If there is one thing that I will miss next year, it is the Ivy weekend.
Within my first days on campus I discovered that the most enjoyable place to spend a Saturday afternoon in the fall is across the river. Four years later, I am still hooked.
There is no substitute for waking up mid-morning, grabbing a bite to eat and then skipping out on all the work I promised myself I would do over the weekend to enjoy a full day of Harvard athletics.
Crisp sunshine and a field hockey game, a jog over to Ohiri Field to catch a bit of the men's soccer game, watching the mighty Crimson face the Bears, the Lions, the Quakers, the Tigers, the Big Green or the Big Red. Of course the epitome of the Ivy weekend is the last one of each season, when the Yalies pack the opposing bleachers.
But why so many of my undergraduate peers opt to enjoy only the Yale rivalry I will never understand. Sure it is the granddaddy of them all, but the overwhelming array of festivities, tents and tailgates, the beer and the billions of people, cannot match the intimacy of the average Ivy weekend.
Why anyone would choose the dank carousels of Lamont over the spirited sidelines of Harvard Stadium or Cumnock Field still amazes me. To wander from game to game, supporting the Crimson in all the days' endeavors, I must admit, is my favorite way of spending a Saturday in Cambridge.
There is something quaint about the Ivy weekend. With each team facing the same Ancient Eight foe, there is a sense of continuity to the day, a medium unifying all of the day's contests.
Ray-bans and turtlenecks dominate the outerwear; alums and preppies dot the sidelines. A friend from years gone by, a gathering around a Jeep and a half of a tuna sandwich enjoyed as the day rolls on.
Today's lineup is as great as they come. The Tigers wander into Crimson territory sporting competetive teams on all fronts. As a New Jersey native, I feel a special thrill in seeing Old Nassau fall at the hands of the Harvard athletes.
The nature of an Ivy crowd makes the weekend an experience different from those at most other colleges. Although the weekend does not have the mass appeal of a Big Ten event, it does have the intimacy of the Ivy League.
Do you think the majority of Indiana fans spend the night with friends in Ann Arbor for the Michigan game?
It is a little depressing to see so few of these weekends left this fall. No doubt, I will make the most of them.
I am thankful for one thing though--the opportunity to come back as a graduate and share all of the excitement once again. One of the fringe benefits of a Harvard education is the eternal spirit of the athletic contests.
Though I must tell you, however Harvard it is, I will not miss the marching band's wake-up call in the wee hours of Saturday morning.