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July article

Sunday, 1 July 2018

"Graduation Holidays", by our teacher Emma Hearle.

When you're in the thick of exam revision, there is nothing that keeps you going more than the thought of summer holidays with friends. I still remember a speech we were given at university about the concept of “deferred gratification”. Our Head of Studies told us that even though we thought we’d never get to the end of exam season, we’d feel ten times more grateful when we did, if we put our heads down, worked hard and really earnt our time off and time away with fellow classmates. This really resonated with me in my final year at university during the long, sleepless nights studying and days locked in my bedroom during a surprisingly warm, British summer.

Sure enough, we all survived our finals and shortly after we'd got over the week-long celebrations of having made it out alive, I went away to Mallorca with a group of 7 close friends. We had arranged to stay at my aunt's apartment just up from a beautiful cove and of course one of the famous tourist “strips” of restaurants, bars and nightclubs! It wasn't the first time we'd been away together, but having grown up a lot since our first trip away, it was the first one that involved more than drinking all night and sleeping the days away by the pool with horrendous hangovers (I blame the cheap sangria!).

We had all learnt a fair bit in the kitchen at university so it was nice to cook together and enjoy the gorgeous Spanish sunsets eating supper on the terrace. We hadn’t completely forgotten how to be students though, so not everything stayed so civilised. Don Simon sangria was now a (so we thought), more sophisticated bottle of cava and compared to London, the prices meant we could have more than a couple of glasses!

We hired a couple of cars and being one of the oldest (and bravest) of the bunch, I agreed to be one of the named drivers. If you’ve ever been to Mallorca, you know that a lot of the roads between beaches and quaint little towns are a little questionable. We should have filmed some of the trips out and what we encountered along the way; drunk tourists, livestock and angry Mallorquin drivers were all part of the adventure as we cruised around the island in our Fiat 500s!  One day we got our wires crossed about who was going to stay off the booze to drive back from a visit to Porto Cristo (also well worth a visit if you’re heading to the island this summer). Long story short, we had to spend the night sobering up in the car as no one was in a state to take on the drive back to our apartment. All was going well as we drifted in and out of sleep parked just by the port, when some old fisherman came banging on the window of the passenger’s seat! Apparently this had been his space for 50 years and we needed to leave! Luckily between a couple of us who had done A Level Spanish a few years back, we were able to explain that we would love to move but none of us were sober enough to. He mumbled something offensive about Brits abroad and off he went to catch his lunch!

This will always be one of my favourite trips abroad with friends and one I will remember forever. Most of my friendship group is now settling down with partners and babies so can’t quite justify a fun and frivolous week away in the sun as they did before! This is not to say that the same hilarious stories don’t get told around the dinner table every time we catch up! Wherever you go this summer, enjoy making memories to reminisce about in years to come.

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