After Dr. Beebe's announcement that we won't have in-person classes for the first month of school, many of us are missing Westmont more than usual.
I’ve got great news: you no longer have to wait until September 28 for the Westmont experience—you can recreate it from the comfort of your own home! Here are three ways you can really get into the Westmont spirit, no matter where you are.
Chapel: Sadly, you can’t truly replicate the experience of group worship at home. However, you can recreate some of the best parts of chapel if you have siblings or roommates.
First, find a room where you can turn off all the lights except one dim light bulb. Put your computer in front of you and play some Westmont Chapel Band music on Spotify or YouTube—and sing along! This is where your siblings or roommates come in. If possible, have one person on either side of you. Tell one of them to sing in the most beautiful voice they can, and tell the other to be as off-key as possible. Both should try to harmonize (with extremely variable success) at every opportunity.
Then, watch a recorded chapel video—maybe one from a beloved Westmont professor. Every five minutes at minimum, have someone either knock a hydro flask onto the floor or drop their phone. When you’re done, make sure the three of you all try to leave through the doorway at the exact same time.
Walking Around: In order to recreate the Westmont outdoor experience, you’ll need several things:
- The steepest hill you can find
- Your backpack
- The heaviest books you own (no less than three) to fill your backpack
Make sure to use only one of your backpack straps—using two, while saving you from probable spinal damage, just doesn’t look cool. Walk up and down the hill until appropriately exhausted.
Dorms: The dorm experience requires a bit more work to replicate, but with persistence and dedication, you can pull it off. Unless you’re about to live in the GLC, if your room is air-conditioned, you’ll need to turn that off. This could require turning off the air around the entire house, so you may want to inform your family members. Their reactions may vary widely, but if you have a Thermostat Dad™ like I do, he’ll probably be thrilled at your wise, money-saving strategy.
Secondly, you’ll need to rearrange the furniture. If your bed is larger than a twin, be sure to make half of it unusable in some way. Now, how much you clean or mess up your room will depend on what sort of dorm room you inhabit while at Westmont. There are several categories:
- You can’t touch the floor, it’s too clean
- The floor is clean-ish if you don’t squint into the corners (this is my usual choice)
- You could probably find the floor if you moved the unfolded clothes and empty cereal boxes
- We have a floor?
Make sure to include a large quantity of books you’ve never opened, year-old loose papers, and dying plants in your room design. You’ll feel right at home (dorm?)!
Of course, none of these ideas can match the real things. And though Westmont may look a little different this semester, we’re all in it together. That’s what matters most to the true “Westmont experience.”
See you soon!