At the University of Cambridge, nothing comes for free. Nothing, that is, apart from the three meals that demarcate your time here.

These come, suprisingly enough, at the beginning, middle and end of the (normally) three year course, and each one provides as much wine and port as you can drink.

The Halfway Hall is quite different to the other two meals, however. At the Matriculation dinner, you don't really like or dislike anyone, while at the Graduation dinner you know you're not going to see any of them again. In contrast, at the Halfway Hall you are forced to socialize with people you detest, and the only consolation you have is that you're going to have to wake up the next day with a foul hangover, and see their smug faces once again.

All in all, the Halfway Hall makes you realise how long you've been in the place, and more importantly, how much longer there is left. It's an example of the old "is the glass half full or half empty" saying. Obviously, the answer is it's both, and somehow it's too full and too empty at the same time.

I had my Halfway Hall last night. The first part of this writeup was written before the dinner, while the last part was written the morning after. This explains the definite downturn in mood, eloquence and content that occurs before the last two paragraphs.

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