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OPINION: Opting Out of Traditions

Traditions, I believe, are an incredibly important part of the culture of Meredith College, Cornhuskin’ likely being one of the biggest. Cornhuskin’ events span over more than a week and the campus is decorated for the big event for almost two weeks. During ‘Corn season,’ it feels as if it is the most important thing happening at that time.

While traditions are very important for many Meredith students, they may not be as important to some other students. Personally, traditions were not one of my top reasons for attending Meredith. I chose Meredith because of the class sizes, personalized academic experience, and the location. Traditions are low on my scale of importance in my college experience, but this could change as time passes. However, I do understand that traditions and the culture surrounding the Meredith community could be a popular reason for attending.

I attended a few Corn events and the main event of Corn last year, which was my first year at Meredith, but opted out of attending this semester. I chose to attend last year because I felt that it was necessary for me to attend based on peer pressure and needing to get the full Meredith experience. “You just have to experience it” is a phrase used repeatedly to describe Cornhuskin’ to new and incoming students, which can leave them confused and come to the conclusion that they must go. Any student at Meredith can feel pressured to attend and be included in traditions, but the feeling, to me, is that there is especially a lot of pressure on freshmen. As a new college student, there is an expectation of what your college life is going to be with dorm living, friends, parties, classes, possibly a job, and events. From my perspective, that expectation is exasperated at Meredith with the traditions. However, I feel that all students should know that they can break out from that stereotypical college experience if they so wish to.

I knew what Corn was before attending Meredith because I went to Corn as a kid while my mom was attending as a WINGS student. Since my mom was a WINGS student during her Meredith career, traditions like Corn were a way that she was able to feel connected to the community. I understand students who want to feel a connection with their peers and the community, but I think the pressure to make this connection can be too much for some. We should describe to the best of our ability what Cornhuskin’ is to any prospective and admitted students so that they can have a better understanding of what traditions at Meredith are. New and incoming students should hear perspectives on traditions from current students in order to get a first hand account of what traditions mean for the Meredith community, plus those detailed descriptions of events may influence students into wanting to attend.

My purpose behind voicing my opinion is in no way to be negative about the Cornhuskin’ traditions or any traditions for that matter, but more so to focus on showing how the pressure to be a part of traditions can potentially be too strong on current students. I think that academics and personal health should come above attending traditions. However, there are also ways to attend some traditions and events without pushing oneself too much. If finding a connection is a reason for attending all traditions, then I think trying out a club or spending more time out and about on campus could be effective as well. I think students should get an understanding of what traditions are, especially Cornhuskin’, so that they can form their own decisions about attending instead of being told that they should just go.

By Kailey Wurr, Contributing Writer



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