By Amy Rudolph
Elm Staff Writer
Last year, my Birthday Ball experience revolved around my awkward freshman self not knowing what to do around so many people. This year, my awkward sophomore self started to get the hang of it. Sitting at tables and watching people have fun isn’t as great as wedding rom-coms make it out to be; in order to have fun, you have to make your own fun. Birthday Ball gave plenty of opportunities for this.
Right when you walked in, there was a huge light up Hollywood sign that most of my tuition this year may have gone towards. It was a blast getting cut in line repeatedly and having to dart for the chance of a photo opportunity, it showed that I really can run despite popular belief. Dining services always bring out their best for Birthday Ball and deserve a shout out for their efforts to feed and hydrate ravenous party goers who just want to shove their face with some lemonade and crab dip. The upturned beverage containers and shifty eyed students looking for more was very reminiscent of a watering hole.
Being in Maryland, we can never escape the crab dip, which got glowing reviews from almost every student I talked to. I think I would’ve liked it a lot more had I not stepped in some barefoot. The dining hall popcorn is my favorite part of Birthday Ball every year, as I essentially lived off of the stuff freshman year and I was so excited to see it’s return. The DJ played some sick middle school throwbacks that a lot of professors and alumni pretended to know the words and dances to. I felt a strong kinship with my fellow students as we unanimously raised our hands for the section of the LMFAO song, “Shots,” in which Lil Jon implores all his alcoholics to let him see their hands up.
Public Safety deserves a shoutout for being ever present across campus and at the dance. Public Safety works extra hard to provide us with a safe and fun atmosphere to let the party keep going all night, and they make student safety look effortless. An additional shoutout to our eight RA’s on duty and our RAD on duty is also well-earned for making sure all students could continue to have a fun, incident-free night after the lights went out on George’s birthday shindig.
The hard work and dedication that goes into planning Birthday Ball is unparalleled, and SEB, especially Caitlyn Kirby, SEB director of annual events, should be damn proud of how everything turned out. SEB, the technical crew, and the brothers of Phi Delta Theta and Kappa Sigma fraternities should be commended for their help . Birthday Balls past have left a sour taste in guests’ mouths for a number of reasons but this year, everything came together better than expected. I love to be proven wrong and this year I am so glad that I was.
Last year, the part of Birthday Ball I looked forward to the most was the promise of Tater Tots in the dining hall afterwards. This year, I was able to cut loose, stop being such a loner, and actually have fun with my friends.
Throughout my time at Washington College, I’ve been working towards not being so shy and reserved, and Birthday Ball gave me the perfect opportunity to test my progress. If you’re like 2016 me and your best friend for the night is a cylindrical potato snack, try just having fun and embrace the good around you, even if you gotta hunt for it a bit. Leave everything that’s bothering you behind and cut a rug. Birthday Ball might bring drama for some, but it can be a great night if you really want it to be.
The culmination of the night was when a few errant WC students rang the victory bell in celebration and a plethora of “woo’s!” were heard campus wide. Birthday Ball was a victory for some, and I hope that everyone can find a small victory that keeps them coming back to celebrate our man George Washington’s birthday each year.