My Last Black Cat

Black Cat is one of the most beloved traditions at Agnes Scott. What started in 1915 as a prank night between the Sophomore and First Year class has evolved into a week-long extravaganza of class competition, song and dance, and bonding. It’s like a homecoming taken to the extreme.

My first Black Cat was in Fall 2015, the 100th Black Cat week. On a whim, I ran for Black Cat chair for the class of 2019. My peers elected me to the position, and suddenly, I was faced with the task of collecting materials for Rush the Quad, buying paint and decorations, and organizing a less-than-enthusiastic class into committees and chairs to try and make our first Black Cat a success.

Playing off our comical orientation experience, I chose the theme of Camp and set to work painting, building, decorating, organizing meetings, and attending song and dance rehearsals. I almost didn’t have time to take a breath, step back, and enjoy the fun of Black Cat. Now, after completing my fourth and final Black Cat, I’d like to think I’ve learned a lot from this tradition.

While one might think dressing down and throwing painted trash on the quad takes leadership skills, I believe Black Cat has refined my leadership abilities and shown me skills I never knew I possessed. All while I ran around, screaming cheers about the Sprites (our mascot), I was managing teams, seeking out talented people who were best suited for their positions. I learned to roll with the punches, to check my pride and ambition, to comfort those who needed it and to give younger classes guidance. I’ve raised money and managed budgets. I’ve learned how to use a power drill. I’ve definitely learned time management.

I can take all of the skills I’ve gained during Black Cat week and adapt them to future work in my career. Certainly not the screaming and singing and painting signs with catchy phrases about the 90s, but the time management skills, the committee management, the budgeting and accountability required.

black cat at agnes scott
Black Cat 2018

It hasn’t fully sunk in that I’ll never celebrate Black Cat again. I’ll never rush another Quad, sing at Bonfire, cheer at Trivia, party at Party Day, clean up decorations, or watch Junior Production. But in addition to having fun these past four years, I’ve learned something and gained valuable skills. And that’s why I love Black Cat so much, and why I’m so sad this year was my last. 

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