It’s around August (if you’re lucky), and you check online that you have been placed in residence at UCT. You are so excited that you made the cut but nervous too, because you know nothing about the res you’ve been placed in. People are often overjoyed when they hear they’ve been placed in Smuts or Fuller (aka “Smuller”), and yes it is cool, but to be totally truthful it really doesn’t matter at all. There is no certain ‘type of person’ that goes to any one residence; its random, completely random. All include a variety of different, interesting and fun people, so there really is no reason to stress or be nervous.
I found out I was placed in Leo Marquard, and immediately people told me bad things… it’s a “ghetto” res, they said. “You have to share rooms in first year”, “the facilities are so rubbish”. After just my first day here though, I began to wonder why people were lying to me!? Yes, you have to share rooms, but chances are you’ll meet a great mate. The facilities are fine; I have a bed, a shower and a bathroom… what more do I need? You can’t expect a hotel, it’s residence! If I could go back in time and choose a residence, without hesitating I would choose Leo again. We are right by the Jammie (UCT busses) stop, which means you have that leisure of a little extra time lying in. We are surrounded by three ladies Residence’s, and of course the gentleman of Leo Marquard always show the lovely Tugwell, Baxter and Graca Machal ladies a good time, if you know what I mean! The dining hall is another of my favourite places- it’s always fun and festive and an awesome place to make new friends to just chill and socialize with.
There is also no hierarchy whatsoever, everyone from 1st to 3rd years (and the odd 4th) are friends. Our house committee became our friends in first year, bearing in mind that we all had a mutual respect for one another of course. Being a Leo Lion is about being a gentleman, working hard (we always produce the best academic results) and playing hard. Sports teams in Leo are awesome. Our soccer team is our pride and joy, and we have a team for most of the other sports. We often have the best parties and you can always find some lions to party with... One night I came back from a night out, went to my floor, and there was a second year Lion’s birthday. I was immediately invited to come chill, and within seconds someone had opened me a beer and forced it into my hand, which just shows the camaraderie us Lions develop.
People say school is where you make friends for life, which is true, but in coming into Leo Marquard and becoming a Lion, I have made some friends that I will always treasure till the days when I’m pushing up daises. I hopefully will become an employer one day, and if I interview a Marquardian, chances are I will hire him, as I know he will work hard and make the office a lively place.
Richard David Wilson- a proud Lion Let the Lions roar!