Letters to… Reims

Dear Courtyard,

You watch patiently as newly arrived 1As stumbled through the glass doors in dresses and suits. Girls scramble across the cobblestones and soil the engulfs their heels. When we finally take  our seats and wait for the inauguration ceremony / selfie marathon with Mion to begin, our eyes wandered the four buildings that shield you.  Yet, we didn’t know of all the happenings that would take place within your little haven.

The sun is beaming across faces that are eagerly munching away on their ham and cheese baguettes and other CROUS luxuries. Those who still haven’t found their ‘squad’ stare intently at their phones, while others gather in uncomfortably awkward, but hopeful, circles of friends-to-be. It is also here where we found our godfathers and godmothers in the crowds waiting for us, like parents waiting outside for their children to return from their first day of elementary school. You witnessed how we found some of our greatest companions.

November rolls around and in the midst of nervous breakdowns, determined students turn to you and their chants echo across campus. The music of protest is spit from microphones and defiant hands hold homemade cardboard signs.  You became our place of protest and justice. It was a rainy day then, but the sun did come out one last time as students gathered within you to show solidarity and say farewell to our director.

It’s getting even colder and this brings out the real warriors amongst us. Those that dare to endure gather into a corner, and suck the last nicotine out their cigarettes lodged within their shaking hands. The winter months with their early nights makes you a sleepy place that only the brave turn to.

Finally, the sun begins to shine again, and the courtyard starts to look like every university campus brochure: groups of students sit on the grass laughing, a boy leans against a tree while deeply enamored in his sociology readings, professors and T.A.s take their classes outside, fully aware of the trade-off of productivity that is sacrificed for some rays of sun.

And, of course, lest we forget the old courtyard. Like your mature and older sibling, quiet and patient it sits far less frequented. It is where we wander for a meeting, perhaps where we go for a slightly more serious conversation, it is where we rehearse our presentations and catch up on readings.

You are the product of our energy, the energy we bring as individuals and as SciencesPistes. It is here that we grab our tickets for events, have dance offs and fashion shows, and collect our Paniers bios. It is where we demonstrate our school spirit, both as Eurams and Eurafs.

Thank you for being a place that makes SciencesPo lively and colorful during our school days. May your grass and trees continue to grow alongside us.

Alexandra

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