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What you love to hate about Swarthmore

in Around Campus/Campus Journal by

How better to start an article about hating things than by explaining how much Swatties love to complain? If we simply look at the classic, “Anywhere else, it would’ve been an A,” phrase, a sense of gripe seems to envelope the student population, as though letting out complaints will make their pain a little more bearable.

And honestly, on a campus as small as ours, it’s not too hard to find things we can all bond over in loving hatred. Perhaps the best way to show this phenomenon is by talking about Sharples, our favorite place to eat, that sometimes seems as though it was built to hate on. Starting with the wonderful menu that never fails to surprise, all the way to the long tables that are always suspiciously sticky, this tiny ski lodge-like building that serves as our dining hall is the main victim of the strings of complaints handed out by students. Realistically, groaning every time we remember it’s pasta bar, glancing at the options once arrived, and seeing some mysterious food laying out won’t change the fact that we’ll still come back the next day, nor the fact that the same food is the only viable meal option for some of us (*cough, cough* @ freshmen).

Yet even when Swatties choose to skip Sharpling to hit up Essie’s, they can still be found grumbling somewhere about the time Essie’s inconveniently chooses to end meal swipes, forcing them to use their precious points to find some nourishment. For some reason, knowing that they are losing points rather than a measly meal from their plan is enough to drive many over the edge unlocking a floodgate of annoyance and irritation, especially when they miss meals by a whole 30 seconds (don’t mess with those people right away — they’re in a fragile state).

Another classic complaint that is echoed throughout campus is centered around the crushing load of homework almost every student can be found drowning in on any given day of the week. Many voice complaints about how all their non-Swat friends have so much time because they don’t have nearly as much work, and others like to recall simpler times in high school when doing a sheet of problems for math class was the most work they knew. My personal favorites are upperclassmen who’ve studied abroad who come back with tales of “never [having] actually seen the campus” of the school they went to because they had “no work.” Such worlds seem light years away to the sweaty students who slave away, stressing about deadlines and the Internet crashing as soon as they are ready to submit. And man, do they freak.

Whenever the internet is down, it’s as if every student’s worst nightmare has finally caught up to them, and they’re trapped. Everything seems to be calm except for the students who are about to go off the deep end just imagining this newly-missed deadline. Everyone is blamed, from ITS to the Superbowl (at least this past Sunday), and they’re all in a frenzy to find Wifi, and someone to blame, both with equal amounts of vigor.

Obviously, ML is usually among the list of complaints by those that live there, waking up every day knowing they’ll be walking at least 2 miles just to get to class and back to bed. Perhaps students from much larger schools would simply shake their heads at such a complaints, but come on, compared to those living at Parrish, who are literally twenty steps from Kohlberg, MLers have completely founded reasons to yank at their hair and let irritation run through their veins —2 miles is probably a mile more than I walk most Sundays.

As for ‘the hill’, well, I cringe just thinking about it honestly. I mean, it’s so steep and long and wow, I’m tired already. When you have to stand at the bottom and look at it in all it’s glory, Parrish at the very top, it really is beautiful, but every step you take that burns your lungs makes you second guess that beauty. I’m sure most people who do that climb every day are significantly more toned now than they were when they first stepped on campus, but come on, is it really worth it when you’re wheezing by the time you reach the top? I would say maybe, except if you’re headed to Cornell or McCabe, where you’ll just be forced to transfer your complaints of exercise to complaints of homework.

So yeah, we complain left and right and up and down- sometimes, we even manage to make it into a sport. But could we really call ourselves true Swatties if we didn’t bemoan our tremendous amounts of homework or the way Sharples feels like it’s malnourishing us? The truth is no, we probably wouldn’t be- and anyways, what’s a healthy relationship without a little bit of banter?

 

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