There is a holiday that exists that, in my heart, surpasses Christmas and even Halloween (which is a pretty bad ass holiday, because it involves drinking, candy, and costumes). This holiday is Welcome Week. Oh yes, that’s a holiday, even if it isn’t recognized by calenders or…anyone who doesn’t go to college. Every school thinks they do Welcome Week the best (and mine actually does, obvs – go green!) and every student does their best to wipe the slate clean (with alcohol) before classes start.
Now that the end of summer is in sight (thank gawd, I’m so over sweating) and the prospect of yet another semester looms, I am comforted by the fact that before any and all scholastic activities commence I will be obliterated for an entire week. Oh, the wonders of Welcome Week! For those of you who don’t know, everyone arrives to school a week early, throws their boxes in a corner of their dorm room and immediately contacts whomever can buy them alcohol. Then the awesomeness begins.
At my school, tradition dictates that you never sleep in your own dorm during Welcome Week (you just pass the night wherever you had your last drink…usually on the floor of some dorm room/frat house/dirty apartment). In fact, you rarely sleep. Instead, your time is spent eating all the junk food you forgot about over the summer and bumping into anyone and everyone with whom you’ve ever had a class, lived in the same building, or hooked up (oh, the joys of bumping into a former one-night stand when you’re all sweaty and half buzzed from the night before). Oh yeah, and drinking.
Welcome Week is a week of physical activity, the level of which was sadly missing from my summer vacation. The week before school is one where students relearn the layout of their campus, sometimes painfully (as in, stumbling around looking for the next party, having long ago given up on the prospect of wearing heels anywhere). Students also have the opportunity to get familiar with their community as they crawl from house party to house party. Beer pong, flip cup, waterfalls, ice luges, and a million other things are advertised from every porch and patio by the screams and shouts of the adoring population. Adoring population = me.
After four years of celebrating this most sacred of holidays, my heart has begun to warm at the prospect of a week of debauchery with my school besties. A glorious fifth year to reign over all that has come before. Some might ask if I have no shame, partying so hard with people born in an entirely different decade (THE 90’S! HOLY EFF!). I say no. No shame for this Spartan. In fact, I shall use my experience to build a better Welcome Week and to teach all those young disciples coming to my school in the fall. Here are some sample nuggets of Welcome Week wisdom:
Don’t bring a purse.
Forgo the heels and bring flats.
Always bring your own red cup to parties and an empty Gatorade bottle to hide your pregame liquor.
Keep your cellphone charged and chained to your wrist.
Designate a drinking buddy and don’t separate.
Sleeping is overrated – you’ll have time to sleep when you’re skipping your Friday morning classes during the semester.
And there’s more where that came from. In fact, I would say that I learn more and gain more life experience from Welcome Week than I do during an entire semester at college. Here’s to another Welcome Week – let’s see if I make it through a fifth run. Hope to see some of you there!