As first-years flood onto campus to bless us with their presence, a clear segregation arises. Nobody likes to talk about it, few acknowledge it, but it returns, year after year. I speak, of course, about the Scrambler/Non-Scrambler divide.
Scramblers saunter around campus in packs of social security, comfortable in knowing that they already have a firm friend group before others have even arrived. While Non-Scramblers sit crying due to their inability to make friends without going on long trips, Scramblers trade inside jokes and are ready to do trust falls at a moment’s notice. The awkwardness that the indoorsy feel when trying to make friends based solely on a shared direction of walking is mirrored by the smugness of those who already have all the friends they will ever need.
It’s not only the friendship that gives Scramblers a leg up when entering Whitman, but also the inside scoop from their grizzled veteran leaders. “I hear pinging is really cool here,” says a Scrambler, holding a large blue plastic mug marked with the gospel of Leave No Trace. “Yeah, and it’s a tradition to swipe upperclassmen into Saturday brunch,” responds another wisely, shouldering a backpack where the top rolls down to keep out the rain.
My friends, my companions, will we stand idly by as Scramblers feel invulnerable entering college? I say nay! Let us go out of our way to talk to all! Do they already have friends? Not enough! Do they think pinging is a popular hobby? My god, teach them the error of their ways! Brothers, sisters, inbetweeners, we must break down this obstacle and finally unite the incoming first years against their common enemy: the world outside of Whitman.