Social Media

Stratton Smith

  • The Chronicles of Schwalm-ia

    by Stratton Smith | Feb 08, 2017

    Being a senior, I’m reflecting a lot lately on my journey at Manchester and the early memories I made (and forgotten – gee wiz, don’t know how that happened) on campus; it all started in Schwalm Hall. Schwalm is the dorm farthest away from the center of campus, so sometimes no one really knows what’s going on “over there.” After spending a year and a half there, I can honestly say that I really don’t know what the “regular” at Schwalm was because every day was different. One day you’re performing WWE wrestling moves on each other with the full energy of being in a professional WWE ring, when in reality you’re in a 32x32 room and just had too much Red Bull. The next day the entire floor might challenge each other to who can do more snow angels outside in nothing except their boxers. all I’m saying is, Schwalm is a wild card and it makes living there pretty lively among the residents.

    I created a really, really solid bond with the guys on my floor my first year. We always kept our doors open, went to dinner together, pulled jokes (a seriously unhealthy amount), and just kind of lived together during the nights. The core group of guys from that floor were some of the best nights I’ve had in college – which is really weird to me; it’s not the best party I went to, or when I won an award, or even a time with a significant other. I guess when I think about why they were such good times to me, even now as a senior, it dawns on me that those times were just so real; there was no pressure with them.

    I don’t know if every hall and every floor created a bond as strong as that floor did, but I wish that unity and belonging for anyone. I was on a floor filled with football players, a bunch of baseball players, a couple basketball players, a few oddballs, and I was just a scrawny tennis player. I got made fun of SO MUCH for playing tennis from those football guys, but no one was allowed to make fun of me except for them – it may have also helped that I was the #1 tennis player as a first year and they all sat on the bench their first year. ZIIIIIIIIIIIIIIING!

    Now, a lot of that core group dropped out or transferred schools and after the remainder of us moved our separate ways (is this really sounding as dramatic as I think it is over switching dorms) it just wasn’t really the same. People find new friends groups, interests, and outgrow others. I’ll pass some of those guys without sharing a glance, but I’m thankful for that handful of guys I can pass on campus and share a laugh with. It’s truly a blessing that I’ll miss at Manchester.

    All in all, Schwalm gave me some awesome, hilarious stories to never tell my future children and I couldn’t be more thankful for just the presence some of those guys gave me our first year. 

    Stratton Smith ’17 is an English major, hailing from a small town just east of Indianapolis. Stratton is the captain of the tennis team, co-founder of Academic Probation, Manchester's improv troupe, and Vice President of the Theatre & Society club.