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16th June 2022 Phoebe Mumby (2020, English)

Celebrating exams with a splash!

Exeter students have been celebrating the end of exams in an exhilarating and environmentally friendly fashion, as Phoebe Mumby (2020, English) reports.

As the end of the academic year approaches, students taking both finals and prelims are beginning to glimpse summer freedom on the horizon, but with the University cracking down on post-exam ‘trashing’ this year, Exonians have instead been making a splash!

‘Trashing’, as many readers will recall, is a triumphant though sometimes messy way of congratulating students on finishing their exams. For years this has often included waiting outside Examination Schools and then covering students in glitter, bubbly, shaving foam, paint and sometimes even baked beans. Such excess has long been discouraged by the University, and banned by Exeter College, and this year the University has stepped up its efforts to remind people that trashings like these are harmful to the environment, can attract vermin, and are expensive to clean up.

At Exeter the tradition (and College policy) has long been to celebrate in a more environmentally friendly way: using (copious) buckets of ice-cold water to drench your friends. Sound more like punishment than a celebration? Perhaps. But after weeks of exam stress, the feel of icy cold water thrown at you by your friends is not only a much-needed wake up after sleepless nights of revision, but a super fun way to celebrate with your fellow students. As you enter Exeter’s Front Quad, met by cheers and cold water in equal volume, it is a moment of exhilaration and release. Plus, on the right sunny day, an ice-bath is just the thing you need before heading to parties or picnics to celebrate the end of a year’s hard work.

And the icing on the cake: there’s absolutely no cleaning up required, just leave it to the sun!

buckets of water thrown over a student

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