2011 is winding down, exams are picking up, and here at The Eye we’re feeling all sorts of bittersweet about our last issue of the semester. To commemorate a year well done (or just plain done), this week’s lead story features nine editor’s opinions on the Best of 2011. Over the next couple of days we’ll be featuring additional stories on Spectrum—today, check out Liana Gergely’s Best of 2011, with the “Best Time I Felt Like I Went to a State School.”
The alarm rings at 9 a.m. and I roll myself out of bed. After a shower and a few quick Facebook stalks, I put on my blue and white football jersey, white converse, and place a sticker of a bubble-lettered C on my cheek. I obviously straighten my hair and put on makeup because pictures from this day are the Columbia version of the royal wedding. Three parties, a shuttle bus, and a couple of Twitter updates later, I officially attend Columbia State University.
Such school spirit is so rare here, that it is coined “Christmas” among my peers. Aside from the fact that menorahs and dreidels are more my choice of festivity, if I was to imagine Christmas Eve it would be something like the joy and excitement of Columbia Homecoming.
The best part of that October day was neither the 15 minutes I was actually in the stadium, nor the overpriced hot dog I ate once I left, but instead the feeling that by taking up life at 116th and Broadway, I may actually get the classic, “what you see in movies” college experience one, or maybe two, days a year.
Being a strong, beautiful, Barnard woman, I’m used to taking on more than I can handle, overachieving, and socializing with my peers about becoming the first woman president. Beer, football players, and 10 a.m. frat parties? Not so much. Although my experiences are collegiate in their own right, there was something special about feeling like a regular college kid on the morning of a football game. And although I had never heard of Baker Field as a freshman, my Homecoming outing made for good memories—and an even better profile picture.
When my friends from high school brag about their weekly tailgates and full sets of school-color apparel, I can confidently say that I’ve had that experience. Although my festive day of beer and face-paint was special, who needs weekly tailgates when I live in the concrete jungle where dreams are made? Given that life is better in moderation, I’ll balance the traditional college lifestyle with feminism and the 1-line any day.