Jade Thomas reflects over her time at Dillo in an article interspersed with photo galleries by Jonah Elkowitz and Lianna Amoruso.
If you’re born in Indiana and plan on going to college, you’ll probably choose either Indiana University, Purdue University or Ball State University. Growing up, I figured that my weekdays would be spent poring over readings and my weekends would be spent engaging in campus life, the raucous voices of my classmates serenading my eardrums.
As it turns out, Northwestern has a decidedly different student culture than other schools; there’s drop-in tutoring on the weekends, beginning midterms, midterm midterms and final midterms. Mudd Library is open 24/7, and please believe that there is at least one person in there at any given hour. Google Calendar invites are a requirement, not a recommendation, and the only person staring back at you in a Regenstein practice room is yourself.
Dillo Day is different. It’s like that episode of Spongebob Squarepants where everyone leaves Bikini Bottom (granted, it was to get away from Spongebob), but instead, students leave their rooms, the libraries and practice rooms and flood every crevice of campus. The typically tranquil Lakefill is transformed into a site of singing and socializing. Naps are encouraged instead of shamed, and routinely filled Hydroflasks are traded for BORGs. At an institution where rest and leisure are secondary priorities, Dillo Day offers a moment to reset.
Dillo Day 2023 was only my second Dillo, but as I close out my second year at Northwestern, I try to think about things that I love about this school. Because I’m from Indianapolis, I love that it’s in the Midwest. I love spring sunrises and sunsets over the lakefill. I love my really, really good classes, and maybe even the really bad ones too. And I love Dillo Day, because it’s when I can introduce old friends to new ones. I love it because it’s when I can finally hear “Bad and Boujee” live. I love it even when I have to pay $11 (or something like that) for a basket of mozzarella sticks.
Dillo Day is NU at its best because for a 24-hour period no one is thinking about resumes, or cover letters, or Canvas notifications. For once, we can act our age and take a deep breath. And when we exhale, we float away from our worries, that is, until Sunday afternoon drop-in tutoring.