When I reflect upon my last three years as a member of the UD Honors program, my favorite memories and the best experiences all revolve around my freshman floor. Like all freshman floors, Russell D2 was filled with music, laughter, and the altogether too-frequent late night binges of Freddy’s. It was a place where friendships thrived, where romance blossomed (and then died…and then blossomed again), and where 35 bright-eyed and bushy-tailed freshman were able to call UD their home for the first time.
More so than anything else, though, D2 could be summed up by one word: competitive.
Now, that doesn’t mean that we didn’t all love each other and have fun. We just had fun being the best: our athletes were the strongest, our scientists were the smartest, and our musicians and performers were the most talented. That was all put to the test, however, by the biggest (and admittedly, only) major floor-decorating contest of freshman year: the Halloween contest.
Coming off from a crushing defeat at the Russell Olympics in September (which was entirely due to the fact that A1 cheated at both the balloon-shaving competition AND the ninja game-ask anyone who was there, it’s true), we knew we had a lot to prove. We decided on a live performance, taking the judges on a wild ride through the blood-splattered halls of the D2 crime scene. As the chief detective escorted the judges down the hall, past the disemboweled and mutilated corpses of D2 residents, they were exposed to just about every person from our floor. We were scientists, guards, murder victims, police officers, and patients in an insane asylum, and between the gore, mayhem, and hello kitty stickers (the most terrifying of all the decorations, in my opinion) we gave the judges a fright they’d never forget.
By far the best part of our performance that day, however, was the fact that everyone banded together and had a role to play. As with any group of barely-legal teenagers packed together in close quarters and forced to share a grand total of 6 bathrooms, not everyone on my floor became lifelong friends. Different groups emerged, friendships formed, and occasionally, personalities clashed. Yet, this competition crossed every divide and united us all for a common goal. Regardless of who we hung out with on a Saturday night, we were all one unified floor. Whether it be the blood-soaked (read: ketchup) murder victim sprawled out on the floor, the forensic scientist diligently studying evidence (read: glowsticks) from the murders, or the dashingly handsome, daringly clever, and brilliantly-acted guard to the insane asylum that just happens to write for the Honors blog (read: definitely not me or anything), everyone was able to be heard, and everyone’s talents were valued.
Although many of us have gone our separate ways by now, I’ll always look back fondly on that Halloween decoration contest freshman year. It was the first real challenge that brought the floor together, and it was the start of lifelong friendships. I couldn’t have asked for a better introduction to college.
(also, we wiped the floor with A1. #revenge)