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Scene staff looks forward to another year at Wash. U.

Returning for a new academic year at Washington University can mean revisiting familiar frustrations, but it also brings about joyful reunions with some favorite, unique aspects of Wash. U. Here, the Scene staff shares the elements of campus life to which they are most excited to return this year.

Late-night Ted Drewes runs:

There is nothing more comforting than realizing your life is falling apart somewhere around 10 p.m., confirming that your friends’ lives are falling apart, too, and abandoning all responsibility to eat away your troubles. Cranking up the music and rolling down the windows in the night air is alone enough to ease any weight bearing down on you. Then, the sheer difficulty of choosing a flavor combination takes your mind away from all assignments and thoughts of the future. Sitting there in the parking lot, under the fluorescent lights at Ted Drewes with your friends and the creamiest, most delicious frozen custard west of the Mississippi, it almost feels like everything is going to be OK. And you know what? It probably will be.

—Andie Divelbiss, Staff Writer

Olin Library basement couches:

The basement floor of Olin Library holds a special place in my heart. I discovered early on in my Wash. U. career that the rare between-class nap can be achieved by simply going to the Olin B-stacks, shoving two single-seater couches together, plugging in earbuds and throwing a trusty jacket over your face. When it’s time to hunker down and study, you can just curl up in a chair and ruminate to the sound of people’s sleep-breathing. That little nook of Olin is an area where no one can see your face, no one speaks, no one’s judging you—and you just sit there with a bunch of strangers and rest. Often when I visit “the pit,” it’s because my life is in shambles and being out and about is just not an option. What’s cool about those couches is that I usually walk back up the stairs feeling better. Not because I’m well-rested, or because suddenly those stairs don’t suck, but because there were five other people in the pits too. I’m looking forward to visiting the place on campus where I can look at someone and immediately think, “Same.”

—Katy Hutson, Contributing Writer

Almost going to Sumers, but not quite:

I love when I’ve got on the perfect red Wash. U. tank top and cropped black leggings, my hair is in a high ponytail, and I’m just about to open the door and exit my room. But then, my mom calls. Or I remember that I still have 20 minutes of “The Bachelor” left to finish. Or I decide that I have that half of a cookie left and really do deserve a break. Or I have only a few edits left on that paper. Or something else. Then begins the activity I miss most at Wash. U.: laying on my TempurPedic mattress, distracting myself with one of the aforementioned tasks. As I’m willing myself to raise a Nike-clad foot and exercise or take a walk, my friends text me to tell me they’re done with whatever they’ve been busy doing. We go to Bear’s Den, and I decide I’ll go to the Sumers Recreation Center tomorrow.

—Ali Gold, Staff Writer

Camping out in Bear’s Den at ungodly hours:

Lounging around in your dorm’s common room can get old. When Bear’s Den is crammed with students looking for a meal, there’s nothing more satisfying than finally settling down at an empty table. Bring friends, or make new friends. Netflix, perhaps? The booths are just long enough to lie down in (for once, it seems fine that I’ll never grow past 5’2”) and food is always a card-swipe away.Alternatively, try to get work done. Too many times, I’ve found myself at a corner table hunched over my laptop, finishing assignments or cramming exam information into my head, sometimes straying to some YouTube video(s) if I feel discouraged. As midnight approaches, I feel good about the task at hand; Cherry Tree Cafe will still be open for a while in case I need a caffeine boost. When Paws & Go closes, some hope still lingers. Once the grill is off, however, desperation settles in. From there, two options stand: stay the night, or give up and retreat back to my common room until next time.

—Lily Wu, Contributing Writer

The DUC’s vegetarian chili mac:

Tucked away next to the 1853 Diner in the Danforth University Center, the station serving a daily vegetarian meal is my favorite place to eat lunch on campus. A wide variety of cuisines are represented in the rotating selection of always delicious, meatless entrees and sides. More specifically, I’m ecstatic to return to my favorite meal on campus: vegetarian chili mac. Customizable toppings can be added to the hearty, plant-based chili, served over macaroni noodles with a side of roasted vegetables. This meal pops up at the vegetarian station like clockwork once a week, and it truly makes my day infinitely better to sit down with a plate of deliciousness for lunch. After a semester abroad and a summer spent off-campus, I am immensely excited for Friday, Sept. 1, when the DUC’s chili mac and I will finally reunite.

—Hanusia Higgins, Senior Scene Editor