First weekend on campus, we were caught off guard when every upperclassman snickered as we walked into brunch freshly showered, dressed in something other than sweatpants, hair blown dry and make up on our faces. We thought, “What’s the big deal?” (If you find yourself thinking the same thing, first-years, give it a week and you’ll get it.) Later, we heard seniors complaining that the demographics of the College were changing. They saw us as more preppy, less environmentally aware, terrified of Frisbees and naive to the wonders of St. Mary’s.
Meanwhile, we scoffed at the lack of hygiene and ran over as many Frisbees with our cars as possible. (Hey, if you ever lived on PG’s first floor, you know how frustrating it is for your window to get hit 10 times a day). We quite literally turned our backs on bicycle/pedestrian etiquette on the path and religiously attended breakfast before our 8AMs.
But here we are sitting on the patio shoeless, in Seahawk sweatpants, tea in hand and huge sunglasses desperately trying to disguise ourselves. (Note: you’ll learn quickly that on a campus of 2,000 students, it takes a lot more than a pair of sunglasses to hide from the night before). We find ourselves thinking “Who are these kids that were born in the 90s?!” But before we make them subject of our snickering, it occurred to us: those before us were wrong—the Admissions office isn’t accepting different kinds of students over the years. Rather , the College culture is changing the students admitted.
Looking forward from our first few days on campus we never would have expected (one us us to be an) avid Frisbee golfer, so interested in being green and rely on our bikes to get everywhere from class to off-campus parties. Being here inspired us to drop our dry clean-only dresses for swimsuits and shorts and substitute Fiji bottles for Nalgenes. We partied hard with the kid from chem class just as much as the girls we shared a hall with and spent afternoons having coffee with professors. We went to soccer games, Last Lectures and the Vagina Monologues (even though the only vaginas we ever thought we’d see were our own). We even made sure to stop in at Get Your Float On because who the hell knows what that really means, but who cares — it was awesome.
Being at St. Mary’s forces all of us out of our comfort zone and onto a more exciting adventure. After all, this is COLLEGE. The campus culture compels you to friend everyone, try new things, put yourself out there and do somethin’ crazy! But don’t worry if things don’t fall into place right away. You’ll find your groove just as we did on the patio.
We hope that you’ll open up to whatever change the wind off the River blows your way and embrace it. We can only promise that after the four years there’s one thing that will never go away—how enthralled we all are at the beauty of this College as we view it from the patio.