by Marissa R '08

Word from the Real World: Marisa Reichel

Hey everyone.  Let me start off by saying that academically everything is going really well.  I was shocked and beyond pleased at the A+ I got on an English paper, a 47/50 I got on a Public Speaking project, a 93% on a Spanish assessment and an A on my Communication Theory exam.  I can officially say that I have experienced mid-term week in college and IB is waaaayyyy harder.  I’m not sure if that will make all you IB sufferers relieved or angry but that’s what I have observed.
Anyway, this news may or may not have circulated by the time this paper comes out but a tragedy occurred at the University of Delaware in the early morning on Saturday the 8th of November.  A boy rushing a fraternity passed away from an alcohol overdose while at the fraternity house.  This boy lived in my building and I experienced the great pleasure of getting to know him in our short period of time together at UD.  He was not a party animal.  He was not a frat-king.  He was not a football-stud trying to keep up a reputation.  He was a friendly, outgoing, generous 18-year old boy who wanted to have a good time and be friends with everyone.  While it has not been officially released by the University, we are all under the impression that this was an act of hazing.  As high school students, none of you are in the position to be hazed into a fraternity or sorority, but hazing comes in all forms throughout life and it is absolutely possible that you might experience something similar.  Do not compromise your values to impress someone or to fit in, do not risk your health by doing something dangerous because it seems cool or fun.  It is not worth it.  Unfortunately, our community here at Delaware is learning this the hard way.  There is an overwhelming amount of grief here and I’m sure it will remain in the upcoming weeks.  There was a building meeting today to discuss the tragedy and how people were feeling.  Hearing the stories of his suitemates, friends and peers made it even more devastatingly apparent that this should not have happened.              It was therapeutic, however, as people shared their memories and anecdotes of him.  Through this we learned that he never failed to lend a helping hand, was always the first to introduce himself, and was absolutely horrible at dodge ball.  It is comforting that people have such fond memories of him and their time together, but it is still pretty heartbreaking that this had to happen.  My message to all of you is to be careful and look out for each other.  We all think we’re invincible whether we like to admit it or not, but it should not take something like this to prove that we aren’t.  I hope you all, like everyone here, use this horrible story as a cautionary tale and that maybe if we are all safer, some good can come from this tragedy.

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