Matt Anderson ’21
Mulledy Flood Survivor; 2018 Brooks Hall Fire Denier
For many of today’s youth, at least before the pandemic, the first year at College is a right of passage. It’s part of a brief flicker of time where it’s socially acceptable for students to crush a keg with people they just met, or to “study” in the library by passing the time on their phone. It may just be the only place where one can enjoy an adult’s freedom and independence before the crushing weight of adult responsibilities and a career rip that away. All this under the guise of getting an education.
While it’s an inescapable reality of the times, and concessions have to be made for the safety of everyone at Holy Cross, some still bemoan what we have lost in the process. The freedom college provides to many, already a fleeting thing, is even shorter for the class of 2024. Lamenting the school’s decisions made to combat the spread of Covid-19, freshman Mark O’Rourke ‘24, who would have been transported on the first weekend after downing sixteen shots in under an hour, admitted to The Eggplant that he was sad to miss the “true college experience.” “To be honest, I was so excited to get out of my parents’ house and finally having a little independence,” said the 18-year-old, who, if he had been on the Hill, would have woken up the next morning in a hospital gurney with an IV in his arm and no recollection of the night before.
Another first-year, Chad Bartholomew Higgins III, who in all likelihood would have shotgunned four hard seltzers,* then toppled out of a third floor Hanselman window and suffered numerous critical head injuries–which would then have sparked a weeks-long conversation about the perils of binge-drinking that served as a temporary cautionary tale to other freshmen–also spoke up. “I’m bummed I won’t get to meet and make friends with my classmates [these classmates who would have witnessed him plummeting to the ground and then abandoned his limp form in the courtyard between Hanselman and Lehy, fearing reprisal if they reported the incident to public safety]. It really sucks that I won’t be able to make those freshman-year memories [of slowly regaining consciousness in St. Vincent’s less than 50 hours after his arrival at school and being forced to spend the next nine months learning to talk again once they had unwired his jaw].”
In their concluding remarks, O’Rourke and Higgins both admitted to approximating Holy Cross campus life by drunkenly passing out in their parent’s basements and pretending it was a sports house.
* “It looks way cooler than it sounds.” -Chad