[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Last but not least Jean head to varsity orientation at Cape Town’s very own UCT O-Week. Here’s what went down.
UCT: Varsity Orientation in The Mother City.
Without a doubt however, my craziest O-Week experience was at the University of Cape Town in 2012. I had just had the most boring holiday where I had to make best friends with myself. After realizing that I had enough cash to compensate for my deeply unfulfilling vacation, I decided to book a return ticket to Cape Town. At this point, I didn’t have any accommodation or really any sort of plan. Of course this might be considered more viable for a guy, but for anyone who really wants to step it up on the social scene and find comfort within their own skin, just do it.
As Forest Gump said,
“Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you going to get.”
So I jetted off, with my best mate, Wes who also decided this was a fantastic idea. I’ll be honest, I did have a small plan B if things went wrong. The trick is, once again, to get to know people, people who live in Cape Town.
I rang up my mate, James who works for EduConnect to fetch me from the airport and our adventure began. Immediately, I was roped in to the residence life of UCT, most notably, Leo Marquad House. Marquad does not have the best of reputations outside of UCT, but I’ll tell you one thing, as a Wits student, I would kill to stay in that place. The spirit and vibe is second to none, and considering I actually got into this residence in my earlier years when I was trying to transfer universities, I felt almost like an honorary member.
James then introduced me to a crowd known to all as the Messy 10. These lads were by far the craziest bunch of party animals I met down in Cape Town. What was so amazing about this experience was that despite only spending a week with these students, Wes and I made best friends for life.
Owing to the fact that UCT Campus Security does not ask for student cards during orientation week, sneaking into residences became a hobby. Hell, I was even prepared to sleep in the basement and shower when I could. A few Tugwell (Marquad’s sister residence) girls often had the same idea. This meant we would stay up all night and from our 6th floor vantage point, watch and with good humor, cheer on the “Walk of Shame” as girls returned to their residences in the early hours of the day.
For most evenings, however, James’s girlfriend was kind enough to offer up her digs couch to me and from there, our holiday started to take flight. It formally started with the Marquad Residence Braai followed by a party at Springboks Pub (a bar turned club next to the Newlands Rugby Stadium), then followed by a Tin Roof party. UCT students have a saying that all roads lead to Tin Roof implying that eventually everyone ends up jamming in Tin Roof at some point during the night. This is actually rather funny considering that the club is almost the size of my room! Every night was a different party and every day was a recovery period. It should be noted that to organize where and what to do during UCT O-Week is all choreographed by the Film Society, similar to Silly Buggers at Wits but far better advertised.
Finding a place to stay became an adventure in itself. I sneaked into College House, Fuller Hall, Smuts Hall and spent a night in Kopano. Mercury on Monday, Tiger Tigeron Thursday, Long Street almost every night and Assembly on Friday presented us with some outrageous parties and the Clifton beaches provided us with the most fantastic respite. Mavericks strip club offered something a bit different and naughty, while Trinity Tuesdays reached a whole new level of crazy. A definite must for any student at UCT should be to go watch an Ikey Tiger rugby match. The atmosphere is unforgettable and the spirit engulfs you. I could say I became patriotic to UCT rugby.
I’d have to say my highlight of the trip was on the final day. Marquard on the Mound, which takes place on a grassy area on Lower Campus between Tugwell and Marquard, is an event which even the most patriotic residence students should not miss. There is nothing in this world like a whole bunch of crazy guys, screaming war cries and drinking beer on a little hill, conducted by the legendary Anton Taylor (The Van Wilder of UCT and International Man of Movember).
That night, the Messy 10 and I engineered one final act of mayhem, heading to a party staged at a house called Casablanca. The people there were crazy, the music was crazy and the night just got pear-shaped all-round. PhFat performed and the rest of the night became a series of snapshots. Wes and I missioned from there back to Long Street, then back to Claremont at Tin Roof and Stones across the road as well as 91’s upstairs. It was a night I can’t remember but one which I shall never forget.
I flew back to Joburg for a solid two hours the next day with a smile from ear to ear. People thought I actually required mental help but the fact of the matter was I had reached a certain level of bliss where I could look back on my life and say,
“That…that was what it means to be happy.”