Some of you may have noticed that I haven't been posting much over the last few days. There is a simple reason for this; I have finally gone up to university. This morning I, along with 122 other freshers, assembled in the hall for this year's matriculation* ceremony at Selwyn College Cambridge. We all wore our college gowns (black with blue facings) over our suits/dresses (I now love British academic dress with all my heart). Upon our name being called out by the head porter, we made our way to the front of the hall, shook hands with the praelector** and signed away our lives in a blank space as indicted by the admissions tutor. Afterwards we made our way outside for the group photograph, showing all the students in the year plus the master, senior tutor, praelector, head porter and chaplain in a single photograph.
In the days immediately preceding this I have been overwhelmed by a raft of fresher's events, from services in the chapel to parties in communal college buildings. I have also been amazed at the great diversity of the student body of the college, such as discovering that another of the linguists in college is Tashelhiyt Berber, a historian on my corridor is half-Basque, and finding a great new friend in a mixed-Cantonese/Hokkien natsci*** even in the first couple of days. And this is before I even start my scholarly pursuit of linguistics!
That's not to say I've had an entirely positive experience (there have been one or two moments over the weekend where I've felt overcrowded by people, and I've had multiple attacks of imposter syndrome over the last couple of days) but I have managed to overcome each of these in turn, and in spite of these I feel transformed by the last three days.
I can only imagine what the next three years hold in store for me.
*the process by which students are added to the university register at certain universities, including Oxbridge and Harvard.
**a Cambridge specific title referring to those who present students for matriculation and graduation.
***short for natural sciences, Cambridge's highly competitive science degree, combining all three disciplines out of Biology, Physics and Chemistry in the first year before specialisation in later ones.
PS: here's a photo of the college I took on Sunday. From left to right are the chapel, master's house and hall.
First known on here as Karero