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Shadow Week

You’ve all heard of Party Week (if not, it’s okay; you can come out from under your rock now, I promise most of us don’t bite). Only slightly less well-known is this: in response to low turnout from the introverted population on campus, there were also events tailored to quieter folk that week. The unassuming compliment to Party Week, Shadow Week was the social event of the year — for those who only go to one social event per year.

Shadow Week, for the Carls who aren’t enticed by music so loud it vibrates the skeleton within your meat suit, which is sweating profusely because there’s way too many people and all of them seem to be right on top of each other and why is it so hard to breathe right now — I digress. 

Admission to this exclusive event was by invitation only. Invitations were found populating the bookshelves on first Libe, deep within the confines of Anderson study rooms, scrawled in large letters on every white board in CMC — any place where the shadow Carls and other possible students of interest congregate. 

These invitations included strict schedules, in-depth descriptions of each location and detailed dress codes — all the necessary information to calm an overthinker’s worries and squash as much social anxiety as humanly possible. In lieu of the classic themes such as “Hippie or Cowboy” or “Heaven and Hell,” Shadow Week organizers encouraged attendees to dress in their favorite fandom t-shirts but cautioned against any provocative themes such as Star Wars vs Star Trek. The events offered ranged from classic activities, such as a Harry Potter movie marathon; finding grammatical mistakes in advanced reader copies; and trivia night, to lesser-known favorites, such as a movie night exclusively for watching PBS documentaries while making bets as to just how old David Attenborough is. 

Instead of designated drivers destined to sip on lemonade the whole night, there were designated conversationalists. These select individuals were not actually encouraged to do a whole lot of talking. Rather, they were tasked with honing in on partygoers’ niche interests and promising repeatedly that they weren’t bored as their conversation partner expounded on a random subject in astonishing detail. Other diversions included lavishing any and all pets present with countless kisses and congregating around the snack table.

Guests praised the event, even expressing excitement for similar events in the future — but more than one partygoer stressed that an extended recharging period was necessary after such a crazy week!

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