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New friends splash together at NSO pool party

NSO Pool Party
Students lounge at the Grinnell Mutual Family Aquatic Center at the NSO pool party - Dodge Greenley

The red pill or the blue pill—that is the question. Choosing between sliding into nearly four feet of water via a red slide or a blue slide is a much more exciting choice—and those were the options at the New Student Orientation (NSO) pool party on Monday August 23.

In the midst of educational lectures and awkward discussions such as the “sex talk” that were part of NSO, the pool party at the Grinnell Mutual Family Aquatic Center was not just a relief from the 90 degree heat. On Monday afternoon, we piled into an overcrowded campus van with a dozen other students, getting the chance to know everyone better because we practically sat in each others’ laps.

Amongst the 200 or so students at the pool party, a volleyball game began in the community pool as folks stood in line to brave the slides from the early afternoon. Two hours in the lazy river could do a number on the human body, but the damage was definitely worth the fun of the day’s festivities. People came and left, but most decided to relax and bounce the NSO beach balls around the water for the attendees’ utmost entertainment.

We traversed the blue curly-cue slide first, climbing several stories with large inner tubes. Though a seemingly tame ride, we found ourselves enveloped by utter darkness at the moment of entrance into the slide. Sudden dips and hairpin turns were hidden in the impenetrable black, and for a moment, it seemed as if the ride would never end. When we reached the bottom, we were ushered into the remarkably strong current of the lazy river and proceeded to drift steadily along, watching others fly past.

Next, it was time for the red slide. Beginning at the same height as the blue slide, this one had no twists or turns. It was a straight drop that sent students flying across the water, as they lay flat with their arms clenched tightly around their shoulders. Two seconds after pushing onto the slippery slope we landed with another ungainly plop into shockingly cold water. Disoriented and sputtering, we made the way over to the stairs and turned around just in time to see a friend come hurtling downwards. The blood-curdling scream was definitely noteworthy.

After some toasting time in the lazy river, it was sadly closing time. Those of us who stayed until the end got to keep the NSO beach balls and play with them back in our dorms. The pool party was a truly special treat and something that, especially with the sunburn, will not be forgotten for some time. Since we Grinnell College students can get in free with our P-Cards, why not stop by this weekend, the last opportunity of the season, and try it yourself?

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