The second senior night of the year, for seniors 21 and older, took place Saturday night at Annie Bailey’s Irish Pub and Restaurant downtown.
The College provided transportation to the venue, this time having two shuttles instead of just one (which was true for the first Senior Night). Drink discounts for F&M students began at 9:30 p.m. and ended at 11 p.m., although the pub itself did not close until 2 a.m.
The intended purpose of senior nights is to facilitate bonding amongst F&M’s most jaded students, this year’s class of 2013, with drink specials, reserved spaces, and reliable transportation.
The events are one part acknowledgement of the students’ hard work and two parts investment in our motivation to actually finish out senior year. As such, I was excited to see a lot of faces I had not seen in awhile, and to relax a little bit on a Thursday. My intuitions were not exactly correct.
My friend and I met up in front of the College Center where the shuttle was picking up students, but when we arrived there were so many people we decided it would be faster to just walk.
After half an hour we made it to Annie Bailey’s. I wasn’t really sure what to expect; neither of us made it to the last senior night, so I had no idea what this one would offer.
When we handed our IDs at the door, I was surprised to see only a few F&M students in the vicinity.
As we continued past the restaurant part of the pub, however, I discovered where they were all hiding. The outside bar was packed with F&M seniors, so many that there was literally no way to move through the wall of students.
My friend and I greeted a few people, but then retreated inside to the bar that was less crowded. We each ordered a drink (the specials weren’t amazing) and took a seat at a table, just people-watching. A few stopped on their way out to say hello, but mostly we just sat and talked.
I must say I was surprised to find that I didn’t know most of the F&M students who were there. I honestly thought I knew the majority of my class, but this experience opened my eyes. There were certainly familiar faces, some students I had class with in the past or people I lived near freshman year, but most of them were strangers. It made me realize just because F&M is such a small school does not mean everyone knows everyone else.
Aside from my surprise about the “it’s a large world after all” moment, I was also surprised by the venue. The ambience of Annie Bailey’s was very lovely. I had never been there before, but had heard good things about it so I was happy a senior night would take place there.
When we walked in, it reminded me of some of the pubs I had been to when I was abroad in England. The place screamed ‘traditional Irish.’ The live music provided a soothing and homey atmosphere, and the wooden walls reminded me of an old-fashioned pub; needless to say, I was impressed with the place and can definitely see myself returning sooner rather than later.
Although I hesitated about going to senior night, I am very glad I did. Overall, it felt like just another night out with a friend, but that was all it needed to be. We bought a couple of drinks and talked.
It was also nice to see the other students in my class. Although interaction with them was minimal, I was glad I could start to identify some faces by the end of the evening.
Senior night made good on its promise of bonding, and we should be trying to imbue senior year with as much of that as we can before we all launch in different directions into the real world. As such, I’ll make the following senior nights a priority to attend.
Questions? Email Elizabeth at firstname.lastname@example.org.