What I Learned About Students From Organising My Uni Ball

Just because you look classy doesn't mean you'll act classy.

You will go to countless parties during your time at uni, and these parties don’t just magically happen. Behind every killer uni party is a killer headache for the students who signed up to organise it.

Back in April, I had a go at organising a uni ball for over 1000 people. It was one of the most stressful things I’ve ever done, but also one of the most rewarding. Here’s some things I never would have realised about students if I didn’t organise a ball.

#1 You Can’t Please Everyone

You can hear hundreds of comments on how well you organised a uni ball but one negative comment can really put a damper on things. Someone won’t like the music the band is playing, someone will think the decorations are tacky, and someone will complain that there wasn’t enough food that was gluten free, sugar free AND vegan friendly.

There will always be someone with something negative to say about you or the event you just organised, but you can’t beat yourself up over it. You’ve just got to take it with a grain of salt and keep doing you, boo.

#2 Uni Students Drink A Lot

Everyone knows that uni students go hard on the drink, but I didn’t realise just how hard until I had to organise the alcohol for the night. Venues usually base their drink packages on how much the general public will consume in an evening, as they don’t expect people to be sculling drinks left, right and centre.

Uni students go hard at a ball, and can consume the amount of alcohol used in a four-hour drink package in half the time. I literally had one of the staff come up to me and say, “We’ve never run out of champagne this fast!”

Sorry not sorry buddy.

#3 Food Is Everything

When it comes to alcohol, uni students will drink anything as long as it gets them sufficiently sauced. But if you organise a uni party with less than average food, I can guarantee you won’t hear the end of it.

I’ve realised that uni students are a simple bunch with simple taste buds, and they won’t be impressed by some fancy dish they can’t pronounce. They’ll choose a classic cheeseburger any day over something they have to google to understand what it is.

#4 People Looking Classy Doesn’t Mean They’ll Act Classy

On the outside, uni balls look like a formal event where students get all glammed up to enjoy a classy champagne or two. In reality, uni balls are a hot, drunken mess where things get stolen, broken and vomited in/on.

I don’t know why I thought dressing classy would mean people didn’t act like typical uni students. We had people throw up on the middle of the dancefloor like it was no big deal, and girls were going outside to pee in bushes because toilet lines were so long. Nothing says how wild an event was like receiving the cleaning fee the following morning.

#5 We Have To Take Care Of Ourselves

I had so much to consider when organising my uni ball. How do we hand out wristbands? Should we get a DJ as well as a band? Are two photographers enough? How do we organise buses to the after party? It all got very overwhelming very quickly.

Instead of letting myself become a massive ball of stress and anxiety, I needed to take a step back from it all and just calm down for a minute. Life can also get pretty hectic, and you need to check in with yourself every now and then to make sure you’re going OK.

Emily Steinhardt is currently studying Journalism and Communications at University of Queensland. She’s a Disney enthusiast who enjoys going out for brunch, taking photos of dogs and a good G&T. 

(Lead image: Friends/NBC)