Matriculation

Me in my sub fusc photo credit to
Hudaa Bax
What is it? An excellent question.

Formally it is when all Oxford students are fully accepted into the university as 'students'. It's a formality and doesn't have any real bearing on your student status.

What actually happens?

Well you dress up in your sub fusc which is a white shirt, black ribbon tie for girls, or a bow tie for boys, black smart skirt or trousers, black shoes, a jacket is optional and then a funny robe thing with tails coming from the shoulders that doesn't suit anyone! You go to the Sheldonian Theatre in small groups and are spoken to in Latin for about 3 minutes and then for about 10 minutes in English. The speech was a sort of formal welcoming to Oxford; 'we're so glad your're here, make the most of it etc.


Why do I seem unable to take a photo with my
 eyes open!? Featuring the lovely Ishwa Salim


After that you spend the rest of the day taking photos around Oxford, having a few drinks and going out in the evening.

All in all the actual ceremony is very short but the celebrations take up the whole day. It''s quite enjoyable but you are in a peculiar type of limbo; you can't really do any work but you haven't got a structure to your day either. It's a bit of an anti climax but a necessary part of the Oxford experience. The photo taking is by far the most enjoyable element.

It's not the end of the world if you can't make your matriculation either. Someone in my year had extreme fresher's flu and wasn't well enough to go and apart from missing out on the celebrations it hasn't made a difference to her experience.


Me with (most of) the history lot:
Raef, Will, Leo
A word to the wise would be adhere to the dress code, on the way into the Sheldonian the Proctor's are eagle eyed and will quickly pull you up on something if it's not right, a boy in my year was almost turned away because his suit was patterned and the dress code specifically states black or dark blue- you do not want to get on the wrong side of the Proctors because they can get you sent down (kicked out).

On a more upbeat note the Sheldonian is a really beautiful building, the crowning glory being the exquisitely painted ceiling dating from the 17th century. A truly wonderful building!

However, I found Matriculation a weird anti climax in the end because my ceremony slot was in the morning so it left a lot of the day spare. Most people went out and got completely drunk but I really didn't feel comfortable doing that, especially with people I didn't know. instead I went and got on with some work for my first essay but was made fun of for doing so which made me feel silly and a bit of a nerd, something I'd felt a bit in school but hadn't expected to at oxford of all places. I did go out in the evening though for 'Matriculash' which is a night of clubbing and drinking to celebrate. I did quite enjoy that but I found the clubbing dress was very different to at home where it's a bit more exposed, sparkly, dressy-up. In Oxford it was a lot more laid back and casual so I felt a bit out of my comfort zone being more dressed down, which I was surprised by. 



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