Recently, munching on some Indian spiced nuts at a free vegan dinner at North Court with an Ormond pal, I had it put to me, “Why would you spend that much on a college? You could take all that money and rent a penthouse!” While explaining the pros of College, I couldn’t help but feel what I was saying didn’t hit the spot.
Ormond is more than a place to stay or a roof over our heads. We all know that. Ormond life is also more than what we say when people ask us why we live here. It’s more than the tutes, the meals, the dinner conversations. It’s far more than the convenience of a place near campus and an easier way to make friends.
It’s the traditions, college songs, chants, and every fresher’s uncertainty that they’re actually traditions.
It’s waking up a little bit earlier so you can hang out at breakfast and chat before classes start. It’s procrastinating from your studies by stopping by the JCR for a quick glass of water and staying for a two hour ethics debate. Supper study breaks each night and the crowds congregating around the trolley. The buzz that accompanies hopeful anticipation of chocolate ripple cake before every Formal Hall.
It’s visiting a friend in Picken, only to end up with the residents of the entire floor level sitting in a group that flows out into the corridor, or a gathering in the corner of McCaughey until the early morning hours. Evening trips to Lygon St for ice cream and running into a dozen Ormondians on your way. Running across campus to deliver such necessities as facepaint and textas before Smokos. Parties that include room-sized games of twister.
It’s people’s inclusive attitudes and enthusiasm. Mentioning a gig to one person to find a group of twenty waiting in the Vesti, ready to go. Fresher dancing. Everywhere. Knowing that whatever you do, you will find at least one other person to accompany you. People’s willingness to give their all. Extravagant Clover Week gifts and crazy Smoko costumes. How daggy words can be cool, like ‘amaze-balls’ and ‘adora-bubble’. It’s AIME. Mount Alexander tutoring. It’s being involved in other communities.
It’s being able to walk into someone’s room and lie on their bed, not saying why and not saying anything for half an hour and then just leaving. Having to walk no more than a few hundred metres to see your friends. Knowing that you have an entire college watching your back, ready to share their possessions, spare their time to chat, or help you if you need it.
Plus Ormond’s a castle. Castle over penthouse any day.