Valedictory Dinner is an evening where the graduating residents from each of the colleges come together and enjoy a dinner in honour of their time on college. Mine, I’m sad to admit, occurred in October this year. I’m sad about it because it means that my time on college is finally coming to an end, a very sad realization indeed. Regardless, this was an opportunity for us to come together and celebrate the ups and downs of our journey, which, for most of us, has been many years. Between the good food and powerpoints, there was, of course, an important reminder of the significance of this moment.
There were four speakers, the valedictorians from each of the colleges, and our guest speaker, to deliver the valedictory address. The three valedictorians were Alex Darton from McGregor, Steph Piper from Steele Rudd, and Lachlan Withnall from Concannon. Steph had spent her first two years on McGregor, so had some horribly embarrassing photos of all of the McGregor residents, myself included. We remembered strange haircuts, unusual activities, and peculiar goings on. Lachlan reminded us of the general superiority of Concannon College, and Alex brought us home with a reflection on the beauty of finding time for yourself amongst the crazy college environment.
The Valedictory speaker took the time to remind us of the merits of being kind, of knowing what you need to help you through the university environment. We were regaled with tales of cats, kindness, and University life. For me, there was a moment of learning not touched on by our speakers, and it occurred as I watched all of the graduates receive the beautiful photo frame given to us by the colleges. It was a reminder of the significance of community and comradeship. As someone who holds a strong need to maintain close relationships with people, I had the opportunity to see many of my closest friends as the people they’d grown to become, which was frankly a magnificent experience.
Valedictory dinner, beyond the memories and reminders of the friendships developed, was a wonderful evening full of great conversation, excellent food (and wine) and fantastic opportunities to reflect upon the magnificent years that had preceded it.
Graduation from College Life? Here I come!