Samantha Emily Evans,
I can’t believe I have four years of Raisin memories. Raisin is the craziest day of the year, where anything could happen. It is a ‘Yes’ day. People say ‘Yes’ to the wildest things: buskers on Market Street, people frying eggs in a stranger’s kitchen, children playing leapfrog on the Old Course. I love this ‘Yes’ mentality. As a fourth year, however, I have found it harder to say ‘Yes’ than ever before.
In first year, I remember the night before Raisin. It felt like Christmas, wondering what surprises my Academic parents had waiting for me (at 8:55am exactly). That morning we ran into the North Sea, played leapfrog over the Old Course Bridge, and covered our faces in flour searching for jelly beans. That afternoon we ran into the library to check out a book that had the word ‘Penis’ in it. I was excited, committed to proving myself. The atmosphere of ‘Yes’ was contagious, and it felt like you could do anything.
In second year, I had an essay due the next day. After a mimosa brunch with my mother, I went to the library. In the evening, we party-crawled – entering any open door we saw, and enjoying the chat. We found a party so crowded, I even danced on the kitchen counter.
In third year, I was a mother. It was exciting, yet nerve wrecking. We wanted our children to have fun, wondering if they would actually show up at 9am on the dot. At 9am exactly, our doorbell rang to our excited children, and we played a number of games. I wrote a play called “Cravin, Raisin” and had my children perform it for the other families. It was a political play about the Yes Means Yes Campaign, which recently passed in California!
And now, I can finally say, I’m in fourth year. In fourth year, I was revenged. I was re-raisined to be exact, the grandma participating with her granddaughters. This year, I found it very hard to say ‘Yes’. The looming cloud of work, jobs, and responsibility made it hard to let go, to put my hands in the air and say, ‘Yes’. With every game, I was tentative. I was shocked at myself – as my grandma-attitude hampered the party. It was not until, half-way through the scavenger hunt, when we had purchased diapers, put them on, and had someone sign it, that I began to change my mind. See, it was around this time that someone took one of the extra diapers and put it on my head.
At first I was mortified. But then, it became a challenge. I wanted to prove to myself that I could do it, that I could walk around with a diaper on my head and not care what people thought, that I could laugh at myself, with myself! At first, I felt my shoulders rise in embarrassment, my hands itching to take it off, but eventually I laughed, tossed my head back, and felt like a superhero! With this diaper on my head, I felt I could talk to anyone, do anything, crash any party! And I did. With a diaper on my head, I crashed a party with people dressed like characters from Gossip Girl , I took a selfie with a cop, I skipped up the street. I finally said, ‘Yes’!
I loved that diaper. It really did keep my head warm. I am seriously contemplating wearing them instead of beanies. They would absorb the rain well; they have nice decorations; they are cheap; and they come in packs of 21. Also I am the kind of person who always loses beanies, so if I left my diaper-beanie somewhere, it wouldn’t matter – I would have twenty more at home.
After my final Raisin, I took a nap, and went back out to dance. That moment with the diaper on my head walking as the afternoon sun dappled on the dark waters of the North Sea, I realized – this is my final year at University. This is my final year to say ‘Yes’, and not have to wake up at 7am the next morning to go to work. I don’t know why it took me this long, but from now on, I’m saying ‘Yes’.
But really, why can’t the ‘Yes’ mentality of Raisin be every day?
Samantha Emily Evans