There are plenty of reasons that you might not be Downtown this Parade Day. Maybe you don’t drink. Maybe you hate parades, and you don’t want to rain on this one. But maybe you just missed that first, second or even third alarm you set to make sure you didn’t sleep in.
In any case, do not be afraid of the pervasive silence that seems to have swallowed up campus. The pack has simply left you behind.
Parade Day is an every man (or woman) for himself (or herself) shit show of inebriated madness, and to fall behind means serious missing out. But if the time has passed for morning mimosas, kegs and eggs and the surreptitious concoctions that could take the paint off your deck, you might just decide to cut your losses and hold off on the festivities until nighttime.
Campus, cold and empty, might seem like the last place you’d want to be while everyone is out getting sloshed. However, there are ample opportunities to take advantage of in this situation.
An empty campus means empty dining halls. Sodexo might not be your favorite food provider, but the fact that you don’t have to wait in long lines for your mystery meat might just make it taste better when eaten alone. Hey, it’s a holiday, so go all out and treat yourself to the smorgasbord of your dreams, you only live once. It gets even better, because you can pretty much sit wherever you want! Lunch can be lonely sitting alone, but the solitude can offer you a level of introspection that often gets bogged down by the banal debates usually crowding the lunch table. If you’re desperate for company, seek out the few souls left on campus. Otherwise, try meditating on the nature of free will until you finally decide that you have none.
The Glenn G. Bartle Library Pods are usually a den of chaos with rooms full of people and printers low on toner. Not today. You’ve been sitting on your printing queue all semester. You’ve been wanting to print all of those articles and essays for class, but could never face the glaring eyes of the unforgiving masses as the printers struggle to handle your PDF. The hours you get during the parade is your one chance to finally get all of that printing done, guilt free. Well, you might feel guilty for destroying the rain forest, but let’s internalize that shame for the sake of the holiday.
The last place anyone is going to be on Parade Day is the gym, unless they’re seriously devoted. Maybe it’s time to finally use that membership you told your yourself that you had to have. College was going to be a great time of transformation after which you would finally emerge with biceps, triceps and all the other ‘ceps. Oh yeah, you were going to start working out, but then school happened, right? It’s okay, we’ve all been there. But if you’re not working on your beer gut, you might as well get cracking on those six-pack abs.
A word to the wise: The blissful silence will not last forever. For as soon as the marchers stop marching, and the beer stops flowing, they will be coming back. You used to know them as classmates, roommates, even bedmates, but today they are beings of a different kind. They have been to the parade, and when they come back they’ll be drunker than you’d ever thought possible. When the buses come back and the drunks finally return to campus to recharge their batteries, they’ll storm the dining halls in a riotous mob and then hibernate as the sun goes down. Don’t be fooled, it doesn’t end here. The parade might be over, but in a few hours time, they’ll be ready again for to take State Street by storm. If you’re so inclined, you’ll go with them.