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Why Jailbreak Is The Best Thing You'll Ever Do At University

28/10/2016 12:31

Can't afford the 10-week inter-railing trip, or that massively Instagram-worthy Thailand vacation? Then Jailbreak is your answer. You may not get to bathe Elephants, and you probably won't "find yourself"- but you'll still have a weekend of memories nonetheless.

You and your teammates have 36 hours, zero money, and the goal to get as far away from the "jail" more commonly known as your university campus.

Essentially, Jailbreak is glorified begging. Leave your shyness behind, as to succeed, you need to beg for free tickets, all in the name of winning. And you'll do it too: "Remember that team that got to Australia? WE HAVE TO BEAT THEM!" I guess a positive is that Jailbreak begging brings you back down to reality, and teaches you to deal with rejection - ideal for when second-year Craig finally decides to call time on your alcohol-fuelled romance.

Jailbreak is also massively unpredictable. Whilst inter-railing and backpacking is usually quite organised (as long as you don't miss that train), the beauty of Jailbreak is that it is exciting, spontaneous, and you just don't know where you'll end up. It may surprise you how kind people are, or even how horrible they are. But we don't let a desire to win compromise our safety in order to get to a destination quicker. You'll learn more about the world in a mere 36 hours, and that's got to count for something.

Finally, and possibly most importantly, Jailbreak is a way to get students actively involved in charity work. Yes, it attracts some criticism, with some claiming that students are merely hiding behind 'charity' to have a mid-term escape. Let's not beat around the bush: this idea of a "free" escape is certainly a motivating factor. If this is what it takes to successfully raise money for charity, then Jailbreak is no bad thing. Raising money for charity is always a good thing, regardless of whether you are running a 5k marathon, or selling cookies behind a stall - let's not take away from all the effort that goes into raising money for a worthy cause.

And at the end of the day, if students are motivated to do something other than waste their weekend on a hangover, or run back to Mummy and Daddy during reading week - then I don't see how Jailbreak could be a bad thing. You probably won't look back and remember being President of that society, but you will definitely remember this break-out-of-jail challenge. Given the exposure to charity, and the memories and experiences you'll have as a result, there really isn't any reason not to take part in Jailbreak.

You don't need to fear travelling; you just have to know how to be safe doing it. However, if you do plan to make it out of the country make sure you are prepared for foreign travel, from EHICs to travel insurance. Check out the Foreign & Commonwealth Office's travel checklist so as not to get caught out abroad. It is also worth quickly checking country specific advice here and keeping an eye on up-to-date travel advice on the @FCOtravel twitter page.

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