By Kate Douglas
Whoever said university will either make or break you clearly did not attend university. If they had then they would have known that a student’s experience at university can never be simply defined in terms of ‘make’ or ‘break’. The truth is that university both makes and breaks you and Rhodes is certainly no exception. Student life is usually categorised by all-nighters, mountains of work, poverty, and a combination of sin and circumstance. It is extreme, but balanced. To put it simply, we work hard and play hard.
To all first year students: I am sure you are probably a little nervous, if not scared shitless, of coming to Rhodes. It’s understandable. Most of you are leaving your parents and have probably been shoved into a residence with a bunch of strangers who are unlike any of your friends at home. You are probably wondering what to expect as a student at Rhodes. Well, let me tell you. There will be disappointment, mistakes, heartbreaks and regrets. You will fail (at least at some point during university). You will mess-up and have lapses in judgment. There will be times when you feel alone in the world and other times when you have no idea what you are going to do with your life. That is the scary truth. But I think that you would be doing something wrong if you didn’t experience this. The trick is to trust yourself enough to know that you can handle anything that is thrown at you. You wouldn’t be here if you couldn’t. Your nervousness is normal. However, what is also normal is that building feeling of excitement in your chest. It exists there because, on some natural level, you realise that you are at the beginning of a mental metamorphosis and about to embark on the best time of your life. So welcome guys. It is an honour for Activate to represent you.
To the parents: Congratulations for having your child accepted to Rhodes University. You must be so proud to see your beautiful bundle of joy becoming a fully-fledged Rhodent. It is a great honour to know that your child will be getting a first-class education at one of the top universities. What you must remember is that by sending your child to Rhodes, you are giving them much more than an education. From the beginning, Rhodes students learn the art of procrastination, a skill most universities sadly neglect to teach. During their time here, most students learn how to put off doing work to the very last possible moment. Rhodes students also strive to excel in whatever they do. The fact that Rhodents have a reputation for being some of the greatest drinkers in the world should be evidence of this. Tri-Varsity in third term displays mass student participation and team spirits. Other sporting activities such as the BP Run, bush-diving and the Walk of Shame are also widely participated in. So, there is no need to worry. Enjoy a beer with your child at the Rat and Parrot. Reminisce about the time that you were their age. Just take comfort in the fact that your child is becoming a Rhodent and that failure is character building.
To returning students: Welcome back guys. The Activate team wishes you a happy and successful year of studying and looks forward to seeing all your familiar faces again. Enjoy your O-Week and take it easy with the clubbing.