Tufts has a tradition called the illumination ceremony. Everyone gets an unlit candle, one chosen person lights theirs and touches candles with another person, and that person passes the flame on until everyone’s candle is lit.
There are two illumination ceremonies every year: one in the fall to welcome new students, and one in the spring to say goodbye to students who are graduating. If you’re careful, you can save your welcome candle and reuse it when you graduate. That’s what I did.
I wasn’t sure I was going to go at all, but I’d held onto that candle in a toothbrush case for four years, so figured I might as well. It rained all night, but I stood out on the roof of Tisch Library long after everyone else had gone home, talking with my friend Rebecca and an alumnus who graduated in the 60s until our candles had melted completely and gone out.
Someone made me feel quite unsafe at my matriculation illumination ceremony in 2014, so it was nice to overwrite that memory, at least in part, with a new and more neutral one in 2018.