Fifty Shades of Gray: A Campus Sweatshirt Analysis

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Fall is upon us. It is time for overpriced seasonal lattes, never-ending weeks of midterms and long nights in Lau. It’s time to unpack sensible footwear, time for facilities to (finally) turn on the heat setting in the dorms and time to unpack your sweatshirts. If you have attended one or more educational institutions, been on a sports team (were you a varsity benchwarmer? JV legend? Intramural MVP?) or attended a few club meetings (for an organization with an acronym that you may or may not have understood), a fair share of gear order forms have passed through your hands as you have built your formidable sweatshirt collection. You own hoodies, quarter-zips and crew necks, in various shades of grey, gray, “sport grey,” “dark heather” and “ash,” all of which boast emblems and acronyms advertising your affiliation to something to us sleep-deprived, sweatshirt-clad college students in your midst.

Here is 4E’s analysis of a few popular types of sweatshirts seen on the Hilltop:

Sweatshirts with an acronym ending in “H.S.”
This sweatshirt may as well be emblazoned with “FRESHMAN” in glowing letters. High school paraphernalia should remain crammed in the bottom of your childhood dresser along with your participation certificates, retainer case, homecoming corsages, SAT practice tests, Common App essay and other evidence of your time spent amidst hormonal, angsty teenagers in locker-lined hallways that 4E sincerely hopes you’ve left at home.

Collegiate gear from a school that is not Georgetown
Reasons to wear gear from another school: You have a good friend, S.O., sibling or parent that goes or went to this school. Maybe this was a birthday present and you are in no position to pass up the addition to your sweatshirt collection.

Reasons not to wear: You toured, applied to and were waitlisted by Harvard, but you payed $50 for a crimson sweatshirt that serves as a nice reminder of your narrowly avoided time on the yard. Or, you applied to and got into some school, and of course bought a sweatshirt, and being the intelligent annoying person that you are, are now trying to intimidate your classmates.

#3

Georgetown Gear
Woohoo!! The most prevalent colors in your wardrobe are slowly but surely becoming blue and gray!! The small percentage of money that you didn’t spend at the bookstore on textbooks you are now spending at the bookstore on clothing items that say “Georgetown” or “Hoyas” or “1789” or “I Heart John Carroll”!! Additionally, if you’re in a club and don’t have a sweatshirt with the aforementioned club’s name on it, your membership in this club is up for debate, so yay for acronyms that start with “GU”!!

Patagonia
Alas! Who knew that staying on Lau 2 until 3am required a uniform? But, how do you signal that you are overworked, over-caffeinated and not getting enough sleep without dawning your multicolored patchwork of fleece? The unmistakable mountain silhouette logo in the corner of your pullover helpfully informs your peers that when you’re not stumbling between Lau, Leo’s and the ICC in a sleep-deprived stupor you would, of course, be found summiting a mountain, rock climbing or backpacking.

#4

Vineyard Vines
The effectiveness of combining an article of clothing frequently used as sleepwear with a basic classy brand remains yet to be determined. You are trying to appear stylish and sophisticated after spending entirely too much time in Lau and not enough under your Bed Bath and Beyond duvet, and I commend this effort.

#5

Photos/Gifs: giphy.com, fairisleknit.com

Initiation By Fire: The Levels of Lau

The Levels of Lau

Maybe you find Lau endearing – its white cinderblock walls, mysterious plethora of locked doors, and lack of windows inspire productivity in you – or maybe you can only be lured in by study groups unwilling to relocate to more scenic locations. In my first four weeks on the Hilltop, I have learned – through trial and error (mostly error) – the distinct personalities that characterize the five floors of the sprawling, Brutalist concrete monstrosity that is Lauinger Library.

Level 5

If Level 4 is already a quiet floor, what purpose does Level 5 serve? What kind of desire for concentration merits walking up two flights of stairs to get to 5? I have dared to venture onto this floor solely for the investigative purposes of writing this (highly informative) article.

Some helpful tips:
Talking: punishable by death
Using a computer keyboard: warrants dirty looks
Owning devices that emit beeps: unacceptable
Breathing: begrudgingly allowed

2

Level 4

The true quiet floor. The arrangement of red chairs near the elevator attempts to create a cozy aesthetic, but don’t be fooled by this homey illusion. Two weeks into the semester, I learned that NSO was indeed over when, whilst QUIETLY talking to my friend, I was asked to leave the fourth floor. To this studious upperclassman, whom I continue to see all too frequently, I am both apologetic – and still offended.

4E 1

Level 3

In terms of quietness, level 3 provides the perfect environment in which being a functional human being (breathing, moving, etc.) is acceptable, and loudly gossiping about someone else’s Friday night escapades is not.

However, the level three reading room presents two critical issues:

  • Memories of the hot sweaty awkwardness of Club Lau must be suppressed.
  • One must accept that this room is a fishbowl visible to any and all onlookers outside of Lau.

Level 2

Level two is a floor of temptation and lack of productivity. This floor is conducive to group “work” (collective procrastination) and is home to Midnight MUG, luring students away from their studies with the bait of sugary, caffeinated beverages. Floor two features an uncomfortably open space that raises dilemmas such as: is walking to Midnight MUG worth having EVERYONE stare at you?

Level 1

So far, the only useful thing here is that there is a bathroom that everyone didn’t just see you walk into (unlike Lau 2) or can hear you in (unlike all other floors).

“Basement”

The fact that Lau has a dungeon should be surprising to no one, considering the general level of enthusiasm that surrounds spending the day at Lau and the uncanny resemblance our library bears to a bomb shelter. This floor is surreptitiously referred to as “LL” in the elevators and is presumably where people who spill coffee, deface cubicles, and loudly eat chips in the third floor reading room are held captive.

It's basically a bunker...
It’s basically a bunker…

Images: giphy.com, blog.thehoya.com