Dear Freshers,

On behalf of Oxford I think everyone in the system would like to apologise for the baffling piece of self-congratulatory heritage masturbation that is Matriculation.

It’s a weird, vague ceremony whereby you are officially inducted (read: indoctrinated) into the University, and after it you will have an acute feeling of “What just happened and why did it matter?”

There’s a lot of standing…

With that out the way, here are Versa’s key Dos and Don’ts for Matriculation.


  • Resist the urge to yell “What the hell is going on?”

This adds to the first point really, but particularly in the hungover haze which is probably still lingering from Fresher’s week (or last night depending on how much of a legend you are) the whole thing is going to seem weird. Some guy is going to yell motivation advice and “make the most of the opportunity” truisms at you and maybe say something in Latin while higher years surround you in sub-fusc like you’ve been abducted by alien pandas.

  • Hit the gym a couple days before to strengthen up those legs

It’s a lot of standing, and a lot of walking, and a lot of queuing. For me personally, my skinny legs felt like buckling, so I really wish I’d taken some time out early on to work on weight training: try mixing in squats with wall stands and calf raises to really tone up and prevent fainting onto the hard Oxford cobblestone.

  • Stand next to a Classics student and get them to translate

I mean, just in case the important guys are saying something useful at any point.

  • Look up

Seriously, that ceiling is beautiful. Brilliant way to pass the time.


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…and walking…



  • Drink before the ceremony

I know you want to impress your new fresher friends by hitting a couple points before brunch but things could get embarrassing.

  • Drink excessively afterwards

I feel like a lot of Versa advice, positive or negative, has to do with alcohol, probably because it’s the force which will most save and most disadvantage you in your time at uni. But don’t fuck yourself up on your first night as an official uni student.

Image result for matriculation oxford

And for God’s sake, don’t be that guy with the phone.

  • Think too much about that embedded societal hierarchy/class nonsense

Hey, look at us, we’re Oxford University, we’re so much greater than everyone else that we made a ceremony for ourselves, that’s how you know we’re great. I mean, this shit wouldn’t fly at any other uni, which confirms that the higher up you are here the further your head is up your arse.

  • Miss the ceremony

I mean, then you slip out of the loop. I don’t even know what happens to you. I guess you never become an Oxford student? Does your degree even count? We don’t know, please don’t risk it.

But the most important advice of all is this: don’t wear your mortarboard. 

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