Float trips! They’re my absolute favorite things, second only to hyperbole. If you have never gone on a float trip before, I am so sorry. But worry not! You too will soon have the opportunity of floating lazily down a river for the better part of the day. Typically held on a Saturday in August, the float trip is the encore of orientation. It begins bright and early on a yellow school bus destined to take your class to Nowhere, Missouri. Once at the riverbank, you and your cooler of refreshments will settle into an inflated red raft with seven of your friends and their coolers. Eventually, everyone will tie the rafts together. The entire class will balance socializing and navigating the river obstacles in this mega-raft, occasionally taking a break on one of the many sandbars along the river. At the end of the float, there is a riverside barbecue, where you can eat your fill before climbing back onto the yellow school buses headed back home to WUSM.
– Maeve W., M1
After each major exam or exam period, the social chairs use a chunk of our budget to host a party for the class. These take place either in Olin Residence Hall or somewhere nearby to campus, such as Hudlin Park in front of Barnes-Jewish hospital. In addition to hosting our own events, we also get to collaborate with other years’ social chairs to combine resources and increase attendance. Our first post-Anatomy exam party was on a Monday night in the Shell Café, and we had Anatomy-themed mixed drinks and games to play. You could tell it was a pretty successful event because almost nobody attended class the next morning. After our midterms, we had a more relaxed get together outside at Hudlin Park and had snacks while people played football. Our class president told me that he hadn’t seen our class happier than during this hangout. Despite needing to run to the grocery store immediately after our exams, it’s really rewarding to host these parties as a social chair. Being with your classmates is a really nice way to destress after an exam, especially because we don’t really see a good portion of our classmates while we are studying. It’s pretty great that the school supports these parties, because it really gives us something to look forward to after our exhausting exams!
– J. R. P., M1
Graduate Professional Council Representative
The Graduate Professional Council Representative (GPCR) is a position in the Medical Student Government that is primarily responsible for representing graduate students in the med school, including students in programs like physical therapy. I meet with similar student reps from all across WUSM, as well as faculty and staff members, about twice a month. The GPC has several subcommittees and I’m on the social subcommittee so I get to organize events with students in other grad programs! Some of the events we’ve organized include an art show highlighting student work, a huge holiday party, a trip to see a Blues game, and happy hours. These events are a great way to meet people outside of your class and outside of the MD program. This position is super rewarding and a low time commitment. If you enjoy planning things, collaborating across disciplines, meeting new people, and learning more about what’s going on across all of WUSM, you should consider running for GPCR. I’m always happy to answer questions, and you can reach me by email! Amatya@wustl.edu
– Rina A., M1
Being social chair is one of the best ways to get involved with your class. The four of us put on the post-exam parties and a bunch of other events like inter-class beer Olympics, a giant Super Bowl party, and, most importantly, orientation for the incoming first years! We meet about once a month to plan out our budget and think up punny drinks, as well as after the exams to hit up Costco or Schnucks to shop and then set up. It’s a pretty mild time commitment, and well worth the time. One of my favorite parts of being social chair has been hearing all my classmates’ suggestions of what they’d like to see happen and then making it happen. If people are into hockey, we can get together a crew to get the group discount for a St. Louis Blues game. If they’re new to St. Louis, we can pass on word of fun events happening around town. There’s a lot of leeway with what we can do, so we can adapt it to our class’s personalities. It’s a role that’s allowed us to get closer to our peers, meet students in other years, and interact with administration and alumni in a more personal capacity.
– Patty L., M1
Social Life in General
So you may have thought that college was the climax of your social experience, but all of the fun doesn’t have to end once medical school starts. Your past social habits probably played a role in enabling your success. Don’t abandon them! The curriculum is pass/fail for a reason, so there’s no reason to let the minutiae of first year bog you down. Whether your idea of fun is a board game night with your close friends, dancing at the club, or crushing multiple beers on your couch while throwing the empties at the screen when your team loses, you will probably find some people with common interests. And if all of that isn’t good enough, then hit me up. We do our best to throw some weird parties at my place.
– Stephen H., M1
Board Game Club
The past few years have brought a board game “renaissance,” thanks to crowdfunding, a renewed interest in the analog pastimes of yore, and the mainstream appropriation of nerd culture. So fire up your vac pot, throw on that Evangelion tee, queue up your Flying Lotus/Toro y Moi mashup, and break out that massive EQ. You’ll need it to convince the Warlord to spare your six-point district and collect enough wood to execute your road building agenda. Throw a sixer of quadruple IPAs in the basket of your bespoke fixie and you’ll have fun whether you win or lose. I heard they recently decided to add more hops.
– Toby M., M1