Beloved tradition or example of cult-like behaviour at StFX?
Anybody who has heard of StFX has undoubtedly heard of the X-Ring. According to the StFX website, the X-Ring is the 3rd most recognized ring in the world, right behind the Super bowl and Papal rings.
This interesting fact raises an important question: what is it about this ring that is so enticing to people? It has been a longstanding tradition for StFX students to purchase the X-Ring in their graduating year, but how this tradition became so popular, I’m not sure.
What I do know is that this ring is just as important to students today as it was decades ago. To many students, myself included, this ring is more than just a piece of jewellery. In fact, I would even go so far as to describe it as a rite of passage.
Many people have accused StFX of engaging in cult-like behaviors, especially due to our obsession with the X-Ring. From an insider’s perspective, I would like to say that these people are seriously mistaken. It may seem crazy to some people, but the X-Ring ceremony is an event that Xaverians and their families look forward from the beginning of frosh week all the way until Dec 3rd of fourth year. The ceremony and the ring itself represent the culmination of four amazing years spent cramming for exams, enjoying a few cold ones at The Inn and rushing to brutal 8:15 lectures the next morning.
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This momentous occasion is something first to look forward to, and then something to look back upon. It symbolizes receiving a top-notch education. Because, despite the fact that StFX is sometimes marked by the quote, “Came for the party, stayed for the ring,” I’ve heard students rave about how amazing their professors are just as often as they’ve raved about how much fun they had last weekend at the pub. This ring is representative of our time spent at X, which for most people becomes more of a home, rather than simply an educational institution.
In all honestly, before choosing to come to StFX, I had no idea what an X-Ring was. If I had been approached in high school by somebody wearing an X-Ring, I wouldn’t think anything of it. But now that I’m aware of its existence and the meaning that it holds, I can’t stop myself from seeing it everywhere I go. It’s no joke that this ring brings people together. Now, whenever I see someone wearing the ring, I instantly feel like we have some sort of connection or at least have something in common. Even if we didn’t have similar experiences at X, I know that their experience must have affected them in some way if they are still choosing to wear that ring at this point in their life. On that note, I can say without a doubt that I have never met a StFX grad who was not wearing their ring at the time of our meeting and I feel like that has to mean something.
Whether you follow the age long tradition of getting your X-Ring locally from Cameron’s Jewellery, or choose to embark upon a new journey by purchasing the ring from the school store, the meaning remains the same. The first time you slip that ring onto your finger, I hope that you feel the instant “X” connection that so many students have felt while trying on their rings and continue to feel today. Having an X-Ring means having a daily reminder of your four years at university, figuring out what you’re meant to do and where you’re meant to be.
So yes, the truth of the matter is that you can go anywhere in the world and get the same piece of paper, but you won’t be able to replicate the experience you have at X. This is an inherently unique experience and the X-Ring is its symbol.