As orientation fades more and more into a distant memory, the class of 2021 finds itself at an important crossroads. The once-chipper and easily discernable first-year faces are already blending in with the usual looks of cynicism that plague Swat’s upperclassmen. This forces us to ask the question of whether the class of 2021 is doomed to follow the same trends of the classes before us.
Are we trapped in some neverending cycle of obnoxiously shouting our class year every chance we get, jaded at the system and the fresh faces that will come after us? Are we destined to complain about pasta bar, attacking anyone who speaks positively of pasta in any context? Are we going to respond with Misery Poker when asked what our favorite game is?
The end of orientation marks the end of a lot of other things. Dry Week has ended. Constantly having talks about all the things your parents warned you about before coming here is long gone. Being able to shamelessly sport hickies and not have to worry about your professors judge you for them is unfortunately finished. Luckily, trying to remember what creature of the sea you are gone away too. Does the end of orientation also mark the end of optimism on Swat’s campus?
Looking around, the answer is seemingly mixed.
The Sharples rush is getting slightly lighter as first-years discover that there are, albeit limited, other options than eating Sharples for breakfast, lunch, and dinner seven days a week. The first-years left in Sharples are harder to pick out, as their once deer-in-a-headlights look that was identically painted on all their faces has become one more of acceptance as they’ve realized that a peaceful corner seat at Sharples and a meal alone can at times be more of a blessing than a curse.
“I had rather dreadful expectations over how the quality of the food [from Sharples] was going to be just on various different things I had heard people say about Sharples, but now that I’m actually here the food is absolutely fine. There’s nothing wrong with it, and I don’t know why people were overreacting … I think they just wanted something to complain about,” says Timothy St. Pierre ’21.
Outside of Sharples, there are far fewer lost first-years trying to squint at the far-too-small signs on buildings. It appears as though first years have been able to figure out how to get to the same five buildings they need to get to on a daily basis.
“It’s just as small as I was expecting it to be,” says Sue Kim ’21.
So class of 2021, what’ll it be? First-years, are you already feeling jaded by the system, hate pasta, envy the plants for being better labeled than the buildings, participate in Misery Poker every chance you get, and all in all are just envious and cynical? If so, you’re not alone. But if not, hold onto your pure and pristine optimism! It is much needed on Swat’s campus.