Reflections from a Peddie grad

Hayley Klein '10

As many of my fellow classmates will agree, the first two years of college are extremely busy years — at least for most of us. Maybe some of us did what my neighbors in the dormitory did last year, taking only three or four classes and spending the rest of their time playing Mario Cart in their rooms until 4 a.m. while still being able to go out Thursday through Sunday nights (which I’m definitely not bitter about. At all). However, I highly doubt that.

I have, as I’m sure many Peddie graduates do, something I like to call “Peddie Guilt.” This is very similar to what my mother calls “Catholic Guilt”, except with a few minor modifications. “Peddie Guilt” is nondenominational and instead of having a fear of God, many sufferers experience a fear of T. Furthermore, I cannot skip a class without being terrified of receiving an MO. If I don’t spend at least three or more hours studying each day for at least two days prior to taking an exam, I feel that whatever grade I get, no matter how high or low, was not rightly earned. I still think twice before wearing jeans out of the house.

Thus, hopefully those of you reading this can understand how stressful this past year has been. I was struggling with trying to find a topic to write about for quite a while, and then I went home last weekend. While there, my mom asked me if I’d like to go see the freshman musical with her, and I said ‘yes.’ We snuck in late and took seats in the back of the theater just as Harry was making his usual pre-show speech. As soon as I sat down in that stiff, uncomfortable red chair that was tearing at the seams, I had an instant flashback to the hundreds of community meetings I had sat through before. When Harry took the stage to introduce the play and the crowd started cheering, I got that same tingly feeling I did every time the entire school congregated in support of fellow classmates.

I hadn’t been in Geiger Reeves for almost two years, and I definitely didn’t know more than half of the students in the audience, but still I felt at home, finding myself cheering for freshmen that I had never even seen nor met before. In the midst of reliving my glory days at Peddie, I remembered that our class did not have a freshman musical — they had stopped the special tradition our freshman year and only brought it back last year. My feelings on this were split 50/50. On the one hand, I regret that our class didn’t have the chance to take the stage in front of the entire school, being able to show off our talents, introduce our faces, and share in a lighthearted laugh with the Peddie community so that after that night everyone would remember our names. On the other hand, I do not regret not having the chance to take the stage in front of the entire school, seconds away from peeing our pants, terrified that in the next sixty minutes we would do irreparable damage to our reputations for the rest of our Peddie careers. Like I said, I’m 50/50. But I do know that if we had had a freshman musical, it would have been awesome — just as the musical that I saw was also awesome. (Don’t worry, no one peed their pants or ruined their reputations as far as I could tell.)