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2023 Leavers’ Garden Party

three women sitting on a bench with good and drinks, smiling and laughing animatedlyOn the evening of 14 June, 2023, Univ organised a leavers party for finalists graduating this year. All of the finalists and their tutors were invited to the party, which was held in the beautiful setting of the Fellows’ Garden.

In true summer spirit, there were juicy drinks and charmingly crafted Pimms alongside some snacks available for all to enjoy. It was lovely to see the Fellows’ Garden packed with students, tutors and fellows in summery outfits on that nice sunny evening. Some students were sitting on the benches scattered around the corners of the garden, others sat down on the grass in circles while other stood with their tutors.

senior tutor Andrew Bell, smiling, wearing a blue-check shirtI came to the party with a group of my close friends. At the entry, all students were given a goodie bag that contained Univ souvenirs, including a pretty tote bag with a big Univ crest on it that I have been using since that evening, a Univ leather notebook, a Univ pen, a letter explaining ways of getting in touch with the alumni network of Univ, and a copy of the College magazine, The Martlet.

After grabbing our gifts, we enjoyed the first of many glasses of Pimms and a round of delicious snacks that College staff had very kindly prepared for us. Then we spotted some of the other finalists whom we hadn’t seen in a long time because of the preceding hectic exam period and had a chance to catch up with them. We also spotted some of our tutors and chatted to them.

a smiling woman with sunglasses tucked into her topOne of my tutors was leaving town for fieldwork soon, so it was my peers’ and my last chance to see him before we leave. We spent most of our time talking to him about how our exams went, some of our best memories at Oxford, some of the worst points during our exam preparation, our plans and hopes for the future mixed with a lot of other banter. At the end, we took a photograph together, and said our goodbyes to some people we thought we may not see again in the remaining few days we were still at Oxford and acknowledged to the rest how we much had loved our time at Univ, promising to stay in touch.

Valerie Amos smiling and holding a large golden handbagI had a great time at the leavers’ party and I am glad that Univ organises events such as the leavers party and the finalist dinner to give us finalists an opportunity to properly celebrate our last few days at Oxford and say goodbye to our tutors and peers. For many of us who are graduating this year, this is our first graduation experience since our high school graduation was disrupted by the pandemic. We are also among those whose welcome to Oxford and Univ was also unusual in the wake of the pandemic. Maybe because of that, such events as the leavers party are extra special for us.

When the party ended, just as my time at Oxford and Univ is ending, I wanted to stay for longer. I left the party with a grin on my face and a bittersweet feeling in my heart, brimming with gratitude for all the enjoyable times I had had at university and the amazing people I got to meet.

Gariyasi Garg (2020, PPE)

Published: 23 June 2023

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