Being a Hatfielder: Traditions and Hatfield Day

Jadwiga Slomka, 3rd Year Music

(almost 3 years ago)

The first time I came to Durham, let alone Hatfield, was in March of 2015. I was invited to a residential Post Offer Visit Day where immediately, I fell in love with Hatfield. I fondly remember the Visit Day Reps telling me about the strange traditions of college and enthusiastically telling me how much they love Hatfield. I remember being in awe of how much the Visit Day Reps loved Hatfield and I knew I wanted to be one of them. Little did I know, I would be a visit day rep in 2016 and 2017.

The best loved and most adhered to traditions of Hatfield must be those observed by keen students at formal. I won’t mention all of them, but it would be rude not to mention a few. Once seated in the hall, students partake in ‘spooning’ where we hit our spoons against the tables and as strange as it sounds, it is a lot of fun. Once High Table has entered the hall, everyone stands and a prayer in Latin is said after which the meal commences. Nobody can leave the hall until the very end of the meal when the Senior Man stands up to walk over to the Master and bows to them. During formal and informal meal time in college, it is forbidden to use phones in the hall. This rule is imposed to encourage students to have real conversations with one another, rather than relying on phones and social media for a sense of community. At first, this rule seemed strange, but once I grew used to it, I rather liked it and definitely got to know more people.

Formals, alongside other college events, definitely ignite the Hatfield College spirit. Trust me, the Hatfield Spirit really does exist. One such event is Hatfield Day. Hatfield Day is always fun and exciting and takes place after exams in third term. The day starts in the morning and ends in the late evening, or later if you want to join the after party. Some notable parts of the day include getting College married, the full College waterfight, the inflatable games, the live music and never-ending food. The fact that everyone shares in the enjoyment of Hatfield Day brings the College community closer and allows students to feel the Hatfield spirit, allowing the academic year to end of a high note.

Hatfield is truly a wonderful community, it provides all types of people with countless opportunities, wonderful support and fantastic societies. The community is unique, warm and welcoming, and if you get the change to be a Hatfielder, take that chance.

← Back to blog