What’s on the mind of every freshman as soon as she sets foot back on campus in late January, you ask? Housing Day. That looming morning, far-off-yet-so-close-it-gives-you-night-terrors, when the Housing Gods decide if you’ll be taking a shuttle to get to class for the next three years. As if all the blocking and linking group drama weren’t enough, there’s a new medium to constantly remind us of our upcoming woes: previews for housing day videos.
When I first received the email from firstname.lastname@example.org, I felt a chill run down my spine as I read the subject line: “Hope you win the lottery!” Naturally, I figured this was Lowell House pushing for me, just wishing that I would get to join them in one of the best-situated houses on campus.
I hit play on the attached video. But after falling in love with Lowell’s adorable, proper, tea-drinking House Masters, I was taken aback when the video abruptly finished just as quickly as it had started: the whole thing lasted for only 45 seconds. That’s when I realized that what I had just watched was a teaser for the actual video.
What is the point of a preview for the Housing Day videos? The videos themselves are only about five minutes long. By contrast, two-hour long movies get a two to four-minute trailer. By releasing previews in addition to videos, the Houses are only extending the Housing Day ordeal. The actual videos, although certainly made with good intentions, are enough to stress me out, so the teasers just feel like they’re twisting the knife.
Let’s face the facts: there is nothing any freshman can do to guarantee entrance into her house of choice. Housing Day videos (and especially teasers) need to stop implying the opposite. At the end of the Adams Housing Day trailer, the house states they’re “royalty” and then asks “Who says you have to be born into it?” Well, maybe we don’t have to be born into it, but we certainly (and very unfortunately) don’t have a say in the matter.
Sure, the previews generate excitement—I may or may not have gone to bed that night with the sound of the Lowell bell chimes echoing in my head—but, isn’t that what the Housing Day videos are for in the first place? We don’t need both.