I was walking on campus earlier this week to a meeting in the library. It was early – before 9 am – and as I was coming down the stairs from the Quad by Reynolda toward the Benson Center, I witnessed an unexpected moment of PDA. At the bottom of the stairs, there was a young man and a young woman, both students. They were getting ready to head off in two different directions. She took a moment to straighten the collar of his shirt. It was an intimate little moment to witness, hinting of deep familiarity. After she finished, he was holding her hand, and when she started to walk off he didn’t let it go and she turned around to smile at him. Their body language suggested they did not wish to part, to go different ways, and of a certain happiness they were sharing. This looked like young love to me. Sweet to see.
Having seen that, I started to focus more on the people around campus. You see things every day and sometimes you get used to them and don’t see them for what they are. The guy with a ball cap and a messenger bag slung over his shoulder walking to class. People jogging around campus – some looking like they had long been cross country runners, others with a kind of grim determination on their faces. Freshmen girls, walking in groups of 2s or 3s to their residence halls. Administrators and faculty members meeting accidentally on sidewalks or in Starbucks and exchanging pleasantries.
There tends to be a certain ‘uniform’ that many of our students share. For guys it can be khaki shorts and a tshirt, sometimes they style it up more. For young women typically they are either well dressed most of the time (cute dresses, cute shorts etc.) or they are in workout clothes going to/from the Miller Center. For both guys and ladies, flip flops are omnipresent. Though I will say, I saw a guy in the library the other day who had an absolutely fantastic pair of red shoes – they looked a bit suedey, not quite sneakers but styled like it. They were not the average WFU guy shoe and I had to stop myself from complimenting him, lest he think I was some sort of crazy administrator. But if you are the parent of the guy who has those red shoes, be proud. He was wearing those shoes with confidence and great style.
Speaking of style, every fall at the start of school, I touch base with my own Wake college girlfriends to give them the style report based on what I have seen on campus. Two trends the women seem to be sporting this year are shorts that have crochet overlays and dresses that I am referring to for lack of a better word as “mullet dresses” – short in front, long in back. I saw one slightly less formal than this one the other day.
One of the other everpresent accessories for Wake students is the cellphone/smartphone. Since I was in an observing mood, I decided to stand in the ZSR Library lobby for a few minutes and see how many students walking by me were on their cellphones (either talking, texting, or reading) and how many were not. I repeated this on the Quad about 10 minutes later. Results are below.
ZSR at noon Tuesday: 1 person on cellphone; 15 not using them
Quad about 10 minutes later: 9 people on cellphones; 10 not using them
This was far from being a scientific study – just a curiosity. I have no idea why so many more people appeared to be digitally engaged on the Quad as opposed to coming and going from ZSR.
There are so many moments, big and small, to witness if you are in the mood to be observant.
Categories: campus life