I cannot believe it. It has been exactly 19 years since I donned my black grad gown for the first time. It really drove home the fact I was a senior and this was it. THE day we had all lived for since the day we stepped on to campus for the first time. Four years of blood, sweat, tears, books, missing home, missing Mom and Dad, leaving behind a boyfriend or girlfriend then meeting that someone else in this new life, classes, skipping class, all-nighters (both the alcohol-fueled kind and the cramming for exams kind), Jolt cola, Cape Breton weekends, Wheel pizza, the BFR and memories of it, Wong's, the Moonlight, the Dirty O, the Whale Bone, BURMAC, the Inn, the SUB, Chuggles, T-Bones, secrets, emergencies, hospital visits, close friends, ceilidhs, pizza for shut-ins, pizza that sat out all night being just fine for breakfast (the alcohol still in your stomach will take care of that), trashing your friends' rooms, moving your friend's room into the bathroom, toilet papering your friend into her room, discovering your RA went on a date and left her door unlocked, Liquor Lane, spontaneous snow angels in winter, the Big Green, Shinerama, rugby players, Halloween contests judged by nuns, boys in the Mount before Christmas Ball, ditching your date at the ball, cooking in a hotpot, making cakes in a sandwich grill, reading a certain publication aloud for story-time, hours in the library, research, presentations, photocopying, calling Mom to ask for money for "photocopying", finals, quiet hours (and more importantly: loud hour), that slip of paper that says you are worthy, going to Cameron's and paying for that ring, then finally, receiving that black robe - without the hood - to tell the world you are a senior on the verge of graduating but not just yet, filing into the chapel, waiting and watching for your turn, stepping up to receive that ring, sitting down and putting it on, being amazed at the weight of it. Then you hear that first tap. Then another. Then a few more, and suddenly, the chapel is resonating with the sound of rings being tapped on wooden pews, all of us ecstatic we have finally made it. The rest of the year still matters, but not at this moment; this is the moment when the rest of the year ceases to exist for us. This is the moment we have all lived and breathed for and we are so proud we could burst.
That is an X-ring. It cost a lot of money but the value is beyond measure. Xaverians wear far more than just a hunk of gold on our fingers.
It not only symbolizes all we have to go through to earn it; it also signifies that we are a part of a family for the rest of our lives. Wherever we go, it will start conversations, open doors, and bring us together. When someone notices it, invariably they went to X as well or are related to someone who did. A no-brainer when living in the Maritimes. But outside of the Maritimes? You bet! I was approached when I was shopping in Cambridge by a woman who noticed my ring. She, her husband and all of their children went to X. I have even met people in Japan who noticed my ring, because they went to X too. BAM! Instant friends.
I don't need to be Pope or win a Superbowl...being a Xaverian is good enough for me! Ha ha ha!
Hail and Health!