December Reflections: Best Day of 2017

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2017 has gone by in a total blur. When I was thinking about days I could write about for today's (OK, yesterday's) prompt, I would look back on Facebook to check the date and find that they were from last year. I have managed to narrow down a best day of 2017 though. 

Back in the summer my friend Oli invited me along to his college graduation ceremony, an invitation which I gladly accepted. Any excuse for a day off work to be honest. JOKE! I love and support you in everything that you do crap bag.

My day started off with a mammoth road trip with a journey that should have taken an hour and a half taking more than three hours. It was one of the hottest days of the year so far and by the time I arrived I was hot, sweaty, stressed and bouncing off the walls from all the sugar that I'd consumed during the journey.

It didn't end there because I then had to drive for another hour to get to Reading. I don't like driving to places that I don't know, particularly if they are busy town centres with scary ring roads, so I wasn't the best company considering I'd been invited to such a special occasion.

Then Oli realised that he'd forgotten the tickets.
I know what you're thinking. So far this doesn't seem like the formula for 'Best Day of 2017'. And you would be right, but it does get better and I can at least look back on it and laugh now.

By now we're really running quite late to meet up with Oli's friends before the ceremony so while he ran off to the college to try and rectify the ticket situation, I began to relax and finally enjoy the day by having a shower and putting on my make up and pretty dress. I don't go on nights out much anymore so I was well and truly making the most of it.

Oli came back both exasperated and relieved with the news that we didn't need the tickets after all and started to get ready himself. Once we were both suited and booted we headed into town for the poshest of dinners... Pizza Hut. Come on, everyone knows that if you're planning a drunken night out then pizza is the best option for soaking it up!

I'm glad I opted against heels on this particular occasion (I'm glad I opt out on most occasions to be honest) because we had a lot of walking to do. We walked as quickly as we could to Oli's friend's house for drinkies and then grabbed a taxi to the university where the ceremony and after party would be taking place. We all piled into the hall and grabbed seats right at the back like naughty school kids. It was finally happening - the class of 2017 were graduating.

It was so inspiring watching everyone go up to collect their certificates. These were people of all ages who had decided to take the leap and change the path that their lives are on. I was silently cheering them on all for having the guts and determination to follow their dreams. It really made me take a look at my own life and begin to evaluate what I want to do myself. I can't even describe how proud I felt when Oli went up on stage, clapping so hard that my hands hurt.

After the very loooooong ceremony, we walked around to the party venue discussing how Oli was going to sneak me in (we had discovered that while the ceremony was for friends and family of students, the party was for students only - cue Patrick Stewart again).

We needn't have worried. There was no one on the door checking credentials and so I walked straight in and up to the bar like the cocky student that I longed to be once again. And once I ordered the first round, I felt like I had reason to feel cocky. Two Jagerbombs, a pint of Heineken and a double Archers and lemonade all for £10.40. Man, I miss uni!
We spent most of the evening chilling outside and partying with one of Oli's teachers who has to be perhaps the coolest teacher I've ever met! As the night went on there were lots more drinks, plus lots of singing and dancing. It was like the DJ had taken my CD collection and selected the cheesiest songs that he could find. I felt like I was 19 again! It was less than two weeks until my birthday and I was making the most of being able to let my hair down and enjoy myself.
Speaking of which, the other reason that this was the best day of 2017 for me. I made a friend. I spent a lot of the evening chatting to one of Oli's friends Sophie (Oli ditched me to chat all things History with Richard the cool teacher) and she mentioned that her birthday was in 13 days. I did some very quick and drunken mental arithemtic before announcing very loudly and high-pitched, "Your birthday's 20th July? SO'S MINE!!!" The ensuing screeching led to Oli muttering something along the lines of, "Women!" while attempting to protect his hearing.

Despite the start of the day, it really did end up being one of the best days that I've had in a long time. Maybe it helped that I didn't really know anyone so I could just totally let go and regress to being the party queen that I was at uni. It's definitely not something I could do every week (or several times a week) like I could back then, but it was certainly great to spend a beautiful summer's day and night with friends old and new.
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