Skip to content

Two Sides of the Coin: Should You Bring a Date to Carbolic?

Sarah Harvey (1L)


If years of reading YM and being forced to watch endless episodes of Grey’s Anatomy do not make me qualified to write this article, then no amount of formal training would. That being said, I suggest you take my advice with a grain of salt, because it will make it much tastier to swallow. Here are my top three reasons you should bring a date to the Carbolic Smoke Ball.

Someone to laugh with and at you
If the name of Carbolic has not already made it clear, law students are unbelievably witty and funny. When you invariably make the perfect pun, or that belly busting one-liner, you do not want to be laughing alone. Not only will that make the rest of us judge you aggressively, but your genius will go wasted which is an outright shame.

It is a great opportunity to ask that someone you have been crushing on out
We have all been in school for a few months now and, between the numerous opportunities to get inappropriately inebriated and the stress of exams, you are bound to have developed eyes for a certain someone in the group. Carbolic offers the opportunity to go on a date with the one you fancy, with a built in back-out plan if things go wayward. Additionally, you can evade all the usual first date hoopla by avoiding complicated things like deciding who will pick up the cheque.

Bring a friend and get out of your shell
Maybe you are attached, or you are not face-stalking someone in law school at the moment, but you still want to go and get to know the fabulous people in the school. There is no shortage of events to go to, but if you are the shy type of person, trying to talk to people in a large group setting may be more terrifying than your Foundations final. Bringing a friend will help you let your guard down, and let your truly awesome self shine. As an added bonus, people will get to know you beyond “the person who watches cat on a rumba throughout every class.” Plus bringing fresh meat (a-la escargot) will help diversify the pack, and potentially land your very single (and looking) friend their first date since the New Kids on the Block Reunion tour.

So, there you have it, three compelling reasons to bring a date to the Carbolic Smoke Ball. I don’t claim to have the wisdom of Montel Williams, but I can’t help but think he would fully endorse my arguments. No matter what route you choose, make sure you choose to come. All kidding aside, the U of A law school is filled with some seriously kind and interesting people, so do not miss out on this opportunity to get to know some of them.

Until next time, keep fit and have fun!


Jim Jeffrey (2L)


Carbolic, and all the dressed-up shenanigans it entails, will be upon us in just a few short weeks. Some with significant others ask, “Should I bring my sugarplum?” No. No, you shouldn’t. Seriously. And…why did you call him that? That’s gross. When you’re with him, you’re boring. You never win when you go out with her. Combined, you’re basically an insufferable killjoy. Stag, ladies and gentlemen. Stag.

You two are boring

People in relationships are boring, and this is particularly true of law students in relationships. As we know, law students don’t have a lot of free time. When that free time is spent being a homebody, watching Netflix in bed, spooning until sunup, or engaging in some other gross activity, such law students naturally have nothing interesting to talk about. “Omg, have you seen the latest season of Orange is the New Black?! Jane and I are in love with it!” No. I haven’t. Because Orange is the New Black is a terrible show. I also haven’t watched Friends on Netflix because that is also a terrible show. It’s as if people in relationships justify watching bad movies and shows because such bad movies and shows were viewed with their honeys and, thus, watching them constitutes quality “us” time. Unfortunately, quality “us” time does not lead to good dinner conversation.

Besides, when you leave your SO at home, you can talk about those things you did when you were single that were hilarious but you know you can never tell your SO, like when you swung on that chandelier like Tarzan.  

You’ll have fun/get into trouble without your nagging, perpetually dissatisfied bebe

Remember last Carbolic when you got wasted off of Scotch, dunked your head in the cotton candy machine, made out with that random hot 3L you’d been crushing on, and later used drugs you bought from that uninvited dude who wasn’t in law school? No? Well, that makes sense—you were pretty messed up. But everyone else remembers, and that’s what counts. And, most importantly, you wouldn’t have done any of those things if your nagging, perpetually dissatisfied (“Ugh, your friends are insufferable. Can we go yet?”) SO attended. So do those with great camera phones a favour and leave him/her at home. Or break up with him/her. Just whatever you have to do to make the rest of us amused, and make you legendary.

You can trade up

Let’s face it: your significant other hasn’t been living up to your standards lately. He’s buying you flowers, doing the dishes, asking you if everything’s alright. It’s really creepy and disconcerting. She’s jealous, always asking where you are, what you’re up to (“Seriously, why are you studying so late”)…those uptight, disapproving responses to stories of your friends’ hilarious drunken mistakes. I think it’s time to trade up; don’t you? And what better time than Carbolic, where you get to see the extent of everyone’s fashion sense and alcohol tolerance?