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