The first time I ever heard about Senior Dis-Orientation was the fall of my sophomore year. I was taking an elective course in the English department and the class was full of juniors and seniors. The second week of school I noticed that a majority of my class seemed to have sprouted lime green wristbands overnight. It took me a minute to glean that these students were all seniors and that this must therefore be some sort of “cool senior thing.” As I discussed the ins and outs of “Dis-O” (as I quickly learned this was what was behind those esoteric wristbands) with my friends, my mind ran wild with possibilities. I pictured the seniors in my English class living a kind of double life for two weeks: calm, collected and collegiate by day, engaged in some kind of secret senior society replete with drunken debauchery by night. Man they are so cool; can’t wait until I’m a senior.
And of course, because time has this way of, well, passing, it is now my turn to be a senior and partake in the great myth of Dis-O. For those of you who do not know, we’re in the trenches of Dis-O right now (look for the blue wristbands on the kids with the bags under their eyes in your classes. I feel like I am not only participating in some major right of passage, but Dis-O is also proving to be a lot of fun.
But perhaps I should clarify that thus far, for me, Dis-O has been about much more than the drink specials and the dancing (but oh! The dancing!). For the first time in a long time (perhaps ever in college), Dis-O provides the opportunity for you to go to one place and be with all of the people you’d like to hang out with on any given night — and then some. Yes, of course you’ll miss seeing underclassman friends, but there’s something great about being with your own class. There are the friends you made on your freshman floor — who, if you are lucky enough, happen to include some faces you see pretty regularly; perhaps they even include those people you have gone on to live with for all four years. There are the friends you met in your IR discussion section, in your General Psych class, in line at Leo’s, at a friend’s party in Henle; there are the ones with whom you traveled abroad, with whom you pulled all nighters, whose shoulders on which you’ve cried (read: vomited) — the faces you’ve seen around campus for the past four years. Hell, there are even people you first met on your GAAPweekend, and they are likely chatting with the kids you talked to on Charms before freshman year. They are all here and accounted for. And, take it from a senior (that is, after all, the elusive point here): It is really good to see each and every one of them.
People who know me well (or have the distinct misfortune of catching other columns of mine) know that I have a propensity for the nostalgic, and this is no exception. Dis-O provides the senior class with the privilege of getting to reconnect with one another. It’s only a sneak preview of senior week’s festivities in May, but I love that it happens in the beginning of the year because it means that, if you so choose, you have the entire year to catch up with/hang out with/grab dinner with your classmates. It underscores the importance of living your senior year intentionally, of soaking it all up and reveling in it. It’s funny, the word “disorient” means to lose direction, but that’s just not true. Sure, my plans for the future remain nebulous at best. But for senior year? I’ve never felt more certain that I am in the right place at the right time. And I don’t even need a blue wristband to tell me that.
Take It From a Senior is a rotating, biweekly column written from the viewpoints of graduating seniors.MARGARET DELANEY is a senior in the College.