By Nikki Ritchie and Fiona Wallis
Welcome to Rhodes. You might have heard the rumours of raucous parties, drunken debauchery and epic hangovers. Those rumours are true. However, what you probably haven’t heard about are all the other things that make a Rhodes student a Rhodent.
You see, you’ve just entered a very strange place with even stranger customs, a biosphere cut off from the rest of the world. Welcome to the bubble we call Grahamstown.
You’ve just arrived in town and you should be unpacked by now, depending on just how much you’ve embraced the O-Week spirit. We should warn you that you really don’t need that third pair of high heels or your designer blazer jacket. There’s a far more laid back vibe in Grahamstown and the most dressed up you’re likely to get is for a formal party. That said, by dressed up you’re meant to take it as if you’re five again. On most nights out you could meet any one of the following: pirates; fairies; superheroes; Romans and a random guy in spandex.
Rhodes isn’t just about partying though. In your time here you’ll meet a lot of smart and hard working people, or at least people who appear to be smart and hard working. You’ll find most of these in the library during Swot week. Chances are though, if you look a few rows ahead of them you’ll find the person they’re perving on. You see, the library is not just about studying in Swot week and, if all else fails, the Kaif will be open for between-swotting snacking.
As much as Grahamstown proclaims itself to be a city, in essence it is really just a small town. This means that by the end of your first semester you should know everyone and if you aren’t avoiding at least half of them then you’re doing really well. Reasons for avoiding fellow Rhodents range from that drunken conversation you had at The Rat but can’t quite remember to falling down the steps in a lecture theatre. As much as you will probably want to keep embarrassing moments quiet, you will soon learn that no one at Rhodes is separated by more than two people and there are no secrets.
There are also no quick trips to BP or Pick ‘n Pay. Both shops seem to inspire a particularly social atmosphere among Rhodents, especially at various points on a Friday nights or the nights before a big essay is due.
No matter who or what you encounter during your time at Rhodes it is guaranteed to be an experience. You’ll soon realise on trips home that there’s no place like Rhodes.