I am, while writing this, sitting on the train to a last weekend tour before the semester finally begins. Behind me I am leaving the echo of the screaming and singing of all the groups of novices – the next generation of Lundaekonomer. I remember one year ago when I was one of them and think of all exiting things they have to look forward to.
Some of you may have participated in this years novice week, as novice, mentor or member of the novice committee, some of you may know someone who participated and some of you perhaps don’t even know what the novice week is. In which case: here comes a little report of how the novice week of fall 2016 was:
Wow, first day! After a speech by the headmaster amongst others, all the 342 novices were guided out to the school yard outside Skånis where the biggest novice week in history of Lundaekonomerna was about to start. The nervousness and excitement was hanging heavy in the air. “I felt nervous but our mentors were super excited so the nervousness disappeared quickly. It was a bit awkward in the beginning though.” These are words spoken by the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle novice John Åslund.
After the gathering at Skånis the different groups were off to a treasure hunt to get to know each other. They outfits in line with the theme of childhood characters and later the mentors organized pre-parties for their groups before heading off to Västgöta Nation, where most novices had their first nation-experience. After the closing of VG:s everyone (at least those who still had energy) walked to Skånis for a traditional after-party until 4 am.
I met John Åslund at the breakfast arranged by the Ninja Turtles mentors. He is 20 years old from Stockholm and about to begin studying the bachelors in business and economics. I asked him how it feels now, about 22 hours later: “It feels really good”. He likes his group and mentors. I asked him which mentors who seemed to be the craziest one and after a little thought he answered “Therese” (Petersson, if you want to check her out). He also said that the novice week is one of the things he was most excited about considering his upcoming year in Lund.
I also met one of John’s mentors, Avin Alam. Avin, 22, from Uppsala has studied in Lund for one year. When I asked him about how the Monday was he gave me a very long answer: “It was very fun – above and beyond expectations! Just before the novices arrived the sun came out and cast a light over the area. The music made everyone thrilled. Of course it was a little bit awkward initially but not for very long. The group walked in the wrong direction during the treasure hunt but they solved it and it made everyone get to know each other better! ” The best thing about being a mentor, Avin said, is meeting all these people and getting new friends. He agreed with John that Therese is the craziest one of them. She was very surprised, though, when I told her. Avin believes that the best things that have happened since he was a novice one year ago is all the activities and events arranged by Lundaekonomerna, sittings and sports events etc.
As I had to head to my work I met several groups of novices going towards Lundagård. Tuesday means cityday – a day consisting of stations represented by some committees of Lundaekonomerna as well as unions such as Unionen, Jusek and Civilekonomerna. At night the party was held at Lunds nation followed by an after-party at Skånis of course.
Wednesday was rest-day and the novices (and mentors) had the chance to sleep a little longer. Then all groups got the assignment of making a short movie out of which a winner was announced at the gala on Friday evening. This year the Toy Story group won.
Then they spent the afternoon chilling in Borgarparken, where the novice committee had arranged different activities such as volleyball and everyone got the chance to mingle during calm, non-competitive conditions.
Summer returned on Thursday with a sharply shining sun and high temperature. The contrast between this weather and the weather one year ago when I was a novice was huge. The years seems to have one thing in common though – the joy of everyone running around with their groups. The sweat ran down my forehead as I biked up to Sankt Hans hills. I arrived at the area but could neither hear nor see the party. I biked around for ten minutes before I decided to bike up a hill and there, on the other side, a great view suddenly appeared. I saw for example tooth fairies, Pippi Longstockings and Spykids, I saw a tent where the novice committee together with the board served hot dogs, I saw big air castles with people sliding through and I saw people dancing to the very loud music. It was incomprehensible that just twenty meters away, on the other side of the hill, people had no idea what was going on down here.
I ran into the Ninja Turtles I had breakfast with the other day. I asked John whether he still considered Therese to be the craziest one of them and he said: “yes, definitely”. After watching the team compete against another one I noted that John seemed to be just as crazy as Therese.
I met up with Rasmus Wallmark from the novice committee. He is a 21 years old happy dude from Gothenburg who has been in Lund three semesters. I asked what his position in the committee is: “I’m responsible of internal relations, for example all the mentors.” I continued with asking what the craziest thing that had happened thus far was:
“When all the 340 novices started running like galloping horses in Stadsparken to Gas Gas. It was like a whirlwind that you couldn’t get out of.”
The hardest thing, he says, is to learn names and remember which people you have greeted and which you have not. When I asked him what the best thing in Lund is and after thinking a bit he answered: “It is that everyone come alone from different places, move in with unknown and you create an entirely new life that would be impossible elsewhere.”
In the background I saw some big muscles. They belonged to the male mentors of the Hercules group. I steered their way and figured out that their novices were wearing some very warm devil onepieces. After watching them lose an indescribable but hilarious-looking game towards a gang of Bolibompa dragons I caught up with a novice called Alexandra. She is from Stockholm and about to start the bachelors program. She said that compared to the Monday at Skånis the atmosphere had now changed to a better, more relaxed and exciting one. The thing that has surprised her most is all the completely crazy activities they have been doing during the week. What she is most looking forward to in her new life in Lund is getting new friends. And going to Hercules Bar, she adds. I do however think that is just an inside joke among the Hercules gang.
Alexandra’s mentor, Sofia, says that the week so far has been so much fun! “The best thing about being a mentor is that you get to meet all new people but you get to do it with your friends, it’s like double the fun.”
Even though everyone was exhausted after running up and down hills in the heat, the brave novices partied on at night, which was spent at Helsingkrona nation.
Friday was gala-day. But first, the day was spent in a Mario Cart race around Sjøn Sjøn using soapbox cars that the groups received on Monday and decorated on Wednesday. In the evening everyone was allowed to take off their dirty sweaty outfits and dress up. I remember myself that it suddenly was harder to locate your group since everyone suddenly was fresh and wearing different clothes. Sexmästeriet served a delicious dinner in the great hall in AF-borgen. The novice committee nominated and awarded groups in different categories. Among these the prize of best group of the week was awarded to Wild Kids.
After sleeping 13 much-needed hours, Sara Ryttberg, general of the novice committee, finally answers my questions about the week. She is very pleased and believes that the week has been absolutely amazing with everything going according to plan. The best thing was to see everything the committee had planned for six months finally taking form. The hardest thing, she said, was to anticipate how the days and activities would really turn out when there are over 400 participants. She is very grateful for all the novice committee members and awesome mentors!
Well, does there seem to exist anything negative about the novice week? Perhaps that it has now come to an end. Do not feel sad though. As we have been told by the now experienced students Avin and Rasmus – the fun is just about to begin.