Traditions are different when you’re a sophomore. I don’t just mean that you stay dry (ish) on Parade Night; it’s that the magic of discovery is gone. That doesn’t mean the magic is gone, but I’ll get back to that. It’s just that when you’re a freshman, corralled with your classmates in the common room; nervous, excited, with the kind of anticipatory heebie-jeebies you get in your stomach before a race. To wax overly poetic, it’s like the buildup before a first kiss. That’s how many things are freshman year; move in day, those first few conversations with the person who will become your best friend, the first day of classes, the first time you go up to a professor and try to hold an intelligent conversation.
As a sophomore, it’s completely different. The magic is in the nostalgia, the anticipatory heebie-jeebies are because you already know for sure that the thing that is about to happen is awesome. Now the nerves, the excitement, are a different kind. I’m not worried about the unknown, but about what I already know. It’s not a just a random professor that I get to talk to after class, but the brilliant one who’s class I wanted to take ever since October of last year. I’m excited for the Tradition not because I heard that it was fun, but because I have already lived it, and I know that it is.
There’s still the magic of discovery; I still don’t know all the words to the songs, I still don’t know what to expect in certain classes (I’ve avoided certain departments—history—like the plague) and I get a little lightheaded every time I think about choosing my major. But there’s one thing that I have that I didn’t have this time last year. Once again, to wax poetic, I have a trust in Bryn Mawr that I never thought I would. I know that everything will turn out ok because everything I was worried about last year, the things that drove me to make the most intensely categorized lists you’ve ever seen, turned out ok too.
And besides, this year I get to have way more fun with Traditions.