Oxford have this thing where all of the freshers have to be formally admitted into the university and this is called Matriculation. We wear sub fusc (black gowns, white shirts, black skirt/trousers, ribbon/bow tie etc. – it basically means dark formal clothing in Latin), carry our mortarboard (for we’re not allowed to wear them until we graduate apparently) and are shuttled off the the Sheldonian Theatre for the ceremony.
This takes place on Saturday of 1st Week (yes, Oxford have yet another strange thing of naming weeks within terms) which is essentially the first Saturday of term – so not freshers’ week. As our college is one of the oldest, we (unfortunately) had the earliest ceremony time and had to assemble at 8:15am before heading over. It only took about twenty minutes and a few Latin sentences were read (I actually understand most of it?!) and then we were free to go. Traditionally, drinking starts incredibly early on the day of Matriculation (or Matriculash as Oxford students like to call it) but most of us hadn’t even eaten breakfast yet!
The day was spent taking lots and lots of *candid* photos, eating breakfast (and then brunch, whoops) and then having our formal photographs taken in the garden. After this, most people went back to their rooms to do work (matriculibrary??) but then matriculash began and everyone went out clubbing. Here are a selection of photos:
We became tourist attractions for the day and, though it is a little silly and weird to be walking around like this for the whole day, I think we kinda enjoyed it. The last picture in the gallery above is of the fresher Classicists (one is missing though). I’m the only girl(!) and also the only one doing the Classics II route here at my college.
Does your school/university have any traditions?
Peace and love,