The First Adventures of Year1's
The new academic year began, and the new generation of SSERigans already have their stories to tell. Here come the first adventures of the newcomers!
Sometimes it seems to me that I’ve been studying here for ages. In fact I came to Riga just a couple of weeks ago. While packing bags in my hometown, I received an email about a mysterious event called Vytautas Newcomers’ Camp. I didn’t have an idea of what it was going to be like. When I moved into the dorms and was trying to guess what was going to happen with me in next three years. I hardly knew a few people from the school. NCC was a turning point, where I understood that I was in the right place.
After one and a half hour’s ice-breaking bus ride we arrived. We were lucky that the good weather and our swimsuits were with us. Traditionally, we were divided into groups (is there at least one individual activity at SSER?!), accompanied by Year2 compadres, some of them were helpful and nice (hugs, Green teem!), but not all. A couple of Year1’s saw a volleyball court and it was impossible to take them away from there, others went to the competitions. We started with “Naked mile”. Don’t be afraid of lying naked on the ground, be afraid of being bitten by red ants! And don’t be zealous during drinking games, the only food you’ll get will be porridge tomorrow in the morning. And please, don’t let your mum see the photos from Treesome! These are the main takeaways we could share with the next generation.
What happened next was the award ceremony, during which it was announced that in each team there was a fake Year 1 and most teams couldn’t guess who it was. The fight for the first place was so intense that the jury had no choice but to make girls dance in wet white T-shirts in order to determine the winner. That was nice :)
Then the party started. Either DJ was totally drunk or there was no DJ at all, but the music was messy: songs were stopped at half and repeated. But this fact couldn’t stop party animals, who were dancing till the morning.
When we woke up and went outside, just few lonely people were wandering around. We asked them why they were not sleeping, it appeared that they couldn’t stand the smell of fume in their rooms. The most joyful creature that moment and during the whole NCC was a dog.
The only food and drink left were AXA and Vytautas. That meant – it was time to go home.
Some weeks ago SSE Riga Y1 students had their Pub Tour. It was a great way to introduce students to the best bars in Old Riga. And let’s face it- after a rough week at school everyone wants to have a good party to relax. Although most Latvians had been in those bars before, no one had ever thought of counting all the radios or playing the piano there. Tasks were quite interesting: some more logical, others, on the contrary, totally ridiculous. All of them required basic orientation skills since we had to find certain places on a black and white map. Aside from fulfilling those tasks, the event was also a good bonding experience for the newcomers. It truly was an amazing feeling when one of the bartenders yelled: “You’re from SSE Riga!” after we had proven our drinking ability. And no wonder that some French kissing was required in French bar. After the event many people kept on partying till dawn. This, of course, had some consequences on next day’s studying process. When the winning team was announced, they received a very nice prize to use at some of the future parties. On that day all Year1’s understood where “Study Hard, Party Harder!” comes from.
“Small birdie told me that Y1’s should take some spare clothes to school tomorrow, because they will get wet and dirty... Then a cat ate it and the birdie did not finish his sentence,” – that was the message we got the day before baptizing. We didn’t pay much attention to it. Some of Year1’s hadn’t even seen it. But when we came to school, we noticed that the second and the third year students were looking at us somewhat suspiciously. Because of that many of us realized what was going to happen to us - baptizing!
At the appointed hour we entered the Soros Auditorium and took our places. We were supposed to have a lecture with our pro-rector, but instead we got shoot by water squirt guns by the guys who suddenly ran into the auditorium. Later, when some of us had become totally wet, they divided us into groups and we went to the park nearby.
The competition consisted of eight parts including body painting, dry macaroni eating and water balloon throwing at our piers. Though the most memorable task was striptease. Even girls who said that they would never ever do such things immediately dropped their shyness and agreed on doing it. Topless girls in the middle of the public park? Shame on those who missed it! On the top of that we also had to smear each other with paint, plunge into cold water, eat apple from each other’s mouths, drink an undefined disgusting liquid and humiliate ourselves in a variety of different ways. It’s hard to imagine what passers-by thought about what they saw.
We were performing all those crazy tasks for a couple of hours. When we finally came back to school, all of the restrooms were occupied by freezing and shocked Year1’s. The only happy thought we had at that moment was that we only go through this experience once.
Was it degradation of human dignity? Obviously!
Did we enjoy it? Not really, though the memories will be interesting.
Do we want to do the same with newcomers 2013? Definitely, yes!
Darya Dmitrieva & Paula Rozite