The first thing that caught my eye as I entered the campus was the spooky lights. The entire student union building was decked in autumn colors, covered in hand-crafted ghostly creations and an assortment of lights glittering through the throngs of excited students. It was turned into a literal stage, filled with five dancefloors, seven pubs, all cleverly hiding little surprises, and one of the most fun things I am sure you all remember from your childhood: an adult-sized bouncy castle with a giant foam ball hanging in the middle! Cue Miley Cyrus’s wreaking ball iconic intro.
The evening started as all popular public events in Sweden do, with a long queue and a thorough checking of person to safely assess the crowd before entering the scene. Once through, my friends and I were led to the large community-hall-turned-wardrobe where we safely dumped our belongings. Then, it was time to let loose, literally. Navigating through the different floors and losing more than half of my group to the crazy crowd, I started my night at the underground club called Gasquen. The entrance held two video game setups, a ticket to the hearts of the many gaming enthusiasts who were buzzing around the consoles.
Further in, the dance floor was filled with party smoke, laughing groups, and playing in true Swedish fashion, loud techno music. There was also a place to get food and drinks, laze around on the couches, and strangely a theatre showing old classic cartoons. I obviously chose the latter! It was set up by a society of students, and they were using an actual old video camera, vintage reels, and a large projector. We were promptly ushered into our seats by our enthusiastic hosts and plied with snacks as we wiled away the first hour of the night mimicking the Disney dudes.
However, that was only the beginning of the surprises the night had in store for us. There was a photo booth, set on the first floor of the building with a crew of our very own cameramen. The students of Chalmers photography club had pulled through for the night and were all ready to capture the creative costumes forever in a polaroid. The societies responsible for the food and beverages had a grill set behind the same booth, cleverly using the embers for effects while also providing everyone with delicious meaty (or vegan) sustenance.
The second floor of the building held all kinds of new party trends, things like the bouncy castle, fancy beverage counters, and the biggest dancefloor in the entire building. We decided to try our luck with the castle first and after a relatively short waiting time, we got to pick our own music as we took turns getting in the foam monstrosity. (Shoutout to my neighbor who was volunteering there and helped us figure out the best playlist! To literally bounce to!)
The place was huge, and we had roughly fifteen minutes per group to relive our childhood. After many trials, sneak attacks, and not-so-serious declarations of wars, we, unfortunately, could not enact the iconic ball move, but the bouncy castle turned out to be the highlight of my night! Or so I believed until we stepped into yet another surprising nook, a silent disco. The concept was simple, but the neon headphones and blinding flashes of lights made it so easy to get lost in a world of beats and movements. It was a little slice of a symphonious solitude, away from the heady rush of the party and new people.
Another room was filled with party smoke and had comfortable couches. It offered a cozy place for the tired dancers to rest their feet. We spent a few minutes there getting to know other people, sharing stories about our cultures and previous holidays.
There were also some inventive motion-activated decorations, most notable of them all being an old witch who almost caused me to shriek shrilly as it moved and laughed from its position on the wall. The walls were further decorated with silly strings and yarns of cotton to create a sprawling spider web, and quotes from well-known horror pop culture.
After exploring the entire building, having a ton of fun, experimenting at the serving counters, and rating some really cool costumes as we went; we ended up at the main dancefloor. It was getting a bit late, or early depending on how you see it, in the night and everybody was gravitating towards the same central stage. The DJs were amazing and had the whole crowd hooked to their tunes. Chalmers student societies are amazing in general and really pull out all the stops.
We danced with strangers and old friends alike, finding warmth in everyone who laughed and fell into step with us. The night was young, beautiful, and bubbling with energy as we formed small groups inspired by our moves. The circle of people was ever-changing and that was perhaps the most fun part as we danced the hours away. The company of smiling strangers had never felt so familiar before.
If I had to sum up the evening in one word, I would pick happiness. There was not a single soul in sight who left the building not wearing a smile. It was a night filled with fun, friendship, and frolic of epic proportions. The party was brilliantly planned and excellently executed, with proper regards to the safety and comfort of everyone who attended the event. If social life as a student is one of your considerations while selecting a university, you cannot come to a better place!