Beanie week is a beloved tradition at Benedictine College. It is when the freshmen class and transfer students receive a small beanie that they must proudly wear for the first week of school.
They receive their beanies at the "Beanie Banquet" which is always the first Tuesday (the night before classes start) and they cannot remove them until the following Tuesday when we have the traditional all school mass and convocation.
They must wear their beanie to class, the cafeteria, the rec center, and even the first football game of the year. If an upperclassman takes a beanie, the freshman or transfer is required to caw (because our mascot is a raven) three times as loud as they can in order to get their beanie back.
As an upperclassman I have had several different thoughts during the first week of school. Every time I hear the timid caws my first thought is always, "I'm glad that's not me" but I also have a deeper appreciation for the experience that the beanies provided.
For one, it is incredibly nice being able to see who the freshman are. When I was a freshman I felt much more comfortable starting a conversation with someone else that was wearing a beanie. And now as an upperclassman when I see someone wearing a beanie and struggling with their mailbox or having a confused, lost expression, I am very quick to ask if they need any help.
It is a unique tradition that allows the upperclassmen to welcome the new students. And while they may think pulling off their beanies is mean, it is only because we've all been through it. And the more you caw, the more you feel like you are truly a part of the student body. The freshman can't see it now but once they remove their beanies, they will be able to see how this initiation has united them with the rest of the school. Some students love this tradition so much, they even wear their beanie under their graduation cap, four years after they had to caw for it.