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Mardi Gras


Erica Graff

I know what you’re thinking. A college student at Mardi Gras cannot be constructive. I am here to dispel those preconceived notions, as I went to Mardi Gras and survived.

My best friend from high school goes to Tulane. For the past three years, I have avoided visiting her because I completely fed into the New Orleans stereotypes. This fall, though, my friend visited me and so I owed her a visit. We agreed that it would be during Mardi Gras- when the town was the dirtiest, most crowded, and craziest it would be all year.

As it turns out, Mardi Gras is an unofficial holiday here at Vanderbilt. We do have a lot of students from Louisiana, and I guess nothing says college like a 9-hour road trip to the Gulf Coast. On Thursday afternoon, my three friends and I packed into my friend’s Beetle convertible (good thing we love to cuddle), and drove down to NOLA. The drive was easy and entertaining. My friends and I have all been so busy with school that we had been missing some quality bonding time. We made it to New Orleans safe and sound and they dropped me off at my friend’s house, which was just across the street from Tulane’s campus.

I had so much fun visiting my best friend. We enjoyed Mardi Gras, but more than that, we enjoyed each other. We went to a few parades, but we spent most of the weekend hanging out with her friends at school, eating at her favorite restaurants and reminiscing about elementary school. We are both so busy and have summer plans, so I honestly can’t tell you when we will see each other again. Keeping in touch is hard, but where there’s a will, there’s a way! I also got to cross Mardi Gras off my bucket list, which was an added bonus!

The famous bead tree at Tulane


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