May the First Be With You: A (May) Day in the Life

Most people had some plan for May Day. Maybe not a tight schedule, but at least some vague concept of whether or not they would be marking it. Not me. I’d had no communication with anyone the whole of Saturday, a choice motivated naturally by my need to ensure I didn’t waste valuable seconds of potential exam revision time checking messages. Well, it was actually because I don’t use technology from Friday night to Saturday night for religious reasons, but the first explanation sounds far more Oxonian. That I ended up using the May Day all-nighter to fix my sleep schedule for exams is sadly not a joke though.

When I turned my phone on at 9:30pm on Saturday, my May Day suddenly went from nothing to my group having planned separate outings: one to a rave and the other a more chilled all night affair. I opted out of a last-minute rave and instead joined my chill friends in an attempt to stay up all night. We failed.

While we were awake we managed to betray the kebab van we were supposed to be loyal to. Well, technically only my friends chose McDonald’s over Soloman’s – I maintained my allegiance. My friends didn’t even dare go up to Solomon’s brandishing their contraband.

Our valiant efforts for staying up all night may have been in vain, but we did at least manage to wake up in time to wait half an hour outside Magdalen to hear a choir sing for 12 minutes and then follow someone dressed as a tree to watch some people dancing: just your everyday experience, really. To top the whole morning off, I was offered a bacon roll from a church – which is objectively funny given I was in a visibly Jewish group at the time and had kept my Shabbat clothes on from the day before.

All in all, my fixed sleep schedule worked well for almost a week, until I started staying in bed past 9am again by Thursday. The overt academic benefit of May Day was somewhat limited, therefore, but perhaps I could spin something about adapting quickly to new circumstances and demonstrating brand loyalty. As we all know, if it can’t be put on a CV it isn’t worth doing.


Featured Image Credit: Naomi Reiter

Featured Image Description: Magdalen Bridge at 6am on May Day.