Our hellish experience at Activities Day (We are still recovering.), heavily influenced by the light reading one of us did to prepare for LitHum. Guest Writers Avery Baumel and Erika Avallone would definitely call four hours in 90-degree weather an Inferno.
Circle 1: Limbo
300 tables. 4 hours. 30,000 students. Is this Hell? Probably not, but it is College Walk.
You enter into the blazing sun with your lychee green tea in hand and a bright smile (this will go away soon). Instantly, you miss the shade of the trees, and long for your personal space. The entire population of Manhattan swarms around you, just like the lanternflies.
Circle 2: Lust
There are so many tables, so many colors, so many faces… they all have to be worth a visit, right?
You start with a single row. Somehow, that’s ten tables. Well, now you don’t want to seem mean, so you’re going to have to visit the row next door. At first, you think, Oh, this will be easy! Just a quick nod, a smile, and onto the next. Suddenly, your phone battery (and social battery) is almost gone, and you don’t know what your name is anymore. You think you still like chemistry. The last time you took chemistry was in sophomore year of high school (was that really four years ago?). The next thing you know. you’re talking to the social media manager about doing an Instagram takeover. You sign up for the Chemistry Club.
Circle 3: Gluttony
Well, that was exhausting, and now you’re hungry.
You take a powdered jelly donut from some student government group (it’s mediocre, at best). But wait: this is a bartering system, and you have to fill out a Google Form, which leads you to their mailing list, which immediately begins sending you updates. It’s time for a break, so you head to Butler and get a lemon bread from Blue Java (which is sub-par). You get distracted by the posters on the cork board in the lounge, and fill out another Google Form.
Circle 4: Greed
Your stomach hurts, you’re a little bit hyper, and it’s time to go back.
You return and circle the perimeter, looking for the one club you really want to see. You find it, or probably you don’t. You might have written down your email, or name, or who knows what, but you can’t really remember. Your bag is full of stickers, flyers, a pair of sunglasses (which aren’t helping at all and making you sweat even more), a pen, and the napkin from the free Insomnia cookie. (You did download the Bulletin, where you filled out another five Google Forms.)
Circle 5: Wrath
You can’t believe you’re still here.
You have blisters. Your forehead is sunburned. You ran out of water a long time ago, and so did the hydration station. Is this burnout? When the club leaders ask you how you are, you tell them you’re hot, and they tell you they’re hot. Mid-conversation with one club, one of the representatives leaves. You’ve made it to ones you care about, but that doesn’t matter. Every paper you add to your bag feels like a brick.
Circle 6: Heresy
Alma Mater stares down at you as you pass by the climate groups.
You feel guilty that you’re not doing enough to save the world. You feel guilty that you’re not doing enough, period. You feel guilty about not going to every single club’s booth. You feel guilty about not having enough school spirit. So, obviously, you pray:
Our Alma Mater, who art in Barnumbia,
hallowed be thy name.
Thy university come, thy will be done
on earth as it is on Low steps.
Give us this day our daily dose of JJ’s;
and forgive us our over-ambition
as we forgive the constant Duo notifications;
and lead us not into skipping our lectures,
but deliver us from an identity crisis.
Circle 7: Violence
The Unholy Trinity: Sun, Heat, Students
Rays of rage
Down on my face, my hands, my hope
Back to the dorm
But I cannot rise
The heat pounds my spirit
Of lions on the prowl
Lined up and down
Into the den
And the end is nowhere
Circle 8: Fraud
Maybe this is almost over, you think (you are wrong).
You scan a QR code that promises free merch, food at events, and lifelong friendship. You are faced with a 30-question Google Form. Several of the questions have 500-word minimums. One asks you to write about truth, and its meaning in the modern world. You don’t even know where you are right now. You move on. The next table tells you that you can’t even apply until you’re a junior. You move on again. You make it through the last row. You rejoice. Then, you turn around, and spot tables by John Jay. You give up and head back home.
Circle 9: Treachery
You finally return to the ice-cold (sweltering hot) room that you missed so much (there is no AC, it’s just one degree cooler than outside).
Your roommate is taking a nap. They’re much smarter than you and left early. Suddenly, you panic: Where was the acapella? You pull out your phone and check every Instagram account you can find. You find the post. The auditions were two days ago. You go to bed.
1 New Notification: HUMA 1001 – EURPN LIT-PHILOS MASTERPIECS I – Iliad through Book 19 overdue.
Us braving the 95 degree heat via Flickr