burger… from outside.

Joe's game face.

Joe’s game face.

I went out Monday night for a friend’s birthday to the all nighter at Oceana. All night in the Cheese room. What could be better! I was out with a mixture of 1st, 2nd and 3rd (and not forgetting 4th) years and there was such a range of emotions going on. For some, results of their degrees were looming, for others the, ‘it’s only first year we just need to pass’ philosophy was evident in the amount of drinking being carried out but all in all it was a great night. I’d just like to say another quick goodbye (or maybe toodlepip?) to some wonderful 3rd/4th years I have met through Biology Society. They’ve been through University and received their degrees and are now going onto a new chapter. Through the socials that I’ve gotten to know them through I have to say they’ve inspired me, certainly with my involvement with Biology. So although they may be leaving, their legacy will last and I wish them all the best for the future!

Foam hand... why not?

Foam hand… why not?

Tuesday morning my alarm was set for 7:30am. Why on earth would someone ever get up that early after a night out. Why a trip to Alton Towers with BioSoc of course! It quite possibly was the worst idea I’ve ever had. My ‘mild’ hangover was to be shaken to pieces by a day riding rollercoasters. I may be at University but perhaps there are a few screws missing up there! When we got there we slowly walked towards Air, a ride we all managed to agree would be the best to test the hangover/rollercoaster combination as it’s so smooth and calming. But… the queue for Nemesis was really short so we went on that instead. Needless to say the sudden surge of adrenalin worked wonders for me and I certainly chirped up. I would recommend going on rollercoasters to anyone that feels hungover. It can only end well… I think!

Still a lot of the day of course was spent queuing on our feet and that definitely takes it toll on you after very little sleep/alcohol intake, see photo below!

thrilled to be queueing

thrilled to be queueing

Everyone managed to trudge through to the end of the day it was just a matter of queueing for The Smiler, the new ride at Alton Towers. However, we made a slight miscalculation. A sign saying 145 minutes was at the start of the queue and we had enough time to queue for that long. Excellent! It took us around… 90 minutes (1 and a half hours) to realise that 145 minutes doesn’t mean. 1 hour 45 minutes. It means 2 hours 25 minutes. The SHAME. 14 bright University students and we’d all fallen for it in our excited/hungover states. We held out for a little longer before accepting we had to leave the queue as our bus was booked to leave at 5:30 and we were all in the queue so nobody could go back early. The shame, the embarassment, the sarcy comments from other queuers (which sparked me into sending comments back) as we filed out of the queue. (which took more than 10 minutes itself!) So we didn’t conquer The Smiler but… we did at least get to the bus on time. All’s well that ends well… right?

looks like it would have been fun....

looks like it would have been fun….

Then Wednesday came, a day to relax? No. It was URN Sports Day and my team the ‘Newark Red Bulls’, sorry I mean ‘Have I got Newark for you!’ okay really I mean ‘Newark Hall’ trudged onto University Park not quite sure what to expect from a sports day that had ‘Hoopla’ as a main event. What I was about to face was the most physically demanding day of my life! Events ranging from a 4 minute speed bounce, continuous long/triple jump and space hopper jenga faced us and we conquered them all, mostly. The day was actually a great laugh and the sun shone all day. It culminated in a tug of war between the 4 teams that were taking part and I don’t need to comment on what went on. URN did it for me.

Team Newark Hall

Team Newark Hall

in action on the Hoopla

in action on the Hoopla

a lot of hands were harmed in the making of this photo.

a lot of hands were harmed in the making of this photo.

(more pictures and for the originals go to! http://www.flickr.com/photos/uonottingham/sets/72157634210841575/)

Wednesday night was our ‘Hall football team social’ with just enough players left to form a honourary 5-a-side team we descended on Crisis for another all nighter. That place is a maze! After an attack of hayfever I spent a good hour looking for another Newarker. How hard could it be when we were in kit! I’ll tell you. Very hard!

the start of the night

the start of the night

Thursday came and I popped home for a day for surprise, surprise. Staff training! Where I managed to contract an ear infection, brill! So Friday I returned to University to get my results, a 2:1 for my first year. Very happy! However, those emotions were masked by the fact that I was leaving. Packing up my room kept my mind off this but as I finished and I stood and looked at the bare surroundings the whole year flashed through my head. A remarkable year, a year that I could write another 1,000 words about but there just isn’t time.

Farewell A141, farewell Newark Hall, farewell Freshers’ year. It’s been good. Very good. I hope you’ve enjoyed reading my blogs and I’ll look forward to doing this all again. Very soon.

Have a good summer everyone!

the palace where the Fresh Prince (myself) spent most of  first year!

my palace for my first year.

The Fresh Prince's reign over!

The Fresh Prince’s is reign over!

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