Every school has its own quirks and peculiarities, and Bates College is no exception. There are just some things that Bates College students (and only Bates students) know and recognize. Whether it’s in their interactions with other Bates College students (aka Batesies), non-Bates College students, the school, or the world outside of it.
While the concept of things that only a student who goes to X school isn’t unique to Bates, the things that a Batesie knows are unique to Bates and to people who know the Bates College experience. In honor of that, here are the seven things that only Bates College students know.
1. Bates College? What’s That? Where’s That?
Bates, unless you live in Maine or some of the surrounding states or you know people who went or go there, is not particularly well-known. Batesies are therefore well-versed in the phrase “small liberal arts school in Lewiston, Maine,” a sentence that we often then follow up with “about 45 minutes from Portland.” At this point, many of us could recite that in our sleep. And probably have recited it in our sleep.
2. The Incessant Questions About the Weather
Yes, Bates is in Maine, so yes, it’s cold in the winter. Geography is a funny thing that way. The further north you go, the colder it typically gets, climate change notwithstanding. But yes, Bates College students do still go out at night in the winter. It’s college.
3. Puddle Jump
The 44-year-old tradition is quite a sight to behold, as all Batesies know. It’s a major source of pride for many in the Bates community to be able to say that they partook in the absurd and fun annual jump into frozen-over Lake Andrews.
4. The Bates Insta
You’d probably be hard-pressed to find a Batesie who didn’t secretly want, at least a tiny bit, to make it onto the Bates Instagram page. There are some people who truly don’t want that honor, but it’s safe to assume that nearly everyone wants to be in a picture or video on the Bates Instagram feed.
It’s really fun to check the page and find out that you made it, or get a notification of your friend tagging you in the comments. The Bates Insta page is definitely a bucket list item, especially if you’re quoted in the caption, which leads us to…
5. Phyllis Graber Jensen
Our resident photographer, Phyllis, is a gem, and that’s the best way to describe her. You can spot her walking around campus taking shots of Bates College students in their natural habitats (studying in PGill, hammocking on Alumni Walk, stressing on their way to class) and artistic photos of the campus. You know a club’s event has made it when Phyllis pops up and starts taking pictures.
6. Commons Crushes
Bates has one dining hall, Commons, and Bates College students have what we call Commons crushes, i.e. people we see in Commons and find attractive. If we’re lucky, we have a class with them at some point, and if we’re really lucky, we just might talk to them some day. For the most part, though, Commons crushes are Batesies we just admire from afar.
7. Our Fearless Leader, Clayton Spencer
Of course, every Bates College student knows of President Clayton Spencer, and some even get to have dinner in her house (this is true). She can be spotted in Commons at lunch, eating meals with important people, or giving speeches to trustees and board members.