Bridging the Class Divide

Katie Smith, Class of 2015

Katie Smith, Class of 2015

By Katie Smith ‘15

“Don’t expect to meet many 2Ys in the fall quarter” was a common refrain I heard around campus as a 1Y.  In hindsight, it seems that the deck is stacked against fall quarter inter-class bonding. The 2Y recruiting schedule kicks off before classes do and winds down just as 1Y recruiting begins. While taking the three foundational courses in their first quarter is a popular choice for many 1Ys, it results in those people having classes almost exclusively with fellow 1Ys. Aside from Random Walk leaders and LEAD facilitators, 2Ys seemed to be most easily accessed through career-related avenues. 1Ys will contact 2Ys for coffee chats, mentorship, or career advisor sessions. While this is a great part of Booth’s pay-it-forward culture, it can have the unintentional consequence of the relationships seeming to be more transactional in nature than collegial. The differences between bonding over corporate conversations and bonding over shared emotional or social experiences can be vast and impactful.

I have loved spending time with the 1Ys from my Random Walk and on GBC and look forward to getting to know the rest of the class of 2016. I know that many other 2Ys are similarly excited to meet the new class. However, these inter-class relationships seem to require significantly more effort to build than intra-class friendships, particularly in the fall quarter. This year, the GBC executive team has made it a priority to create more, better, and earlier opportunities for cross-class bonding in a social setting.  Our hope is that by doing so, 1Y/2Y friendships will develop more naturally and sooner in the year.  

With this in mind, GBC is introducing an entirely new event– the Booth Beercade 80’s Fall Mixer – to create such an opportunity. Upon entry, attendees will be given a set of class-specific tickets with the goal of trading your raffle tickets for those from another year. We encourage you to use these tickets as an excuse to walk up to anyone in the other class and challenge them to an arcade or table game. If games aren’t your thing, you can introduce yourself to someone new and spend some time getting to know each other using some fun and whimsical prompts, which we’ll provide. After the game has been played and/or the conversation completed, the two people will exchange one ticket each. Attendees can then submit exchanged tickets to be entered in a raffle for some pretty awesome prizes.

As the school year ramps up, I encourage everyone to seek out meaningful friendships with people in the other class year. Get to know each other as people, in addition to being mentors or advisees. Challenge yourself to develop new relationships even after you’ve passed the threshold required for a robust social life. Put yourself out there! Your Booth experience – and the Booth community – will benefit as a result.

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Katie is the GBC Vice President of Community Affairs and an accomplished arcade (skee)baller.