Why I’m Scared of Midnight Breakfast

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Lily Icangelo satirically explains why horror, bemusement, and brunchfoods go hand in hand at Barnard’s traditional last-night-before-finals feast.

Friend or foe?

Midnight Breakfast is as absolutely terrifying as it is incredibly awesome. Walking into a crowded gym of highly stressed out, type-A personality, sleep-deprived girls? So, SO scary. The nervous energy that fills LeFrak Gym during Midnight Breakfast is enough to induce multiple panic attacks—as if you hadn’t already had enough of those in the past week.

Now don’t get me wrong, I am a very proud “strong, beautiful Barnard woman” who loves traditions almost as much as I love unhealthy breakfast food, but Midnight Breakfast fills me with fear and anxiety every semester. Think about it, it’s the night before finals start and you have been awake for the past 48 hours writing that 15 page paper that was due five minutes ago. By the time you get to the gym it is hard to tell whether or not that creepy dancing bear is real or just a hallucination. (If you see more than one dancing bear next to Beyonce riding a unicorn, you are definitely hallucinating).

Before attending the breakfast last night, I prepared to steel myself against the “cheering” that I expected to have hurled at me upon entering LeFrak. Normally, you are immediately attacked by 20+ overly excited, happily cheering ladies who you must pass in order to get to the food. It is absolutely horrifying. But this year I was surprised to find myself welcomed in by just a few girls who gave me and my friends a couple of unenthused cheers. Fraught by exhaustion and paranoia I became fixated on figuring out what I had done wrong to upset these girls. Why weren’t they cheering for me? Did I give them a mean look? Is my cynicism really that unattractive? I’m just tired! Was I better-looking last year?

It is difficult to be a socially awkward, sleep-deprived person in a very crowded, very loud gym full of food, music, and every single one of your peers. Midnight Breakfast is basically estrogen on speed. But no matter how strange the experience is or how afraid (or terrified) you are of Millie the dancing bear, it is still one of the best experiences that Barnard has to offer and gives us a sense of community that we sometimes wish we had more of. So thanks Midnight Breakfast, even though you make us feel sick from strange combinations of ice cream, gummy bears, and tater tots, you are still one of the best traditions/nightmares that this school has to offer.

Photo via Wikimedia

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  1. fuck  

    you barnard, go away. keeping us out til you guys get your food is rediculous when u guys take every single butler seat from us

  2. Anonymous

    What a cute blurb. Now I'm sad I missed Midnight Breakfast....meh, I had my priorities straight (Orgo Night). I can get midnight food whenever I want. All hail Appletreeeeeee!

  3. Anonymous

    why are you scared of midnight breakfast? what is wrong with you? chill out. this article makes no sense.

    • Anonymous  

      i completely agree! as one of the "unenthused" ladies cheering you and your friends in, I'm not sure what more you could have asked of my friends and I last night; we have 10x the amount of enthusiasm and passion for Barnard than did most people in that gym last night. so while you were scrambling to turn in that 15 page paper 5 minutes late, please think about the "unenthused" group of people who had been in the gym since 3pm yesterday setting up and preparing for your breakfast. also, why the hell would you be afraid of Millie?

      • Anonymous  

        woah, calm down! sounds like you and your friends did a fine job. did she not end the article saying midnight breakfast is one of the best things barnard has to offer? ... i think she did.

      • Lily Icangelo  

        I am really sorry if I came off as unappreciative to the fantastic work that you all put into Midnight Breakfast. I was honestly trying to write just a little satire to play off the anxiety that a lot of us feel during finals. I am incredibly thankful to McAc and all of the awesome events they put on for us students, I love going to a school with unique traditions and McAc helps to keep those traditions alive! I was not trying to criticize Midnight Breakfast, I think it is a fantastic event and I have gone to every single one since my start at Barnard. I am sorry if this offended you, I truly did not mean it to. I thought the gym looked awesome, and I very much enjoyed the free candy. Thank you again for all of your hard work and good luck on your finals.

        (My fear of Millie goes back to my fear of all life size plush is just a weird unexplainable fear!)

    • Carolyn  (Bwog Staff)  

      Oy, you guys... It's SATIRE: a mirror to the madness, a bit of biting wit, a smidgen of snark etc. Just cause it's finals doesn't mean you have to take yourselves so seriously!

  4. Anonymous

    What is wrong with you? Who rips on Midnight Breakfast?? You complain about. Students cheering for you and then are upset they don't? Maybe it is you after all..

  5. exclusionary  

    bitches and whores

  6. Anonymous  

    Midnight Breakfast is nothing other than a nice study break for students. I have never heard any criticisms before, and quite frankly I can not understand why you are so self-conscious and take everything so personally. Midnight breakfast is not about you or anyone else actually, it is about community. Hopefully you will realize that before next semester so you can enjoy with the rest of us.

  7. One of C5  

    I was high as balls and it was one of the scariest events of these past two weeks.....well maybe



    especially if you're high

  9. C5  


  10. Millie the Bear  

    Is Millie the bear male or female?

  11. i thought  

    it was funny and I don't go to Barnard. It's like the thing where they make the CC freshman walk through the gates as a class and all the NSOP people are banging thundersticks at you. If you're not a huge crowds person, that can be kind of unpleasant. Lily Icangelo, I feel where you're coming from.

  12. fuck  

    you barnard, your school is rated like 30th and we are 4th. go away

  13. Anonymous  

    I found midnight breakfast to be relaxing if anything. There's nothing to be scared about! It's free food and obscene amounts of sugar! Needles to say, my sugar high kept me up till around 4 am.

