Giving our thanks to the WU community

Everyone knows that this semester has been a challenge. You don’t need another creative introduction to tell you that. But, hopefully, we have all found something that has made this semester just a little bit better. And that’s what we’re highlighting this week. There is no doubt that, from the administration to the workers to the students to the community members, you have all worked hard to make this semester worthwhile.

Grace Bruton | Student Life

So in honor of Thanksgiving, we want to express our gratitude. Thank you to:

The people

I’m grateful for the people here at Washington University. Coming here during the pandemic, I expected this to be a really isolating experience, and while it does feel that way to a certain degree, I’ve still been able to feel connected to other people because everyone is so nice and approachable. I’ve been having a much easier time striking up conversations with my classmates than I did in high school. There’s almost always someone willing to help out whenever I ask a question in the class group chat. And it’s not just my classmates that I’ve been feeling this hospitality from either.

One particular experience comes to mind. A few weeks ago, on Halloween, I went to the Bear’s Den, expecting to get my lunch and leave. Instead, I ended up having a conversation with one of the cooks for a few minutes about my costume. It may not sound like much, but it meant a lot to me since I was feeling particularly lonely that day. I’m sure that without this community, this semester would’ve been much more unbearable, so I’m thankful that I get to be here.

— Ryan Ricks, Staff Writer

The Mallinckrodt Subway

Throughout my first two years at Washington University, the campus has come to feel more and more like home. I credit this to the incredible people, the familiar Midwestern atmosphere and quite notably, the Subway restaurant located in Mallinckrodt Center. It may sound odd, but Subway has always been a comfort food of sorts for me; it was the go-to dinner growing up when nobody wanted to cook and we had no leftovers. I recognize that Subway is not exclusively a Wash. U. thing, but I am so thankful that I can retain such a sense of comfort even at school away from my family. I am so thankful that I feel at home here. So much about college has changed this semester per COVID-19, but my experience with Subway remains just as consistently positive. As long as I have my six-inch sub and a free cookie from ordering online, everything is bound to be (kind of) okay.

–– Samra Haseeb, Staff Writer

The testing site workers

I am grateful for the people who sit in the tent on Mudd Field for hours each day to administer the University’s COVID-19 surveillance testing. The job seems quite hazardous and virtually thankless, but the tests have been a crucial part of making the semester happen. Despite what I would imagine are constant stressors, the people in the tent have remained cheerful and friendly whenever I have gone in for my tests. I would still be grateful even if they were (very understandably) frustrated or angry, but the smiles and optimism seal the deal. To those workers and all of the people working to keep us safe this semester: Thank you.

— Matthew Friedman, Associate Editor

Jerk chicken, empanadas and the DUC

The first time I returned to the Danforth University Center (DUC) this semester, I walked the wrong way. You mean, it wasn’t just a free-for-all anymore? I felt lost. There were retractable belts everywhere. The cashiers had moved, and the food was mostly different. I walked back and forth from booth to booth, trying to figure out what I wanted. I couldn’t decide. After a few minutes, I grew antsy and settled for a jerk chicken dish––the only holdover meal from previous years that I could find.

Like always, I picked a corner seat and, like always, I watched reruns of “The Wire.” Even from behind the plexiglas, it almost felt normal. I decided to get seconds. I’m not sure if I was hungry or I just wanted to sit there for longer. I found myself coming back to the DUC every week throughout the semester. It has offered me somewhere to clear my head, somewhere to encounter some resemblance of life and somewhere to find worthwhile meals. The next week I returned, they had veggie empanadas––my favorite dish I’ve honestly had in my four years at Wash. U. Safe to say I went back for seconds. I know you can’t eat indoors anymore, but shout-out to the DUC this semester.

–– Benjamin Simon, Senior Scene Editor

The Wash. U. community from 2,000 miles away

The admission team’s bet it placed on me this year is something I’ll always be thankful for. How about the University’s support for Student Union and Student Life that has helped me engage with the Danforth community from 2,000 miles away. And of course, some of the best people I’ve ever met––the fellow polisci nerd, the chill future suitemate, the gamer remote buddy and even the hilarious St. Louis native––wouldn’t have been possible if it wasn’t for the eclectic community Washington University has created.

–– Anirudh Kesanapally, Staff Writer

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