One of the sections included in the annual Senior Edition is a series of essays titled Seniors Speak. These works are written and submitted to The Acronym by members of the graduating class, allowing them to reflect on their experiences, share advice, and advocate for change. The writer of this piece is Liza Kuzmina (USF ‘24), who lived in 1501C wing during all three years at IMSA. She was the president of SMAC, co-chair of EnACT, and heavily involved in dance.
It took me forever to figure out what I was going to write this about. I wanted to write about Bagel Party because it’s something that has meant a lot to me all my years at IMSA, but I figured that I’ve talked about it enough for everyone to grow sick of it. I wanted to write about cherishing every minute you get on campus with your friends for obvious reasons, but I figured someone else probably has that covered. Instead, I’ll write about one of my truly biggest regrets from my time at IMSA, specifically senior year: I am so sorry my class never showed the underclassmen a good slabs party.
This may sound vapid, but slabs parties from my sophomore year are some of my fondest memories at IMSA. The music, the sweat, the proximity (something I’m really missing during this bout of social distancing), and the cool breeze are all permanently ingrained into my memory, and I still remember the thrill of sprinting back to 01 from 05 slabs at 11:28 after an hour outside with my friends and upperclassmen. As a fresh little sophomore who didn’t know anyone, I came out of my shell at those parties, with my seniors standing up on the slabs cheering and dancing.
Our class never threw a good one this year. I was hoping SSS was our chance to change that, but it appears we’ll have to leave as the last current IMSA students to remember a better time at the slabs. I hope that you, the underclassmen reading this, will change that next year. It’ll take a lot to change that silly little aspect of IMSA culture, but you all have our mistakes to learn from. I’ll spell those out for you here.
Our class was good at lots of things in senior year. Our Homecoming drill went crazy, we developed our passions and chased what we wanted out of the classroom all year long, we made it through college season alive, and we pulled Clash out of the bag in every single hall. However, one of our biggest faults was caring too much. We had a heightened perception of other people’s perceptions of us, and we let that get in the way of having fun and enjoying our time together. We could never get enough of us to just show up at the slabs, put aside our inhibitions and our fear of being judged by our peers, and just dance with our friends for half an hour.
Don’t let that be you guys. Stop being afraid of what people will think, and just get that giant speaker out and go. Bring as many people as you see and don’t take “no” for an answer. I promise you, when half your class is crowded on the cement all singing along to the latest hits, jumping up and down together like one heart beating, you won’t regret “embarrassing” yourself for a second. Whether you’re going to a slabs party, taking a risk in an extracurricular, trying out for a dance you don’t think you’ll make, or telling someone you love how you feel, putting yourself out there is always worth it. You’ll make some of your best memories doing things that you agonized over, and at the end of the day, no one is going to remember your little embarrassing moments. Take chances, because once you realize there aren’t any chances left to take, you’ll wish you had. So please, for the love of God, throw a good slabs party in our wake. Also, pro tip — Cait has a fire slabs playlist @castill0o0 — check it out.