What Have We Done?
During freshman orientation, there are a few questions that, to be normal, you must ask people when you meet them. What’s your name? Where are you from? What’s your schedule? Where are you living on campus? The River? Ouch.
In the month before graduation, the ’14 class has fallen into a similar habit, albeit with different curiosities. Do you know what you’re doing after? (We’ll even strand our prepositions to avoid saying the G-word.) Where will you be? Have you found a place yet? Do you think it’s pathetic if I have a pong table in my new apartment that I will be sharing with several of my closest Dartmouth friends? Isn’t it weird, you know ... that we’re leaving?
No. Weird is too neat of a term. It is supremely bizarre. In many ways. But mostly, it’s so strange that this conglomeration of people won’t ever exist, eat meals in the same three places, pass each other on Main Street with a smile (or the equally common hassled grunt), succeed and miserably, wildly fail in the same few-mile radius again. We can’t answer any of the routine, pre-G-word questions, but we’ve never had trouble when asked what the best part of Dartmouth has been. The people (or as Amanda would say, the homies). Obviously, the people.
You guys are so cool and weird, and cohabitation with you has been one hell of a ride. For a bunch of smart people, your ability to do hilariously stupid things is truly astonishing. We salute you and thank you for making us laugh and allowing us to do hilariously stupid things right alongside you.
Seanie: I will switch gears before we start to cry. Our rejection of sentiment was already nearly destructed in one fell swoop last Thursday night when the song “Hey There Delilah” was played in a basement and its theme of long-distance love caused me to weep like a newborn baby. So instead of indulging myself, I will use this space for a discussion of McDonald’s and its pivotal role in my time as a Dartmouth senior. My most notable foray into the McDonald’s menu occurred just this week in the bus terminal of Boston South Station. I spotted the restaurant by the sign that glowed like a beacon.
I was not allowed much McDonald’s as a child because my parents inexplicably considered In-N-Out a healthier alternative. Now that I am liberated from my McDonald’s-less youth, poor in money but rich with the freedom of adulthood, the Dollar Menu has become one of my favorite parts of being alive. I’ve spent many Sunday afternoons this year lurking with friends in the West Leb McDonald’s, purchasing fries, burgers and McFlurries over the course of several hours.
This week at the South Station McDonald’s, I decided to throw caution to the wind and purchase a “Southwest Chicken Salad” in addition to my standard order. My carefully thought-through logic was that eating a salad negates eating anything else that is bad for you (like salad + fries = simply just salad). I don’t have anything else to say about the experience besides that it was regrettable. The salad was underwhelming, and eating McDonald’s alone in an urban bus station has nothing on eating McDonald’s with people you love in rural New Hampshire.
I don’t really know where I’m going with this. Mainly I just wanted to publicly acknowledge my gratitude toward the West Leb McDonald’s and the space that it has provided for me. In that McDonald’s, I have laughed, cried (surprise!!!!), reflected, made short-term plans, made long-term plans, lamented my lack of plans and just generally ate many fries. I was initially going to connect this to my attachment to various spaces at Dartmouth and the unexpected ways in which they’ve served me and the fact that you can’t reproduce that in other places with other people try as you might and holy wow graduation ... but I think that is a stretch, even for me, and will spare you.
Amanda: Though dyeing my hair purple last week was not unexpected, certain things happened this week that were. I recently learned that in my current state, perspiring profusely is strictly out of the question — unless having purple drip marks down the sides of my face is the look I’m going for (it ain’t). I also unexpectedly learned that having purple hair gives me a warm feeling of kinship to those out there in the world who have unnaturally colored locks as well — and also to the one-eyed, one-horned, flying purple people eater, even though I really only identify with one of those traits.
This week I labeled myself a hunter. Not of deer or geese or any other creature — I’ve actually never even touched a gun before. But of jobs and apartments, using Gmail, LinkedIn, Google and my mom as my necessary weapons.
The job application process, while long, has proven to be far from boring. One application called for the traditional cover letter and resume, but also asked me to submit a link to a GIF that represents my work style. For a solid minute I googled Olivia Pope GIFs before conceding that the comparison is not permissible.
I later realized that LinkedIn is less like Facebook than I thought, which means that profile-stalking is relatively ill-advised. There’s a tab designed to reveal “Who’s Viewed Your Profile,” which completely obliterates any attempt at stealthiness and may result in accidental reconnections. Like it did for me.
On another afternoon, I sifted through hundreds of different apartments on StreetEasy and found myself not-so-subconsciously dismissing apartments that were not pet friendly, which is ridiculous because Seanie and I still have no pet piglet that requires this pet friendliness. Our faith is yet Herculean.
It’s hard to believe that in a month, all of us seniors will scatter across the globe like rainbow sprinkles on a sundae. Watching the rest of campus go through room draw took us back to the not-so-distant days of posting our future dorm locations as our Facebook statuses. We make no promises that we won’t rejoice and do the same once we’ve officially signed off on our respective future pads, wherever they may be.
And though the next time you hear from us will also be the last, don’t forget that — as the song goes — all you weirdos make us “Happy.”
Yours in kindred weirdness,
Lucy & Ethel