There are always debates regarding whether or not staying in a student residence is of any value. Those in favor of private accommodation will say that it allows for more freedom or that sharing immediate living quarters ‘is not my forte’. These are all of course valid opinions, and we cannot have preconceptions regarding personal preferences. But there are few opportunities that campaigned as much for the benefits of staying in res – and more specifically, in Harmonie – than the event that took place on the 25th of March in our own quad.

This was the annual Harmonie tea party, and basking under a lovely morning sun were the excited faces of be-hatted ladies in florals and chiffon. By their sides, the animated faces of their guests and loved ones: a mother, a best friend, a mentor. This was a special group of people: the invitation was extended to every single Harmonite, with the only requirement for attendance being that their companion be someone that is an inspiration to them. Some brought the friend that had been in their life for ten years, some brought the mother that woke every morning at five to pray for the hard academic day that lay ahead for their daughter. And amidst finger sandwiches, scrumptious scones and delicate tartlets, laughter and loving sentiments were exchanged in abundance. As mothers and friends bonded over a cup of tea and a piece of carrot cake, a photographer subtly went around the long table of chatty ladies, capturing these precious moments for the rest of eternity. And, of course, there was a beautiful photo-booth situated beneath our signature Jakaranda tree, making for countless beautiful photo opportunities.

When being asked for advice by prospective students on what kind of events are worth attending at university – this is the answer. For moments such as these are a big part of the foundation of life-long friendships and are surely a very welcome break from the relentless pressures of academic life.

Marlise Theron