“HOCO” 2016

“HOCO”, or Home Coming to you and I, is an age-old tradition here on the other side of the Atlantic. Supposedly an event held to invite alumni and other ex-students back to celebrate their time at the University. Little did I anticipate what was in store for us uninformed and inexperienced exchange students…

Little did we know that our hall of residence, was situated adjacent to the infamous ‘HOCO street’: Broughdale Road. At near enough 08:00 on the dot, we awoke to a glorious audial amalgamation of vuvuzelas, S-Club’s Don’t Stop, high-pitched laughter, and thumping drum and bass in the distance. All of which were fine, except for the fact that S-Club feature rather unexpectedly in that list. I thought I’d left any trace of PopWorld back in Southampton, but evidently not.

So, it looked like I had no choice but to get up. Although my day didn’t start in the typical Western-HOCO fashion with purple beer pancakes, washed down with additional beer, and face painting fun, I nevertheless chose to venture out just after 10:00 to see what all the commotion was about. I wasn’t ready for what I was about to experience…

Immediately as I stepped out onto the sidewalk, I was greeted with unidentifiable food at my feet, drunken students doing their best to stay upright, and masses crowds of purple all headed for Broughdale. I met up with some fellow exchange students and joined the crowds, kitted with my very own purple Mustang’s t-shirt. As we turned onto Broughdale, it was obvious just how big this event was going to be. “It’s only 10am and there are thousands of us here, most of which are (impressively) already drunk” I thought to myself. This was the most intense and lively atmosphere I’ve witnessed since being here. Music, cheers, chants, drinking games, dancing, climbing onto roofs*. Nothing was going to stop the Western students from enjoying their homecoming. And they certainly made sure everyone enjoyed themselves!


* – Don’t fear, local police were on hand to look after everyone. And for those unfortunate enough to cross the street with an unfinished beverage in-hand, would see it poured onto the ground before their very (glazed) eyes. It was like real-life Frogger. Only with an element of intoxication.

The aftermath: a solo, solo cup.

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