Whoopsies: NSO sparks unlikely friendships between students and student-athletes

Illustration by Raya Deussen

Well folks, the impossible has finally come to pass at Lewis & Clark: student athletes and students have become friends during their time at New Student Orientation (NSO). NSO provides a unique (and never seen afterwards) opportunity to socialize without classes and sports. Incoming bright-eyed and bushy-tailed first-years were given a chance to interact with one another, free from busy schedules and the deep cynicism that comes from living in the residence halls for extended periods of time. These interactions led to a myriad of friendships, not in the least between two unlikely groups: students and student-athletes.

This revelation came as shocking news to many members of the LC community, who, until now, had not considered the possibility of fraternization between the two groups. 

Abel Rivers ’20 recently witnessed an athlete chatting genially with a philosophy major.  

 “I’m gob-smacked,” she said. “Absolutely gob-smacked.” 

Rivers, an English major and the type of person who uses words like “gob-smacked,” has not spoken to a student-athlete for her entire college career. 

“Well, they are athletes, you know?” Rivers said. “It is hard to make conversation if they just want to talk about football or whatever. And besides, it is hard to get to know them when they are always at practice or games.” 

When asked if she had ever attended a sports-related event at LC, she seemed confused. 

“Why would I do that?” she said.

Your intrepid reporter, who has never touched a sport, hesitantly approached a student-athlete for comment. 

“I feel like there is some weird tension left over from high school,” Aden Carey ’22, a member of the LC football team, said. “Students never come to our games. A lot of the non-athletes have this weird thing going on where they are apathetic on purpose, like they are trying to rub it in our faces that we are not cool anymore just because we play sports.” 

Carey seems bitter that he no longer revels in the attention which he once enjoyed in high school. Now, that attention is paid to those who were once at the bottom of the social pecking order: nerds, goths and people who wear clothes that do not fit.

One of the first-year students, who is taking part in one of these unusual friendships, was eager to weigh in.

“I just started talking to Alyssa at one of our NSO meetings, and she seemed chill,” Colton Marsh ’23 said. “And no, I do not care that she’s a ‘worshiper of the ball’, whatever that means.”

The aforementioned Alyssa Martin ’23  took time out of her lunch to comment. 

“What are you talking about?” Martin said.

 These can be confusing times for the average LC student, but if one thing is for certain, it is that change is in the air for our community. One day, we may even reach mutual understanding between two different groups of people: those of us who are trying to get an education, and those of us who are trying to get an education and also throw a ball around sometimes.

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