Top ten things to look forward to in the spring!
1. Boys’ bid night: The first time I heard about this infamous U.Va. holiday, I was confused. Does every single fraternity actually have a party? There are 32 fraternities? Can I get to all of them in one night? As my friends and I discussed the event, we soon realized we were about to experience something arguably better than Christmas, only one step behind Foxfield. And what would a U.Va. party be without neon T-shirts and cups? This spring staple is the perfect time to look ridiculous and act ridiculous and spend all of Sunday trying not to remember what happened the night before.
2. Foxfield: Ah, the act of getting dressed up and (not) watching horses. Our own Kentucky Derby: Students don their best pearls and frattiest button-downs and make the pilgrimage to the racetrack a couple miles away from Grounds. This all-day event may be the classiest party at U.Va. Spend all day at your tent with your friends or wander endlessly.
3. Better weather: What would the spring semester be without sunshine and warm weather? One of the many reasons northerners head south is to get away from the biting cold and snow. Having more excuses to implement my “sun’s out, guns out” mentality is an added plus. It gets warmer quickly on Grounds, and I think everyone is ready for the frisbees and Lawn-lounging to return. There are also the perks of not having to hide your jacket in a fraternity when you go out and being able to drink cold Starbucks drinks without anyone judging you.
4. Summer clothing: We’re all excited to put our Bean Boots back in the closet and hang up our winter jackets for good. Warm weather means shorts, T-shirts, flip-flops and sundresses. It means letting us finally give our worn-out leggings a rest. It also allows me to again don my uniform of Nike shorts and sneakers, looking extremely ready to work out but never actually doing it. There is no way to look as motivated and athletic with so little effort.
5. Colbert at valediction: Remember that day when we all got free ice cream in front of the Rotunda? Well, that had more of a purpose than to add to our first semester food babies — Stephen Colbert, political pundit and host of The Colbert Report on Comedy Central is speaking at this year’s valediction ceremony. On the heels of an election year, Colbert is sure to give a hilarious speech.
6. New Newcomb Dining Hall: Coming back from break, you probably did a double take when you realized that the massive greenhouse that was N2 is no more. Then you may have face-planted attempting to navigate the massive mud pit that sits in its place. Gone is the temporary dining hall that probably should have went down in Sandy, and here are the new Newcomb dining facilities. In addition to a massive dining hall, the Newcomb renovations also brought a small restaurant hilariously named In the Nood as well as N2Go, a deli-like venue designed to give you food when you’re in a hurry. The new Newcomb is more of a party than Club Clem and definitely offers better food than O-Hill. Judging by the lines that snake around the entrance each day, it might be harder to get in here than Trinity on a Friday night.
7. Farmer’s market reopens in April: One of Charlottesville’s staples is its extensive city market on the Downtown Mall. Worth the trip from Grounds, the farmer’s market offers fresh fruit and vegetables and other homemade food and goods. Because the cold has made us resort to ordering in Domino’s or Basil on a rotating basis since the end of November, we could probably all stand for some healthy food in our lives. Plus, it’s unquestionably fresh — unlike O-Hill bananas, which were my only sources of fruit last semester.
8. Fridays After Five: Another cool feature of the Downtown Mall is Fridays After Five. Beginning April 20, the nTelos Wireless Pavillion hosts free live music every Friday. Concession sales from the events go toward local nonprofit organizations. Bands such as Love Canon and Skip Castro are booked for the coming season, as well as many other big names. Local artists are also featured.
9. Running: It is no secret that most U.Va. students love to keep in shape — or pretend to, see number four. Warmer weather means a chance to leave the gym and get your run on outside. Though I find running extremely intimidating, as I have yet to figure out what to do with my arms, I know many are excited to get off the treadmill and do some real moving. Charlottesville’s many events, like the annual Ten Miler held in the middle of March, help support this healthy habit.
10. Summer: It’s like winter break, only better. Though it means a tearful goodbye to the fourth years and a terrifying escape from the Charlottesville bubble and into real life, there is nothing better for a student than summer vacation. Four months of minimal responsibility gives us a chance to get tan again and remind everyone when we return in the fall that our pasty winter look is not seriously what we look like.