On Squiring

Squiring is an important and formative step towards becoming a Knight. Only the out-of-character knighthoods cannot be squired into. Nearly all in-character knighthoods, including the Knights of Rhiassa, are entered into after a long squiring process.

The first thing to think about if you are interested in becoming a Knight is who you would choose to squire to. This is an important decision, and if you would take my advice, you shouldn't sell yourself short. If you have a "top" choice for who you'd like to squire to - talk to them and see if there is any chance that they would take you on as a squire.

The next major piece of advice I would give is that if you want to be someone's squire and aren't already - consider simply acting like their squire. Help them out. Work with them on projects. Try to learn from them as much as you can. If you get to know them and it looks like you might work out as their squire, with any luck they'll figure it out pretty quickly. If they're a jerk about it - maybe they weren't the right person for you to squire to in the first place...

Once you've become a squire, there is no way to prepare you for what your path will look like. Every knight-squire relationship is unique, with different challenges, experiences and shared adventures. I would urge you to make an effort to spend time with your knight, rather than sitting back and waiting for them to make time to spend with you. This sounds counter-intuitive, but they may well be older and have many other projects and demands on their time and in their lives. It's not that you aren't important to them - you are, but you need to take responsibility for getting as much out of your squiring as possible.

To make an analogy - let's say you graduate from High School and can go to an Ivy League college or a State University. Your experience at the Ivy League college won't be magically rewarding if you slack off, don't study, and party all the time. Likewise, if you go to the State University, work hard and graduate with honors you may have a lot more opportunities than someone who barely scraped by at their snooty Ivy league college. You get out of it what you put into it. This not only applies to squirings and schools, but life in general.

Once you have spent what you feel is enough time being a squire, do not get anxious if you feel you haven't been knighted quickly enough. It is FAR better to spend an extra year or two before you are knighted than to be knighted too quickly. The questions that a super-speedy squiring will raise both about you and about your knight may also tarnish the reputation of your knightly order and that's the last thing you should want. It's far better to take it slow and do it right, even if it's frustrating, than to rush through it. I'd recommend at least four years, but again - every squiring is unique.

If and when you get knighted - always remember that your belt does NOT mean that you are better than anyone else, EVEN if you are a KoEF or Knight of the Realms. It means that someone has seen something special in you that they want other people to see and learn from. Other individuals have every bit as much potential as you, and rather than look down on them for not having been belted, consider it a challenge to help them realize THEIR potential.

- Stephen Johnson, KoR, KoEF