Like most people, my childhood memories of St. Patrick’s Day were short and sweet. The day started with my sister and me waking up and running downstairs to see if a leprechaun pulled some pranks at our house. St. Patrick’s Day for me at my house, when I was little, meant a ‘leprechaun’ dyed the toilet water green as a prank and he may or may not have given my parents the secret ingredient to making our pancakes green. Even when I arrived at school, there were scant decorations, everyone tried to wear something green, and there were probably games or projects in class that related somehow to a leprechaun or a four-leaf clover. That being said, for most people, St. Patty’s Day has always been a simple holiday that spread a little joy.
In the rush of excitement college brings: running to class, scheduling interviews, trying to make sense of what a cover letter and resume should say, it was a nostalgic surprise to see the University of New Hampshire making an effort to spread a little St. Patty’s Day cheer! Walking, half-awake and brain-dead after my morning classes, I arrived at Stillings Dining Hall totally absent minded that today was a “holiday.” Stillings was decorated with clovers and little leprechauns, pots of gold and green streamers; it was a nostalgic celebration of a holiday from my childhood that brightened my day.
Not only did UNH go out of their way to decorate and celebrate, but the staff was all dressed up in green, Irish-themed outfits with festive beads and hats. There was a special table with green-colored cookies and treats that tied the whole dining celebration together. Not only does UNH help celebrate St. Patrick’s Day at the dining halls, but they have also been known for doing the same for many other holiday’s and festivities. For instance, Halloween and Valentine’s Day (along with countless others) were celebrated in the same fashion. Employees of the dining hall dressed up in theme for the holiday, the dining areas were decorated, and the food was cooked and prepared to fit the theme. It’s nice to know that the University of New Hampshire cares about their students enough to incorporate holidays into the dining halls on campus.