By Kate Douglas
When I arrived back at Rhodes this year, I felt old. As a fourth year, I am probably older than the majority of Rhodents. A lot of my friends who I have been having a mare with since first year have left, and the remainders are so busy that they have to schedule spontaneity into their timetable. I watch as first years hit the streets for a full night of partying. I try to join them but find myself over it pretty quickly. I even decided to get my seal-clubbing colours, but just ended up feeling like a paedophile. Yes, I am too old for all-night dancing, queuing for a drink, hangovers and naps.
However, I still have a mare. It is usually before midnight because I have to be bright in the morning for all sorts of grown-up activities, but it is a mare nevertheless. And I reckon they are the kind of mares that would put a Smuts jock to shame. You see, once you are a Rhodent, you are always a Rhodent. You just end up adjusting your lifestyle a bit so that you can cope with the workload. But we never stop having a blast. For me, one of my favourite things to do is to chill in a friend’s digs with a bunch of people that have to be up early in the morning. We compare workloads and the person who is suffering the least has to fetch the rest drinks. There is laughing, oh hell there is laughing. The type of laughing that can never take place in a club, mainly because you can’t hear each other.
Recently, I have taken to going to a friend’s digs after a heavy day of working. I arrive stressed out and, as I enter the door, I see the faces of friends that I want to see for the rest of my life and I am happy. I relax over a glass of wine or a beer and the conversation is always lively. My mate lives on New Street, so there are constantly friends dropping by. It never gets old. Occasionally, strictly on the weekends, we will have drunk enough to brave a club, but the best times are the chilled ones with friends – even if it is over a budget digs dinner.
So, I would like to make a toast. Here’s to the heavy flow of work we older students are suffering under. Here’s to stress, deadlines and constantly being busy. Here’s to never being up-to-date. And then, here’s to you, the older student, who has found a way to manage all of this and keeps on maring it up. It’s a balance one can only reach after living through the clubs and all-nighters of first and second year. It is a skill that tells us one thing about older Rhodents: they are awesome. So totally awesome, because once a Rhodent, always a Rhodent. Hell, I bet even our Dean of Students still mares it up in the safety of her own home.