For the class of 2021, the anticipated tradition of Senior Soiree is just another Senior Sorry :/ .
Normally the weekend before Thanksgiving break would be reserved for a flashy seniors-only Peirce formal. Underclassmen would be banished to their quads. Fairy lights would glow through the New Side windows, lighting up the Eastern horizon like a reverse sunrise. The school would buy us alcohol.
Alas, this year is not normal, and frankly the idea of being packed in an enclosed room with hundreds of drunk maskless college students makes me want to claw my throat out.
But I bet if we try really hard we can recreate the Soiree experience from the comfort of our own wherever we ares!! All it takes is some imagination and a couple trips to the liquor store.
(On a personal note, I am truly very sad that we are missing out on all these Kenyon traditions, especially because I had an Hard Time in High School™ and avoided anything that wasn’t strictly required for me to graduate and yes I did feel a twinge of superiority over my classmates who celebrated all the senior traditions and actually attended graduation but what lonely teenager didn’t hold onto to that superiority complex as a coping mechanism and anyways I found a real home at Kenyon and was looking forward to displaying my school pride in earnest but the Pandemic had other plans and while global crises require sacrifices it is also okay to admit that this senior year is a loss and we are truly very sad.) (Whatever here’s how to create your own remote Senior Soiree.)
- SET UP: As the traditional Soiree is held in New Side of Pierce, you should set yours up in the most frequented room in your own home. That could be the living room, the kitchen, the combination kitchen/living room if you have an open floor plan, basically wherever kicking all non-seniors out of will cause the most disruption. (Fandango’s the one in the dim closet you use for storage.) Obviously as a former underclassmen I’ve never experienced the fully Soiree-ified New Side, but the vibe I’ve gotten from past Instagrams is wedding reception-meets-ritzy Bat Mitzvah. So you’ll need yards and yards of fairy lights, black linen tablecloths, and those giant gold balloon letters to remind you no one in attendance has their own mortgage.
- PREPARE REFRESHMENTS: I got one word for you: Booze. Ask anyone who has attended a Soiree what their experience was like and they will surely mention booze. You’re gonna need a LOT of cheap wine, beer, and most of all, Andre. I don’t think Kenyon is allowed to serve hard alcohol but you can always slip a flask in your bra if you really want to. Now I got two more words for you: Hors. D’oeuvres. I’m a big fan of mozzarella sticks and every frozen appetizer sold at Costco, but for simplicity’s sake you can cut literally any food you already have into little pieces and stick toothpicks through them. Just don’t make too much, because I’ve heard the food always runs out in the first five minutes of Soiree anyways.
- LOOK HOT: You have a few fashion options depending on your family’s income level. You can charge $80 (or more) to your parents credit card for a spaghetti-strap dress from Urban Outfitters, or spend $15 of your own money in the ASOS sale section. Either way, your dress will fall apart by the end of the night. And if you are a boring Boy, at least put on some exciting socks or change your single earring. Make an effort. This is not the Catalina Wine Mixer.
- PREGAME: You know how.
- PARTY!!!!!: The time has come. Pour yourself a few clear plastic cups of wine and get dancing. NOW LISTEN CLOSELY. For the complete Soiree experience you gotta! spill! booze! You gotta spill all over yourself!(You’re only wearing that dress once, remember?) And also all over the floor! You gotta make a slip-n-slide of alcohol! Everyone leaves Soiree with a ton of bruises so just embrace the fact that you’re gonna eat shit.
- BE CLASSIST: If you live with any underclassmen–– 10-year-old siblings count–– block the entrance to your dining room with a baby gate and force them to stand on the other side while you yell “IT’S MY TIME!!! YOU’LL GET YOUR CHANCE!!!!” between burps of Andre.
- BROWN OUT: Did you go to an after party? Did your housemates have to drag you north on a dog leash? The answer here is no, you haven’t left your house in days, but if you get drunk enough you can close your eyes and imagine you’re hydroplaning at a Milk party.
Whew. What a night. Try to drink some water before you crash. And in a few short hours…
- WAKE UP TO THE SWEET REEK OF STALE ANDRE IN THE MORNING: Stumble into brunch gagging on a noxious blend of sweat of alcohol. Unfortunately you’ll have to cook your own hangover meal this year. God damn pandemic.