Trinity finally did what every other college did nearly a week ago…
A scandalous Matriculation Dinner to say the least
So. The first article didn't completely flop! This is good. In any case, Week 2 has rolled in and out very quickly – and what a week it's been!
After last week's utter fiasco that saw a rabble of hundreds of Trinity College Freshers waiting in full gown attire outside the Master's Lodge only to be told there had been a "miscommunication", the ACTUAL Matriculation dinner and drinks soon came around. For those who were unfortunate enough to be a shameful two minutes late, however, a stern few words were offered by one particular member of staff, who reportedly remarked that such tardiness was "bang out of order".
One poor Fresher was so scarred by the whole drama that he had his starter, got up, and fled the scene, taking nothing but his place card with him. I haven't seen him since. Meanwhile, the dinner continued, with a variety of questionable-tasting alcoholic beverages accompanying each course – I am obliged to say that soft drinks were, of course, also on offer. That didn't stop some Fellows who, when offered a glass of port with their dessert, asked for the whole decanter to be left on the table.
As a Fresher unaccustomed to these kinds of events, Matriculation Dinner seemed, on the surface, to epitomise the negative stereotypes that Cambridge has earned itself. Don't get me wrong, the traditions are great and reflect the history of the university, but the novelty soon wears off when it feels like you're being endlessly judged for not meticulously following the right "etiquette". On the plus side, the food was to die for. I chose Trinity for so many reasons, because it truly is an amazing college; but that doesn't mean it's perfect. As the saying goes: "I'm not angry, just disappointed."
But looking past all of that, Matriculation Dinner also showed me how far everyone has come since moving in here. I distinctly remember on my first day being led outside my accommodation to a little area with a circle of benches. Everyone on my floor sat down in silence. There was tension in the air. It felt as though we were in an AA meeting as each of us went round the circle introducing ourselves, our subjects, where we were from, our favourite colour. It was excruciatingly awkward. I thought to myself: "It's okay, you can spend as much or as little time as you like with these people." Now I look at these same young men and women as the people who are making my university experience the best possible one it could be. I feel like if we had the same "circle time" now we'd be reading each other's Tinder bios out loud instead. After all, we've already shared our shameful Personal Statements with each other, so it can't get much worse than that.
I love each and every one of them so much already for their own passions and quirks and the endless jokes we have between us. I love that I can knock on one neighbour's door and vent about our next essay. I love that I can knock on another's and chat in Spanish about his small town that I coincidentally happen to visit every year. I love that when I hear the lift ping, I can poke my head out the door just to chat with whoever's arrived for anywhere from 30 seconds to an hour. I love that I can knock on someone else's door and ask if they want to do a laundry trip.
Basically, I really love the people I'm living with and all the fun we've had so far and Matriculation Dinner highlighted to me the massive progress we've made since arriving here.
So, to end on a positive note: despite the challenges that Cambridge is throwing at us, I know we'll get through it all together. Here's to the adventures yet to come!
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