  14. Anonymous

    too bad this article was terribly written. could have been funny...

  15. BC '11  

    If you are wondering, perhaps, why this student finds Midnight Breakfast to be a little stressful, a few parts of your answer could give some hints. It's totally weird that, from what she perceived as a less enthusiastic entrance, she dives into paranoia; that's a joke. A stupid, inconsistent joke, considering she clearly didn't like it when she was \attacked by 20+ overly excited, cheering ladies.\ I understand that, after all of your hard work (LeFrak looked AWESOME! That castle on the stage was incredible), it's pretty demoralizing to feel like that work was under-appreciated.

    From there, though, your competitive passive aggressive response represents precisely the sort of thing that stresses the writer out. Defending your enthusiasm for Barnard, and the work you did for Midnight Breakfast? Totally reasonable. But, why turn it into a competition, and in so doing, abase your classmates? McAc ladies do great work, fueled by their school spirit. That doesn't mean that you all have an unlimited claim on school spirit (as I'm sure you know, you just wrote in haste and reactionary emotion). There were plenty of other ladies in that gym who have just as much Barnard love, but show it in different ways--SGA members, RAs, Senior Fund participants, and students who choose to spend their time otherwise.

    Furthermore, it is unacceptable for you to denigrate your classmate's work ethic vis-a-vis her paper. This is a stressful time for us all. People aren't sleeping, aren't eating well, and are jamming way too much caffeine into their bodies in a rush to the finish. We all have our own work habits, and we all have different structuring elements in our lives. In this environment, self-righteousness towards someone who structures hers differently is just destructive and unnecessary. We do our work, we submit it, the professors grade it. You did yours, so why be disdainful of another student's work patterns?

    Furthermore, it's pretty ridiculous to use the activities in which one participates voluntarily as a source for superiority. The reason you're in McAc is because you love Barnard, and you want to put on great programs, and clearly you've decided that those values make the hard work worth it. From that point, you don't get to use your hard work and time spent as a mark of superiority over your fellow students. You are putting time in to something that you value; they are putting time in to things that they value. Your hard work isn't an end in and of itself, and you've taken it on voluntarily. Why not just focus on the fact that you've accomplished something in which you can take pride, rather than being competitive?

    The ladies of McAc are wonderful, and the programs they lead are fabulous! I enjoyed Midnight Breakfast last night, as did my friends. Great study break! (Although, can we pleeeeeease get Chromeo to serve next semester?) But, during this stressful time, let's all just take a deep breath, focus on our own work, and refuse to descend into rash pettiness. Take care of yourselves, show care for your fellow students, and take care of business. You are all super awesome!

  16. i dunno i think  

    midnight breakfast really is scary

  17. ya'all  

    need ta shuttup. for real
    and go study them bookz

  18. you are all idiots

    1) midnight breakfast can be overwhelming because there are lots of people all in an echo-y space
    2) but, it's still fun
    3) when you're sleep deprived, a dancing bear can scare you, but not really scare you. it's like joking about how you feel like you're tripping balls because you're so delusionally tired. hence her exaggeration.

    I'm pretty sure lily said all of this.


  19. Bad Review Madlib, Midnight Breakfast ed.  

    I didn’t think the event was very good. The entire crew is very talented, but the breakfast was pretty bad. After seeing four of these semesters you can see the hackneyed bacon and fruit plates coming from a mile away. Both the context and the relaying of the desserts were very unoriginal, and the stations were so disjointed. The Candyland throw-in and the 80s dance music were pretty awful. It made the event boring and predictably cheesy. Furthermore, in true Midnight Breakfast tradition, the pancakes were weak toward the center, causing much of the diners around me to lose interest. However, the two deans saved the show from a total disaster, and the charm and talent of the crew carried the event, effectively lifting this viewer’s judgment from a 5 to a 6.5 out of 10.

  20. this is EXACTLY RIGHT ON.  

    Midnight breakfast is a terrifying experience, "estrogen on speed" perfectly describes it. These girls commenting that midnight breakfast is FABULOUS! are the reason why it's scary.

  21. Barnard chica  

    "Estrogen on speed" - couldn't have described it better myself.

  22. lets be real:

    bacon, diabetes inducing "breakfast" foodstuffs, screaming girls, people in bear costumes.
    These are the things I live for.

    ....Too bad I stayed in my room and ate pasta sauce outta the jar while reading books I shoulda read last month. When I found out there was cotton candy at MB, I almost regretted not going. ALMOST. Then I remembered I live 6 blocks away and its effing cold outside and I'm just not a strong enough barnard beauty to brave the walk.

  23. you all complain

    Yet you keep showing up!

  24. Agreed  

    Midnight breakfast makes me incredibly anxious too. Haters, stop shitting on this well written piece. As if the stress of finals wasn't enough, there's an entire gymnasium full of people who you kind of recognize from freshman year... but not enough to want to say hi to them. And I can't stand the dancing Barnard bear.

    I love Barnard, but I can't help feeling stressed at midnight breakfast sometimes.

  25. Anonymous  

    Im a Barnard student and in my opinion its a pretty awful event. Considering the intellectual level of this place, isn't there something more enlightening a group of smart girls can come up with?
    Disgusting food and awful music to start finals period. Great. I'd rather get some rare disease that eats your brain at the beginning of finals that go through that.

  26. YUP

    hells yes, that bear is creepay. kinda cute in stuffed toy form. nice on clothes and buildings. kinda creepy in full-sized costume mode.

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