13. Matriculation

Matriculation isn’t exactly what one would call a word of common knowledge: in fact, I’m pretty sure the word itself has probably turned some first year students against it for years now. It’s your first day at Acadia and all of a sudden they’re asking you to herd down to the Gym, put on funny robes, and get piped into University Hall.

And, if it was raining, I don’t think I could blame the Matricuhaters: while I’ve experienced only sunny Matriculations personally, rain would certainly damper one’s spirit. However, Matriculation is a great opportunity to become part of the Acadia experience both in terms of ceremonial connection and, well, hanging out waiting for the event to start. You only need to bring yourself and an openness to interacting with others, and Matriculation can be a very memorable part of Welcome Week.

As Jessica and Ryan demonstrate in this particular photo, the lineup waiting for Matriculation is a great opportunity to talk with your fellow Arts, Science or Professional Studies students. You’re lumped into disciplines after you get your robe, and there was some great chatter in lineup this year about who’s in what, what classes they have, where they’re from, etc. I started a discussion with Kyra, my future neighbour/RA/Boss, and that friendship continues to this day. It’s a powerful time.

But that, admittedly, is a spin off of the real value. Being piped up the hill, your parents either outside taking pictures or inside sitting in the balcony (Or, if they’re not present, surely thinking of you to some degree), you become part of the Acadia experience. Once inside, all of the dignitaries file in and Arthur Irving (aka the Most Ass-Kicking Chancellor ever) wields his…stick thing, and it begins.

What begins? Your future. When you graduate from Acadia, you participate in Convocation, the sister ceremony to this one. They provide, as they’ll explain, bookends to your Acadia experience. Although the dignitaries might change with time (I can point out about 6 from last year’s lineup that won’t be there this year), the thing that won’t change is that sometime pomp and circumstance gain greater meaning with time.

So, as a short term chance to meet people and please your parents (Parents ❤ their children in robes), Matriculation is a fantastic opportunity to engage the Acadia experience. It might not be something that changes your life, but I think that it’s something that will someday have a great deal of meaning. And I wouldn’t want to see you miss out on that.