Tonight, the Dartmouth community will welcome the Class of 2016 at the Dartmouth Night Bonfire. The Bonfire has burned year after year, from the center of The Green, as hundreds of first-year students circle around it and upperclassmen cheer them on. You might be a little nervous for this tradition. Here are some tips that, hopefully, will make your first Bonfire experience go as smoothly as possible.
-Keep your skin covered. The fire is hot. Like really freakin’ hot. Avoid layers — you will burn up, but don’t leave your too much skin exposed. For girls, leggings and your class jersey are ideal. For guys, uh, use your judgment.
-Don’t pregame this one. But actually. What sounds worse than running laps that are way longer than you expected around a fire that is way hotter than you expected? Doing that after 4 shots of cheap vodka, that’s what. So don’t even think about it, ’16s — you’re too young to drink anyway. This is one you should be sober for. You don’t want to be the reason that the paramedics are there.
-On a similar note, don’t eat half a large pizza at those cluster parties. I know, I know, it’s free, and the SmartChoice 20 seriously leaves you starving (I’m kidding), but resist the urge to scarf down more food than you can handle. Save yourself the stomachache.
-Use the buddy system. Choose one person — two people max, preferably at a comparable fitness level — who you agree to stick with throughout the parade and bonfire. Things get hectic. Your “tightest freshmen floor ever” will be split up, and you don’t want to be the one running around with no one you know around you.
-Call it quits when it’s time. Don’t feel obligated to run more than you want to, even if that means only running a lap or two (or none at all). It’s over when you end it.
-Hit up the free stuff. Somewhere in the vicinity of Collis alumni and students alike will be congregating to indulge in hot cider and food. Be there. You’ll ask yourself why you were even running around that fire in the first place as you gorge yourself.
-Most, importantly, be smart, be safe, and have fun! Don’t touch the fire.
Tags: bonfire, freshmen, homecoming, Maggie Nelson