Where did all the social hours go?
They used to be every Friday, like clockwork. At 5pm you could hear the noise coming from the 5th floor atrium in HSFI and follow it to an ice bin filled with beer. The voices of grad students sharing ideas, meeting new people, and blowing off steam would fill the whole hallway. It was so reliable I stopped making plans before 6pm on Friday from August to June, because I knew I’d be at a GPLS social hour.
Now they are all but gone. I can think of 2 we’ve had all semester. It is a problem. It isn’t just the lack of free drinks on a Friday that I miss (which was always a plus). Social hours were a vital part of my development as a graduate student.
It was at social hours I met the upperclassmen who were then done with classes. It was there I learned who to rotate with and more importantly who not to rotate with. That’s where I checked in with 1st years and gave them support through core courses. It’s where I blew off steam when I needed to switch labs. Coming straight from undergrad, social hours taught me to stop putting professors on a pedestal.
Social hours were vital to my early years of graduate school. Now I miss not being able to meet and interact with the new graduate students. I have so much wisdom to pass on! And I need to share with other upperclassmen the stress of finishing. Social hours need to come back.
Which is why I am writing to you graduate students; We are and always have been the driving force of social hours. It is us asking our PIs/labs to host that make it happen. Don’t worry if you are a small lab, it does not need to be elaborate. While fun, it doesn’t need a theme. You just need chips, a few cases of Natty Boh, and a single bottle of wine for the few (like me) who don’t drink beer. That’s all. Also, no one should complain their free beer isn’t high-end enough.
So, bring it up at your next lab meeting. Pick a date in 2019. I’ll ask my lab too. Let’s bring back weekly social hours! To schedule email Quinton (firstname.lastname@example.org). Ice buckets will be provided.