A Letter To The Class of 2024

Although we may be scattered across the globe, we would like to extend our collective congratulations to you, class of 2024. Your countless late nights, tireless effort into your extracurriculars, and summit of the ever-growing obstacle known as the college application process have at last produced a positive outcome: admittance to Swarthmore College. 

We recognize that college may not be the first thing on your mind during this very difficult time, but we would like to say that choosing a college is a very momentous decision. The Phoenix, disappointed that we cannot meet you in person and show you around our campus, wants to get you excited and share what Swarthmore is for us and what it can be for you too. Let us indulge in our nostalgia for a brief moment and walk you through the ups and downs of a day on campus:

The familiar infuriating ring of your alarm wakes you up from your slumber. You groan, moan, and finally manage to raise your head up — BANG. Your forehead smacks the low, slanted concrete ceiling of your dorm room. You sigh … that’s Parrish for you. Though the dorm blesses its residents with the ability to wake up ten minutes before class and arrive on time, its convenience may not make up for its size. Nonetheless, you remind yourself that for centuries, thousands of bewildered Swatties have graced Parrish’s halls. You breathe in and allow your spiritual ancestors’ angst, wit, and intellectual energy to diffuse from the plaster walls and rusted pipes into your sleep-deprived veins. Your fatigue and frustrations fade; you feel yourself rejuvenated. You are ready to tackle the day. 

You step cautiously into the elevator, hoping your added weight does not send the whole cab down the shaft into the bowels of Parrish basement. In an attempt to ease your anxiety, you lean onto the handrail only for it to come off of the wall. Typical. You don’t know what to do with it, and miraculously manage to finagle it back into place. After a few awkward seconds, the door finally closes, and the elevator descends, screeching on its way down. A moment later, you finally feel the elevator coming to a pause. You are thankful that you have survived another day.  

You snag a McPhoenix sandwich at Kohlberg’s charming grab n’ go, spread your Phoenix wings and fly up into your first class: Introduction to Economics. Of course, you sit in the front — but then again, so do your peers. Like any other day, the professor is greeted with a singular row of chairs in front of the board. Gosh… how you love the shared enthusiasm… You turn to your left and see the future finance bros jittering in excitement for what is to come. You turn to your right and see the Econ department’s blossoming Marxists complaining about neoliberalism and muttering under their breaths how they are estranged from their work… You guys exchange curt nods and return your eyes to the front of the room. It’s stagflation time, baby. But after a blink, the class is already over. After a series of piggy-backing, bungee jumping, and springboarding off of each other, you arrive at the beginning of your circular conversation. Your notebook is filled to the brim with intersecting supply and demand curves. 

You make your way to your next classes, greeting fellow students and overzealous robbins along the way. And as the sun begins its journey to the western horizon, you exit your last class of the day: a literature seminar on history’s most ambiguous poets. Your intellectual thirst is quenched — well, almost. A certain e.e. cummings quote sticks in your mind: 

“as freedom is a breakfastfood/ or truth can live with right and wrong ”

What does this mean? You juggle the question in your mind. As you make your way to the CO-OP, you bring up the question to your roommate — a debate team member/swimmer/prospective computer scientist/jazz drummer/BTS stan who is also an e.e. cummings enthusiast. They give you their two-cents — though, honestly, it was more like three and a half dollars worth of knowledge. 

On your way to the Ville, you pass a row of Lang buildings,and occasionally stop to admire the extensively labeled flora. After making eye-contact with your friend/foe, Sid the Squirrel, the two of you race down Magill Walk and into the Ville. You win… barely. 

As you go up to the CO-OP, you avert your eyes from the two first years making out on the steps. You enter with 37 Swat Points. After perusing the aisles and rows of fresh, organic foods, you leave with one banana, a bag of chips, and an empty OneCard balance. 

You notice the time, and you realize that you are about to miss the start of your favorite Swarthmore event that you’ve looked forward to for four grueling weeks: fish taco bar! Panicked, you sprint up to Sharples. Your thighs are burning. You fumble with your wallet, trying to get your OneCard out. You look back and can see a growing line of disapproving faces. You start to sweat profusely. You hate holding up lines. You grunt in exasperation, finally pulling it out of your wallet and handing it to Sally. She pauses to remember your name, notices your nervousness and tells you, “It’s going to be okay.” Somehow, you believe her. 

After completing your first month and a half as a full-fledged Swattie, you finally arrive home for Fall Break where you are greeted with a warm hug from your family. Your aunt asks what you’ve been up to and where you are going to college. You answer and she exclaims, “Swarthmore? Isn’t that the women’s college?”

“Yes,” you say. “One hell of a women’s college.” 

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