‘Jaded’ student regrets not getting involved with Week of Welcome during freshman year

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As a senior at Dixie Stage College, acting jaded about school spirit has become easy. 

Actually, acting jaded about school spirit has been easy since I was a high school freshmen.

And just like at the freshmen barbecue in high school, where peppy student council members attempted to shove school spirit down my throat, I have continued the jaded act into college, coolly strolling past peppy student government members on the Diagonal during the official “Week of Welcome.

Yes, some of the ideas concocted to create school spirit are silly. No, I don’t want to spend my time pretend-surfing on one of those surf simulators. I like my bones intact, thank you very much.

The blaring of the music also offends me and my high-brow academic self. I’m here to learn. I’ll listen to crappy pop music on my own time.

And then there’s the bane of my existence: club rush.

I have spent the last three years at DSC racing through the Diagonal the first Wednesday and Thursday of school, keeping my head down and stringently avoiding eye contact. That’s how those peppy club officers suck people in.

Of course, it is with great irony that I will be one of those peppy club officers trying to suck people in this year.

With my jaded persona established, it will come as a surprise when I admit I’ve come to regret parts of my jaded self. Granted, I’ll never stop being a grumpy old lady, but I sometimes wish I could dredge up some sort of school spirit.

In my defense, I spent the first year at DSC determined to switch to a bigger and fancier school, so I laid the groundwork for my non-participation in school activities in apathy toward a school I felt was only a stepping stone.

And yet, here I am at DSC with only a year standing between me and my bachelor’s degree. And here I am wishing I had actually participated in my first W.O.W. Because while I could still join in on the fun, it wouldn’t be with the same freshness and excitement that only a college freshman has. 

Just like first impressions can only be made once, new experiences can only happen once before they become the norm in life. Beginning college is one of those experiences. I wish I had realized that earlier, and I hope the incoming freshmen realize that now. Had I learned to balance the cranky grandma inside with the happier young adult I’ve managed to dredge up from within, perhaps I would have found friends earlier and established the sort of balance everyone needs between play and work. By choosing not to participate in my first W.O.W, I lost out on some of the experiences that it seems everyone else has in college.

So, to the incoming freshmen, don’t pretend to be too cool for the foam dance or the chainsaw juggler. Sign up for a bunch of clubs during club rush, even if it’s for free candy or someone’s number. Get over whatever inner voice—whether it’s the old lady, cool hipster or terrified child—saying it’s not worth it. As the kids like to say, you only live once, so YOLO-it-up for W.O.W—even if it means facing terror on the surf simulator.