One of the biggest events of the spring semester in Uppsala is the Spring Ball. Each nation holds their own on the same day, and yet it is still nearly impossible to get tickets. I was incredibly lucky, because working at the cafe at Norrlands Nation gave me the privilege to get my tickets in advance. By the time the tickets were released to the public there were only ten left, and people lined up for them since 9 o’clock. 9 o’clock the night before that is. I saw them outside in the cold with blankets and sleeping bags… such dedication.
The ball started at 5 in the afternoon, and the day was surprisingly hot. The dress code was ball gowns and white tie, so everyone looked very nice. Sparkling wine was served before dinner and everyone took pictures on the balcony. By the time three hundred people were crammed into the room everyone was sweating and gasping for some water. The dinner was nice three courses with toasts, speeches, and singing in between. After the dinner the room was cleared and ballroom dancing began. There was a live band and everything was so fancy I felt like I was in a Jane Austen novel. Soon the magical atmosphere passed as everyone headed to the afterparty where we were served hot dogs and beer.
Finally it was time to go to the train. It is a tradition that after the Spring Ball everyone takes the train in their ball gowns and coat tails and goes to the lake. The train leaves at 5 in the morning… so by that time it was already nice and sunny outside. It was an old train rented specially for Norrlands Nation, so of course the party continued on board as people drank beer and sang songs. The train was so old that it took four tries to get it over a tiny hill. When we finally arrived to the lake we were served macaroni salad, some people were brave enough to have a swim, while others laid in the grass in their fancy clothes. The excitement of the night slowly disappeared and exhaustion set in. On the train ride back there were two categories of people: the ones that were still very hyper, excited, and probably drunk, and the extremely tired ones. I have to say I belonged to the second category and despite the uncomfortable seats and people talking loudly all around I managed to doze off a few times. We finally got back to Uppsala at 9 in the morning. People who had some energy left in them went back to Norrlands for a traditional lunch, but the rest of us decided to call it a night. Or day. Or… after sixteen hours of partying in ball gowns we didn’t even know what to call it.