Juniors! Cream of the college pandemic crop! Welcome back to Madison, game days, cup night, in person classes and actual responsibility for the first time in two years.
Class of 2023, you are in the unique position of getting that split-second taste of how wonderful college is, only to get it ripped away from you in less than nine months.
Class of 2022, I know you experienced a similar heartbreak when the pandemic hit, but at least you had one full year under your belt. Let us grieve a little, please.
It’s not new news that Madtown is back in full, masked-up force. With that comes everyone’s favorite Saturdays of the year — game days. Camp Randall, badger gear and day drinking are back in full glory, finally.
And with game day, it means it’s time to go through the game archives. From the back of a dusty storage unit, under a bed, on top of a closet, members of the class of 2023 all begin their sacred, Saturday morning ritual that they have craved since Fall 2019.
Brushing away the dust on the vacu-seal bag, pulling out their precious, “unique” red and white bibs. For Badgers around the world, these candy cane overalls are a testament to the glory of Bucky, the legend of Camp Randall and chugging god knows what at 8 a.m. No matter what age, gender or height, these bibs are home.
And now, it’s finally time. We’ve been waiting, thirsting, for this exact moment when we can wear our colors with pride when screaming “EAT SHIT, FUCK YOU” at the top of our lungs.
Wipe away the dust. Pull them out of the bag. Unfold them for the first time in two years. Steam them to perfection (though be careful, from a seasoned veteran, these little shits stain like crazy and pink is NOT what we are going for today).
You’re emotional. I’m emotional. It’s time. Tiny white crop top on (or, if you’re bold and original, nothing at all).
Unclasp the front, slip one leg in. Then the other. Get ready for the moment of glory, aaaaand fuck. Wait fuck.
These don’t fit. How the FUCK do these not fit?! We all got like an extra large at the bookstore freshman year on purpose for that oversized look, and now THESE DON’T FIT?!
Panic sets in.
Has it been that long?!
Throats start to close up.
Am I that old now?
Walls seem to be getting closer.
We begin to question. Everything.
Is Jump Around after the second or third quarter!? Which makes me more nauseous, mango or watermelon flavored white claw? Which hand do I hold the shoe in?
Which lake view do I prefer?! Beta? Or SAE? Do upperclassmen even go to Langdon anymore?
Do I just do bars?! I can’t get into the KK. I’m not 21 for another two months.
How did I go into the damn pandemic chugging rose vodka and come out the other end in my 20s with an 11 p.m. bedtime and bibs that don’t fit?
Juniors, we have to face the facts. We’re old, by college standards. And that’s ok, since I’m pretty sure that the bookstore sells XXL bibs that we can all upgrade to — whatever it takes not to accidentally split them open mid-Jump Around.