Yesterday was my last ever May Day as an undergraduate. I think out of all of my May Days, it was by far the best. Unfortunately for me, the last couple of May Days have been bit dreary- my freshmen year it was about 50 degrees and raining, my sophomore year my girlfriend was running around so I couldn’t spend much time with her, and my junior year it rained so hard the ground was turned into mud within about ten minutes of the day starting. With this being my history, I didn’t have high hopes for this tradition.
I had always heard wonderful stories about how other class years had sunny, warm, beautiful May Days, where you would bring a picnic blanket out onto Merion green, eat some snacks, and listen to music. Those seemed like far away fairy tales, as I would gaze out from whatever common room was open to my friends and I, watching the rain hitting resilient classmates in white apparel. I had enjoyed all the other traditions afforded to me, but some how May Day would always end up in ruins- wet, cold, and slightly miserable. It felt more like we were going through the motions than actually enjoying this day for us. This year, however, was the first year that is was decently sunny and warm enough to go outside!
My friends and I got an excellent spot right near the stage, we opened up out snacks, and laid out in the sun. People would stop by and stay with us for a bit, would leave to go play the games, come back with more food, etc. For the first time, I had a really enjoyable May Day- and thank goodness too because this was the last chance I had! I got to get a glitter tattoo, get a soft pretzel, make arts and crafts, and really enjoy all of the fun games that the Students Activities office had put together for us. Pam and I bopped around all day, enjoyed the breeze and company of passing friends.
PLUS I got to participate in another tradition- ringing Taylor Bell to signal that I was done with all of my undergraduate work. I think I was the first person to ring the bell- I’m not 100% sure of course, but I’m going to go with it.
It was really nice to also see so many Alums coming out. It seemed to me that this year a lot of alums from a wide variety of class years had come to join us, so that was really cool. They also had their own alternative alum step sing while the undergraduates were having their own, which I think is both respectful and really good for them to have a space that they can participate in.
As school draws to a close I’m a bit sad and a bit tired, but I’m excited to relax and unwind before we all graduate.