By Nutchapol Boonparlit
As the year draws to a close, we try to squeeze in a few more parties before we all have to go our separate ways. One of our favorite traditions is Reality Weekend, where Johnnies essentially have a campus-wide party organized by Reality (one of the clubs responsible for organizing parties)—not the sort of parties where people pass out on the ground, but one with lots of fun activities where you won’t be making regrettable mistakes. There were lots of activities scattered throughout the back campus: Frisbee, a bouncing house, football, and live Wizard’s Chess (yes, like in Harry Potter).
Reality Weekend essentially starts off on Friday night with a small video made by the junior class celebrating the end of the year, followed by a dance party. The celebration continues on Saturday with students waking up to find their dorms decorated. This year’s theme was Reality TV; decorations were inspired by various popular television shows. My dorm was designated the Survivor, dorm so that morning I walked out of my room and essentially got tangled in a net that one of my friends placed over my door.
As per tradition, a grill was set up where I could grab a hot dog or burger at pretty much any time of the day. This year, we also had a Slip ’n Slide, where some students grabbed a small inflatable raft that they used to glide downhill. We had a Wizard’s Chess game where the pieces were actual people, as well as a volleyball court set up for people to play in. But most of the people were simply out on the lawn enjoying a bit of the sun. Some had instruments and were singing a few songs with their friends. Actually, as I continue to write this post, I’m coming to the realization just how tame a party Reality Weekend really is. Sure, we have our dance parties, paint-filled water balloon fights, and Spartan Madball (like football, but even more fun), but no one ever does anything crazy—or if they do, it’s not stupid.
One of my friends once commented that at St. John’s we don’t really have the wild college parties that other places have. There aren’t really any huge, wild gatherings with loud music and drunken dancing. But I guess in a way, that is a good thing. My memories of college won’t be of bright lights and blurry images. When I look back on my last days of the school year, what I will remember are the barbeques, the movie, and the fireworks next to the creek. Sure, it may be tame, but it’s the memories of doing these things with other people that make them worthwhile. Reality Weekend is about saying farewell to friends and the school year, and in that, it certainly succeeds.