By Ciro De Siena
One Friday night, some friends and I went for a quiet one in town.
Half way home I stopped to pick up a friend opposite the Mosque. While stopped, I saw a student running extraordinarily quickly down the middle of the road. Following him, a tyre, travelling equally quickly. And following that, another student, fast loosing hope of reeling in the renegade rubber.
I laughed so hard I thought I was going to deafen my passenger. Classic.
This is Rhodes. It’s a bit silly, let’s be honest, but hell it’s a tonne of fun. That’s something you’re going to get used to. Sustaining a level of fun that is envied by many, and understood by few.
But there’s a bit more to it all than that, so without further a due, let me try and assist in helping you get the best out your Rhodes experience. I hope this on-the-ground advice will make your experience here memorable, survivable and most of all end with a degree.
Right, let’s get a few things over with. Well done for coming to Rhodes. Rhodes is the blah blah this, and the blah blah that. As you will have noticed, there is quite a lot of hype about the place, and I’m happy to report that most of it is deserved.
First tip: shut up. No one likes a big mouth, but that’s not the only reason. Learn to listen; listen to your lecturers, to your friends, to your teammates and digs/res mates. Listening is the only way you learn, and most of the learning you will achieve here will take place out of the lecture theatre.
Secondly, study what you want to study. I’ve heard horror stories of Rhodes staff telling students not to take Journalism because it’s too tough. Rubbish. Study what you want to. If Accounts blows your hair back, go for it. If sticking needles through moths is more your bag than go right ahead. And of course, if you’re here for a BA, as the majority of you will be, don’t think you’re getting a bum deal. Some of the most extraordinary alumni from this university all did the degree so loathed by your parents.
Thirdly, have fun. We’re an extremely privileged bunch to be here, enjoy it, but do it properly. Good nights out generally turn into bad nights out when they involve tears, blood, parents and police – in that order. Try and avoid all four.
Personally, I’ve come to love this place. I love the stereotypes which comically ring true over and over again. I love it in Summer when the trees re-leaf and the rain goes away (well that’s the idea, anyway). This is a stunningly beautiful campus.
I love that lecturers quickly know you by name, and insist that you refer to them by their first names. Having all your friends so close by is magic, and hell I miss it when I go home.
It has its problems though. Mostly it’s the students who can’t see past their noses that cause it, but sometimes it’s greater than that.
But most of all, I hate the bubble that Rhodes exists in. This is not the real world. Keep your eyes open, realise that, and you’ll be just fine.