A friend of mine spelled it out for me so that I can no longer avoid the inevitable in my mind: As seniors, we’ve got seven Saturdays left of college.
I knew this was coming, all year our class has been interviewing for real-world jobs, buying grown-up pants, figuring out how much of our salary we can spend on the shoebox New York City apartment and googling how long we can stay on our parents’ insurance plans. (If I break my wrist past 27, I’m shit out of luck.) But hearing my friend phrase it in that way shattered the glass for me.
When is the next time I’m going to wake up Saturday morning to my roommate pouring vodka redbulls or skip my afternoon class to lounge on the arts quad and sunburn? (Well, probably next Saturday, but when after that?)
Don’t worry, this isn’t a senior’s “let me stay” letter, but rather a look into how we might spend our final weeks living in the same 2-mile radius as our friends. It can be tricky to navigate since the fear of missing out will hit us once we realize the outdoor seating at Ithaca Beer Co. isn’t as lively as the aggressive bocce ball tournament we turned down. Do we spend time only with our closest friends to soak in the last few weeks together, or venture out and see the friends we haven’t since the pandemic hit; the ones from our dorms, first-year writing seminars, that one rock’n’roll club we went to a meeting of? Do we finally text that ex-classmate from our first group project we never had the courage to tell about the crush we had on them? Or do we maybe finally ask someone out on a proper date — rejecting that the early stages of dating in college usually lack chivalry.
The answer should be all of the above, but there are only so many hours in the day. To truly enjoy each of our remaining Saturdays, we need to wake up earlier and lengthen our potential time spent together. C’s get degrees, so don’t sweat that paper you’ve been putting off for a month, the gorges are calling.
Here are seven idyllic (albeit socially distanced) Saturdays to help inspire you and your friends for the weeks to come:
Kick off the day with a hike in Robert H. Treman State Park because you’ll miss seeing nature in Manhattan. Regain all those burned calories at Sweet Melissa’s. A quick drive at Ringwood Raceway will remind you of when driving was fun before our licenses (those that grew up in the city and never got theirs need not explore this option). Theaters are closed, but that can’t stop us — commandeer a lecture hall to screen the new HBO Max release on the projector. For a snack, takeout from Asia Cuisine.
Bring Piña Coladas and inner tubes to float down flat rock. Before showering the moss off, play a pickup game of soccer at Cass Park, tear a muscle in your back, then have your girlfriend buy you a massage at Rasa Spa. Picnic at Sunset Park for dinner with Souv. Watch live music at The Dock.
Cheers with bottomless mimosas at Mix brunch to start the day off right. Recreate your own Chili Fest with your neighbors, then don’t enter your own so you just eat for free. Longboard through Cornell Botanical Gardens (those with electric boards shouldn’t be allowed to wear vans). Grab a pie from Franco’s. At night, smoke a joint one step off of Cornell property.
RPCC brunch — the last breakfast. Make it a park day and bring cornhole, spike ball and a portable barbecue to Stewart Park. Pet other people’s dogs (with permission) and watch them shake water all over the sorority girls taking disposable photos. Buy a disposable camera and let different friends have it at different parts of the day. Get them developed next Saturday. Fuel yourself with Simeon’s in order to steal the letters off of a fraternity while they sleep.
Go paintballing. Since alcohol is a painkiller — it’s time to sport-porch. Basically sit on your porch drinking until something fun happens. It always does. Mini golf, because regular golf is for people that talk during movies, then play a game of capture the flag throughout campus. Break the bank at The Heights and after sunset, get into an argument with Jason in Jason’s.
Breakfast at the farmer’s market, making sure to try at least five dishes. The holy grail of Saturdays — a day on a boat. Whether it’s pooping into Cayuga Lake, accidentally shoring the pontoon or being left behind after you jump in to pee, anarchy awaits. Set up a slip and slide down the slope and create a sundae at Cornell Dairy Barn. Order scorpion bowls at Sumo and keep it going by checking out the Bike Bar.
Drink wine at a vineyard other than Catherine Valley. For our last Saturday, take graduation photos outside the clocktower. Play a game of Jeopardy with embarrassing moments throughout college with your friends. Wander through campus listening to sad music, and finally, bring Saigon Kitchen to the Slope and stargaze.
AJ Stella is a senior in the College of Arts and Sciences. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Stellin’ It Like It Is runs every other Friday this semester.