Convocation: A Friendly Welcome
Published: Friday, September 14, 2012
Updated: Friday, September 14, 2012 15:09
The first thing I did after enrolling at Smith was tracking the Smith tag on Tumblr, and from the first tag I found I specifically remember a picture of girls in very little clothing. I remember thinking, “WHAT! There is no way that this is a real thing.” Now fast forward to late August when I first heard about convocation…
I heard “crazy”, “loud” and “very little clothing” over and over and over again, but at that point I still hadn’t fully grasped the concept of convocation at Smith. I went to convocation –fully dressed, stood between the people of my house on the steps of JMG and just looked around, feeling stupid. All of a sudden the picture from Tumblr came back to me, only I was in it…
Once all the houses arrived and we went into the auditorium my feelings didn’t change, I felt weird, like I didn’t belong and most importantly feeling that convocation is nothing but a joke. I could not accept the idea of convocation being a bunch of people cheering and jumping around in tiny costumes. So, I sat in my chair feeling completely out of place.
Then President Christ started her speech, as the speech progressed I grew more and more engaged, by the time President Christ mentioned that this is her last convocation and the crowd started chanting her name I suddenly realized why I chose to become a Smithie; the love, the support and the sense of community. The way the students chanted the president’s name conveyed how people here at Smith are like; they value each other and value the relationships that connect them.
By the time Professor Queeney started her speech I was jumping out of my seat, cheering, shouting, stomping my feet following every line of what was on of the greatest speeches I have ever heard. My favorite line being “I am struck by how much I’ve missed you, transfer students and the class of 2016, I have missed you,” simply because it expresses how being at Smith makes me feel.
Here at Smith I constantly feel like I am surrounded by people who care about me, by people who are strong, confident, and have amazing stories to share. Most importantly, and just as Professor Queeney mentioned, I feel surrounded by allies, I feel at home, I feel like I belong. Convocation was the perfect introduction to my time at Smith; it was different and made me feel out of place initially, but once I realized the extent of positive energy and support circulating in JMG that day I realized that this is the best convocation one could ever have. Simply put; it was awesome!