My quest to be beau of the annual Ball

By James Genn, March 3, 2011

The Oxford JSoc masquerade ball is the most highly anticipated and attended event in the calendar.

Of course, I had to go, but this meant spending lots of money on the items needed for the black tie event.

On top of buying my ticket, I needed a masquerade mask. This meant locating a shop in Oxford that sells them, only to find too many different options to be able to choose.

I needed to buy some black leather shoes because my old ones were too small, and I needed a tie – which is an item of clothing I haven't worn since my school uniform days.

I had to rent my first ever tuxedo, which didn't actually feel any different to the much cheaper suits that I used to wear in the sixth form.

All of this added up to the most expensive night out that I have ever had, but it was worth it, especially for the catered food.

It was also the first time so far during university where both my parents simultaneously became nosey and interfering.

They had both developed Jewish parent syndrome at different times during the year, but never before simultaneously.

I know that when you are a single teenage boy and you are going to a ball, your parents will ask you who you are going with. The only surprise was that they thought I would tell them, just because they asked.

Being a teenage student is all about being secretive, and as I only have a few weeks left as a teenager, I plan on making the most of this right.

James Genn, 19, is from Hertfordshire, and studies at Oxford Brookes University

Last updated: 10:54am, March 3 2011