Flair: The Story of my Minnie Mouse Onesie
There aren't many things that can help you prepare for Dartmouth. Now, I did my online research before coming here, but even then I am easily overwhelmed by the sheer number of weird, quirky, but undeniably fun traditions Dartmouth has to offer. I'm not a betting man, but I'm willing to wager that you'd hard pressed to find another school that casually does stuff like a) calls emails "blitzes" and unwaveringly insists you do the same b) stay up all night for no other reason other than to get to a diner when it opens at 7 (which you can read more about here), and c) occasionally dress in what they deem the stupidest, silliest clothing they have on hand. Trust me on this. I never thought I'd come to a college where grown men dress in tie-dye, tutus, and green spandex. What a world.
So yeah. That brings me to this week's topic, "flair."
Again, for me, flair was one of those things that I just "found out" about. When I first stepped foot on campus to go on my First-Year Trip (the trip almost every Dartmouth student goes on before pre-orentiation) I was greeted by a very frenzied mishmash of current students dressed in various stockings, boas, and headbands with the little springy things on them. Honestly? Words can't do it justice. All I can do to describe it to you is just Google the words "Dartmouth flair." It truly is special.
Obviously, as a student, I had to acquire some for myself. Much to surprise, there are no dedicated "flair stores" in the town of Hanover. My only clue came from a red handbook that said "don't worrry, you'll get it [flair] eventually."
Dartmouth, though it does sometimes fall short, tries to be as sustainable as it can. This means various things, but for the purposes of this story, the Big Green sometimes holds little pop-up thrift shops. Long story short, it was there that I happened upon a Minnie Mouse onesie and instantly fell in love.
I could take this next paragraph to tell you what I did with said onesie, specifically how I came to wear that onesie and cruise around the campus on an electric scooter that is definitively not mine. But I think doing so would take away the (Disney) magic of it all. So I'll juist leave this image and have you guess how it came to be.
Even though I won't tell you what I did with the flair. I'd be more than happy to say why I love it so much.with
You could probably tell this from my writing/ overall vibe, but I don't like taking things too seriously. Don't get me wrong. There is a time for seriousness and maturity, but whenever I can, I just like to have fun with things. That was one of my hesitations with coming here. With an institution as old as Dartmouth is, I was scared that it come with the "pomp" that comes with the Ivy League. That pre-professional seriousness that felt like everyone was watching you all the time. But stuff like flair shows that, at Dartmouth, things couldn't be further from the truth. A sort of beautiful solidarity in looking weird, silly and stupid together.