Amy hates Animal House


Amelia Esparza, The Freelancer

Freelancer columnist Amelia Esparza believes Animal House rules should be revised to be more inclusive.

Amelia Esparza, Staff Writer

The one thing most people look forward to every year at La Serna is Animal House, but I don’t. I dread it. Mainly because I don’t get the appeal of humiliating myself in front of hundreds of my school mates. I feel like this is just another contest to see who is more athletic. I don’t get why it’s exciting to see our peers do gross and slightly dangerous things that could potentially harm them. Take the food eating contest: I have seen many of my fellow students throw up and get really sick after eating the gross items that they give the unfortunate contestants. I remember last year someone got really hurt because his team was trying to throw his body over a pole and they completely missed the mat he was supposed to land on, so he landed on his back. That is extremely dangerous and that could’ve ended in a law suit if his injuries were serious enough. Why would anyone agree to participate in games that could potentially make them seriously sick or injured? I know that regular sports have the same cons as Animal House, but with sports you at least have people that take care of your injuries when you get hurt or when you start getting sick, they take you out of the game. I feel like it’s not safe to let the students themselves dictate if they are okay enough to play. Most kids that I know would just keep playing, even if the next day they have a sprained ankle. There needs to be at least one person there to make sure that this is safe. I’m sure that there are teachers that watch over the games, but I’m sure that they don’t treat kids for their wounds or really worry about the kids that they don’t know (to an extent).

Why would anyone want to play these games that do nothing but humiliate them? Sumo wrestling in front of all your peers to show who’s stronger? But what about the kid that loses the match? They now have to face their team with the defeat. Plus, Animal House is done elimination style, so there are no second chances. What about the kid that eats too fast during the food relay and they end up throwing up (which we all know is a gross feeling)? Or when you’re watching someone swim the in t-shirt relay, the group with the slow swimmers and their friends in the stands hear the other kids making fun of that team. The lingering shame the kids have that know that they were the reason why their team didn’t advance. I don’t get why it’s enjoyable to watch kids do gross things that just make them feel bad. It’s kind of ridiculous that this is something that we glorify and think that is fun.

Every year I see the same thing take place, all of the athletes team up. Which is fine, if it didn’t make Animal House just another way for people to show how great they are athletically. Isn’t Animal House all about team work and about having fun with your friends? Every year I see friends picking and choosing people, even if it means denying friends that don’t meet the “physical criteria.” I think that denying those friends is a terrible and unethical thing to do, and I feel like physical “fun” activities that the school plans for us brings out those types of people.

Another thing that I hate about Animal House is that it is done elimination style, meaning that if you lose or don’t get enough points for that round, you don’t continue to play. I feel like this just adds to the problem of “only choosing the best” mind set that our peers get. I feel like Animal House would be just as fun if all the teams continued to play through out and they just accumulate points so at the last day, who ever has the most points can win. So maybe if one team loses one day because that game wasn’t the best fit for them, the next day they might be able to win because that was their forte. Or perhaps the team that everyone thought had the competition in the bag, ends up getting second because the underdog team makes a comeback.

All in all, I’m okay with the idea of Animal House if it was done slightly different, to really allow for all types of people to play, but I just can’t look past the fact that it tends to bring out some of the worst qualities in people.