Goodbye to that place whose subjects are characterised as being twisted, yet function so effectively. I've spent five rewarding years of learning here, and I leave more enlightened and empowered than I could have imagined.
A home for radical thinkers, moderates, conservatives and free spirits, it is interesting that it is students who satisfy these categories. Yes, this is one of those institutions where students are the pulse of critical thinking. There is more to the institution than the culture of alcoholism that tends to be portrayed in media.
Goodbye to the place that has opened up my eyes to differences in society and individuals, and has helped me to embrace those differences. I do not claim to associate myself with individuals from a particular culture, religious denomination, social group or orientation. I consider myself a person who associates with people. I do not put a veil over differences I have with people. I accept these differences as being intrinsic to the human condition. We are all human.
I thank this place for giving me the confidence and motivation to adopt a philosophy of empowerment. This philosophy has been necessitated by the context of the province in which I was born and raised. It has been heightened by the flaws and successes that exist in this institution, the municipality and province in which it is housed. I have been empowered by the ability to analyse critically. This has been honed in my explorations in journalism, media studies, literature, politics and international studies, and history. I have narrowed down how I have been empowered, and how I plan to empower through my work.
Goodbye to the place that has taught me to have fun. A mind was opened up. Tension was relaxed. Life was enjoyed. Friends, partners and acquaintances were made. Mares were an unforgettable experience of student life. One cannot imagine this kind of fun will be experienced elsewhere. The twisted, beautiful, abrupt romantic acquaintances... At least we'll have interesting stories to tell. So what if this culture is often under scrutiny. The strong survived emphatically, and have left this place for better futures.
I too am leaving for a better future. I am soon to embark on a path that will see me carrying out all that I have learnt formally and informally at this institution. I will live life and do work with a constant yearning to meet the lofty standards I have set myself in my time at this institution. I also promise myself to never forget to have fun. I fully embrace that life is meant to be lived, and enjoyment is a necessity. I hope to maintain the relationships that I have forged here, with the fantastic and engaging personalities I have met.
I am a less exaggerated example of the archetypal Rhodes student that is so often celebrated or lambasted in the public domain. But that does not take away the experience of an individual who has embraced the foundations this institution has offered for growth. I have lived the Rhodes experience. I have experienced endless walks of life through this experience.
Farewell to the place that has treated me so well.
Goodbye Rhodes... again.