A First for First-years

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After a much longer wait than past classes, first-years were officially allowed on Greek property as of Friday, Nov. 2. This meant Halloween continued for yet another weekend, with tooth fairy costumes and cowboy hats strewn about as each night came to an end. Despite the horror stories of lost phones and foggy memories, the overall attitude was lighthearted and positive.

There was an element of community, and I for one felt welcome and safe. The “DePauwty” community goes deep in many aspects. The slightest wobble in walk can earn you a “hey, do you need help?” or something of the like. I certainly noted the willingness of others to lend a hand. If you find yourself in need, there are a number of individuals who will come to your aid, and I appreciated this.

At its very core, partying is socializing. This type of environment allows for communication between a distinct collection of people in different classes.

Sophomore Jack McClelland said  “as a first-year last year, I liked to look up to the older people and get to know some sophomores and some of the fraternities which was great. So, for the younger people, I feel like I was able to interact with them better, and create those relationships that I’ll carry with them for the next three years.”

Moreover, the excitement was record high this year given the longer wait time, and the approaching Monon Bell. Campus morale was in high spirits, to say the least.

As a senior, Anne Grujanac especially felt this energy, to a point where she almost felt the need to avoid it. “There was just so much anticipation,” she explains, “I know a lot of seniors were just not about it.” This is now a four-time occurrence for our most seasoned veterans on campus, and it turns out it’s a little exhausting. That doesn’t mean the next morning’s darty doesn’t go on, though.

The weekend’s affairs were not without their fair share of messy moments.

First-year Aaron Rodgers experienced a few, and sums them up in saying “I lost my shirt, broke my phone, ruined two pairs of shoes, danced on a pole, fell a lot…” The fallen clothing and minor injuries did not damper the weekend for Rodgers, who simply states that “it was all worth it” for the reason of having had friends at  his side throughout the trials and tribulations.

Again, the positive feeling emerges. A common theme for this weekend’s reminiscence reigns true with his sentiments: first-years definitely had bumps in the road, but they were accompanied by good feelings and friends.

Junior Catalina Saldaña felt a bit differently regarding these occurrences. She claims “it was a disaster,” attributing the failures experienced to the sloppiness of some first-years. The lack of involvement in these types of circumstances on DePauw’s campus by first-years culminated in a multitude of messy makeouts, grind-piles and dances on elevated surfaces (the last being my personal favorite). These instances were not exclusive to the Class of 2022, however. Saldaña considers this “disaster” as a necessary component of the party scene. Regarding the flops, she sees it as “something that everyone has to go through and learn from; it’s not something that can just be taken away.” With that being said, let’s keep the messiness to a minimum, my fellow first-years.

Again, the biggest takeaway I experienced from this weekend was that there’s just nothing better than a nice DePauwty weekend (okay, maybe this depends on your M.O.). Albeit, there were definite night-ins occurring, I felt closer–yes, literally, because I was up against sweaty bodies on the dancefloor–to my counterparts and genuinely accepted in a wider community unlike before. This was a coming together that left some without shoes, but many with memories.