Picking the perfect Docklands apartment for pres you won’t remember? Not sure if you should wear the orange socks with the blue umbrellas or the ones with the pink elephant riding a unicycle? Forget all that for a moment, because ESSA is back for another year with all the Comm Ball advice you could ever need. Instead of getting that haircut two weeks before Comm Ball (for optimal growth), shopping for dresses and ties, and desperately trying to recover sleep from that freezing lineup (seriously who lines up at 9pm???). Here at ESSA we’ve busted out our dusty economics textbooks to find the real juicy stuff.
Welcome to 2017’s CommBallnomics!
Opportunity Cost Paranoia – Yael Jacoby
How much do we value Comm Ball? Obviously at least enough to pay the $145 price tag. But very few attendees’ expenditures stop there. From apartments to earrings, Comm Ball is no cheap date. Yael tries to figure out just how much it really does cost for the average attendee.
You are the average, somewhat anxious student and Comm Ball attendee. While blow drying your hair, you start calculating how much you have spent on Comm Ball… you know this will cause a downward spiral but you can’t help yourself.
Firstly, $145 for the ticket.
The table pitched in for an apartment and the drinks at pres, $25 each. Did you pay too much, you wonder? There is probably a price premium on the night of Comm Ball given the spike in demand. For instance, there were only 2 apartments left for 8 guests or more around Docklands on Airbnb…something to consider,
For the preparations – and being conservative here – your new fabulous get-up was $100, but to complete your look, your black heels just wouldn’t do and the new nude ones were $85. You decided to wear your classy silver necklace, but your new earrings were $25.
So, doing the maths, we are up to $380.
You put the hair dryer down. You do look flawless, but the heat and loud sound the dryer makes is making you sweaty and uncomfortable.
You continue counting. You tell yourself to forget about the amount you had spent on your ticket, because that was nearly a month ago! You are ready to have a drink and forget all your troubles. Perhaps the thought of your Macro mid-sem (Metrics midsem too) on Friday crosses your mind, but you quickly push it away. Don’t think about that! You need to relax and get ready for a great night! You then apply your new shade of lipstick (Rebel by MAC, you were treating yourself). As you finish you remember that that was another $36.
So, $416. You tell yourself it’s okay, and anyway you are heading over to the apartment now so that must be it.
After pres you leave your luscious apartment all glammed up for the big night. The event is amazing and everything you wanted it to be, despite Shannon Noll not making a reappearance.
You take the free shuttle to the after party, wishing you had taken a different mode of transport, but alas walking was not an option in these shoes. After panicking that you forgot your ID, you enjoy yourself, dance and eventually get your friends and catch an Uber to the highly anticipated Comm Ball Maccas run. You are starving! You spend $10 on a 20 pack of nuggets and chips and head back to the apartment in another Uber. On your way to the apartment your friend throws up obliterating your almost perfect customer rating from the lofty heights 4.8 to a terrifying 2. Why didn’t you make them call the Uber?
After a while you pass out and only when you wake up you realise that your share of the Uber was another $13.44 – outrageous, thanks to surge prices.
Okay so, $439.44 – surely that is all? The economist in you kicks in (as it does in all of us, I’m sure) and you realise that you waited 12 hours in the freezing cold – which you pretended your sleeping bag protected you from – to get tickets! 12 hours! Given your casual job that sneakily pays you $17/ hour (below the minimum wage) that is still $204 of opportunity cost.
You cap opportunity cost there although you could continue to count the time you spent putting on your face, and enjoying the party. But you stop yourself.
So was Comm Ball worth $643.44 (a very conservative estimate)? You tell yourself yes, to stop yourself from hyperventilating at the figure. But only you can tell if your marginal benefit is greater.
The views expressed within this article are those of the author and do not represent the views of the ESSA Committee or the Society's sponsors. Use of any content from this article should clearly attribute the work to the author and not to ESSA or its sponsors.