Graduating Seniors Look Back on Culture Shocks of Past

by Stephen DiFiore

Seniors who attended the second day of Culture Shock 2018 looked back on some of their best memories of Culture Shock during their years at Purchase. Culture Shock in senior year is a calmer, yet more substantial event.

“This one is definitely more emotional just because it is the last one,” said new media major Justin Hess.

Nicole Ehrhard, a theatre and performance major, said, “It’s kind of sad in a way because it is the last one you’re going to do.”

Seniors like playwriting/screenwriting major Jordan Schmidt remarked at how Culture Shock has changed over the years for the better, in terms of both the quality of the performances and the other activities available to attendees.

“The booking people have gotten more creative,” Schmidt said. Other additions like Maid Café and a larger variety of food trucks also have made Culture Shock a more enjoyable experience throughout the years.

“My freshman year, there was less of a food truck presence,” Schmidt said.

Seniors, usually having been to several Culture Shocks before, are also more experienced in finding different ways to enjoy themselves than when they were freshmen.

“We know what to do and where to go and what’s fun,” said theatre and performance major Eleni Papadopoulou.

For seniors, “Culture Shock has gotten very lax over the years,” according to Ehrhard. “Senior year you’re just like, ‘I’m going to get a little tan and it’s going to be great,’ as opposed to freshman feeling a pressure to have to go all out for Culture Shock.”

For sociology major Bianca Mendola, senior year is about “having to kind of enjoy it as much as you can as a student,” since you won’t be here for the next Culture Shock.

While seniors agree that the last Culture Shock is a substantial one, each senior has a different favorite Culture Shock memory from throughout the year.

For Schmidt, the best memory is seeing the Front Bottoms play mainstage.

“It was an electric crowd,” Schmidt said. “I felt like it was a nice experience, I might have been slightly inebriated.”

Mendola considers working this year in Culture Shock’s Wellness Tent as one of her favorite memories of the event.

Asked about her favorite Culture Shock memory, Papadopoulou said, “Playing on stage. It was lit.”

Each senior also looked forward to different acts that were scheduled throughout the weekend.

“I was really excited to see Azealia Banks,” said Hess. Ehrhard called Banks an “icon.”

Schmidt, who was unable to see Banks’ performance, was most looking forward to seeing Kelis, an act that was also booked relatively close to the start of Culture Shock.

Saturday’s nice weather in the early to middle afternoon also made this year’s Culture Shock a great event for students.

“The weather is extremely nice,” Papadopoulou said. “People are just more willing to be out.”

“Today [Saturday] is much better than yesterday,” Mendola said.

Student Activities Coordinator and major events coordinator Bobby Woody said that Friday’s poor weather did not keep as many people away as one would think.

“Yesterday was great, I think. Today is even nicer because the weather works in our favor so now, it’s already lit. It’s gonna get stupid tonight,” Woody said. “I’ve never seen a lot of people at Culture Shock for the first act ever. And yesterday there were a lot of people and they just kept coming.”

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