Yesterday, a fortnight that shall surely be remembered for many years to come came to its conclusion for the students in Balliol. With the knowledge that they were soon to be bidding farewell to the grand hall and the green quads of which they have become so fond, and more pressingly to the friends and counsellors with whom they have become so close, emotions among the students ran high. There was a great deal of sorrow at the thought of leaving ORA and one another, but also a great deal of joy in the fun of the evening.
After the final morning of lessons, and the very last workshop, parents arrived in Balliol to be served refreshments. Everybody looked exceedingly smart, and students were delighted to have the chance to have their photos taken— many of which are visible here.
After the reception, the Graduation was convened for in the Great Hall. First, there was a screening of the Film Academy’s films from this week: one about a magical banana, and the second about a vampire lecturer, both of which were enjoyed. Then prizes were given out, with winners in the academic achievement, effort and attainment categories. Once the students had received their prizes, counsellors were given their own: for ‘best hair’, ‘best performance in the Olympics’, and participation in activities such as the debate. Dan Underwood, who has achieved great popularity among the students, won ‘Counsellors’ Counsellor’ award created specifically for him.
Steven Flavin, the Programme Director, gave an inspirational speech on success and the futures of the students assembled; and afterwards, mulling over his words, the audience was treated to a final feast.
After dinner, the British Seaside-themed party took place, in Balliol College’s very own JCR. There were a lot of props, including giant beach balls, a giant deck chair, and a giant bucket and spade. True to the theme, students had the chance to play mini golf or test out their balance on a surfing simulator, all the while with a large choice of candyfloss, ice cream and other seaside specialties. Throughout, the dance floor was by far the most popular option, with students seizing the chance to jive for the last time this session with friends who will soon be scattered across the globe. Their energy and enthusiasm will be missed in Balliol College—but we wish all the students the very best with everything that they shall be doing over the coming years, and hope to see them again next summer!