First day of classes, you try to meet people outside of Barrett, in the middle of the conversation the dorm subject comes up. “Where are you staying?” You calmly and ingenuously answer “Barrett, you?” The classmate raises his eyebrows, examines you from top to bottom and with an almost accusing tone states: “Ooooh that’s the honors college. So you’re smart huh?” Let’s face it, how many of us have gotten that look and that tone because we are honors students. Now the problem is not that many ASU students see us as smart individuals; the problem is they label us and consider us strange creatures because we can obtain A’s in what supposedly is an extremely difficult class (XXX 101) and live uninteresting lives in a prison called Barrett.
Since the opening of the new Barrett Honors Complex, honors students are more easily identified among the crowd. In the eyes of Manzy, Hassy, and other dorms’ residents, Barrett students are the privileged and spoiled. With new rooms, new furniture, and new everything, as well as an exclusive gym and dining hall these students are the untouchable. Furthermore, the complex is surrounded by gates requiring a card scan to access the fortress; in a few words, the campus is inapproachable. But why would one want to meet a Barrett member anyways? The stereotype holds that if you are an honors student you are socially awkward, never have fun, and your weekends consist of endless homework. Is it true? As a Barrett student I can say that some residents stay in their rooms, and have interesting habits such as wearing different and gigantic hats every day or having a shopping cart in the room. But the majority of us are common college students. No, we do not stay closed in our dorms Friday nights working on our thesis due in three years. Believe it or not, we go out and have fun with non-Barrett people too, and as strange and incredible as it may sound, most of us procrastinate and are addicted to Facebook too.
Barrett has also gained a reputation for being like a prison. Disconnected from the rest of the campus, comments on how boring and horrible it must be to always stay at the honors complex are not rare. Apparently we are missing out on the extremely amazing vibrant nightlife that occurs in the Memorial Union each night, and the deliciousness of the food combined with the lively social ambiance that characterizes Pitchforks. We, in the mean time, have dance parties in the study lounge, movie nights in the courtyard, pie eating contests, and Indian festivals. Oh yeah, that sounds like nothing ever goes on at Barrett, right? Honestly, I cannot imagine a dormitory that offers more programs and possibilities to socialize than the Barrett Honors Complex. With a beautiful courtyard that students use to do homework or play sports on sunny days, a game room open 24/7, a “study” lounge where residents work on homework but also listen to music and watch videos until late at night, and the many events that the Community Assistants plan almost every night, the possibilities for recreation are endless at our dorm. I do not know how one could get bored.
Thus, I believe general ASU students should stop making assumptions on what a Barrett life is like. And if you try to talk to one of us, most of the time you would discover that we can keep a conversation and that we are not freaks. If you choose not to do so, no worries, we have our own groups and the Harry Potter Fan Club to go to.