I’ve been on UVM’s campus for one year now, and in that time, I’ve seen some shit. I have watched the religion of Jeff Goldblum rise and fall. I have seen the Jehovah’s Witnesses set up shop in the Davis Center and try to convert me away from Goldblumism, with seemingly no heed to the fact that I am extremely gay. I have seen the silent beast that they call “The Rally Cat” stalk the campus, dispensing logo-branded swag and nightmares to those poor lost souls he encounters. And, of course, I have seen the Coronavirus pandemic, in which God decided that she’d given the human race a good old college try and it was time to shake the etch-a-sketch. The point that I’m trying to get across is that I, and everyone else in this one horse burg, have had a fucked-up year.
In all that time, one person has always been there for the students of this school, one stalwart sentinel in the face of destruction and despair. On our darkest days, he has watched over us from above, never turning away from the harsh truth. From his lofty perch, he has offered his silent wisdom and compassion to help UVM through its struggles. He is both a rock of stability in a mutable world and a hope for a brighter future. We have never spoken, and yet I feel that I know him well. I am speaking, of course, of Patrick Star.
If you have not observed Patrick, take a look upward the next time you approach Central Campus Residence Hall from the direction of the Davis Center. You’ll see him there, smiling down at you. You may not understand, at first, what he’s doing in the window. I know that I didn’t, back when I first arrived on campus what feels like a lifetime ago. I even wondered whether he was actually allowed to be up there considering he appeared to hang in a hallway rather than a dorm room’s window. After the difficult events of this school year, just as Odin gained wisdom through hanging upon Yggdrasil, the world tree after sacrificing his eye, I have come to see the purpose of Patrick. He is no mere decoration. He is a companion, a guiding light, and above all else, a reminder that no one has to make it through their struggle alone.
In this difficult time, I won’t ask you to be a bit more kind or understanding towards each other. Instead, I’ll just ask you all to be a bit more Patrick.