Step Wherever You Want

Elissa Sanci

From the moment I set foot on this campus, I was told not to set foot on those letters in the Maxcy quad. During SOAR, the Orientation Leaders were sure to embed in our minds not to step on the letters, their only explanation being that “bad things will happen.”

Those bad things were never really defined. Throughout the year, I heard rumors as to what would happen if I were to step on the letters—I’d fail all my classes, I’d end up transferring out and I’d take more than four years to complete my undergraduate education, were three of consequences of stepping on the giant UNH placed in the center of the quad.

Just like you should keep away from black cats, refrain from breaking mirrors and avoid stepping beneath a ladder, you should also avoid walking over the letters. However, no one ever says why. I question where these superstitions start, and how they came to be followed. I’m sure if I told new students to clap three times before entering Bartels each time, no one would listen—so why did avoiding the letters catch on?

Kids transfer out because they can’t afford the school or are unhappy at the school, not because they stepped on the letters. I doubt any student transferring would tell their parents they had to leave UNH because they stepped over the blue U in the middle of the Maxcy quad.

The same goes for failing a class—no, walking over the letters didn’t cause you to fail your class. Your lack of motivation to study and your unwillingness to attend class is what led to the downfall of your GPA.

While I encourage tradition, I don’t think it should be used an excuse. Your future employer won’t want to hear that you failed Intro to Accounting because you tread on the letters in the quad.

I still haven’t stepped on the letters, in fear that maybe something terrible will happen, but each time I step around the giant letters, I can’t help but to feel silly. Not everyone adheres to the rule set forth by those before us, and I can understand why—it’s just a silly superstition.