20 thoughts I had while rolling out new Daily writers

Oct. 3, 2018, 2:00 a.m.

My phone’s default alarm setting, a muffled trill under my pillow, sounds particularly irritating at 4:30 in the morning. I quickly shut it off, mumbling a quick prayer that my roommate hasn’t been similarly jolted awake in the other half of our two-room double. In the next few minutes I stumble out of bed, clumsily rub a pair of contact lenses into my barely open eyes and shove my feet into my best window-scaling shoes. It’s Rollout Day at The Stanford Daily.

If you’ve only experienced rollouts as the rollee and never the roller, you may be under the misguided impression that rollouts are a carefree, fun and exciting Stanford tradition that cause absolutely no stress — just pure, unadulterated, highly caffeinated joy. Wrong. Behind the scenes of brightly colored welcome signs and early morning mingling with other over-eager new members in various states of early morning disarray, here are 20 thoughts I had while rolling out new Daily staffers.

  1. If I dropped out of school right now, I wouldn’t have to make it to the Daily building by 5:10. It might be time to weigh my options. Accept my fate. Move on with my life.
  2. Wait, did I just feel rain? You’ve got to be kidding me. This should make the morning all the more delightful.
  3. Maybe if I fight my way to the front of the room I can claim an upperclass dorm and take my sweet time collecting one or two new recruits.
  4. I actually get Donner, Serra, Burbank and Zapata? Well, that dream’s dead.
  5. It’s really going to be a time getting into a dorm with no swipe card access…
  6. Maybe we’ll get lucky, and some unfortunate athlete will be heading out for practice as we pull up to Stern.
  7. No? Nobody? Window it is.
  8. Why did Recreation & Wellness spend all that money building an outdoor fitness playground when you can get all the functional fitness training you need trying to straddle both sides of a half-open freshman dorm lounge window 10 feet off the ground?
  9. Given the severely unfortunate placement of hard, sharp bits of windowsill exactly where I’m attempting to sit, it truly might be less painful just to throw myself off the side and hope the lounge carpet is more forgiving.
  10. And she sticks the landing! Well, not exactly — but with only one and a half knees down, it was a solid 8.5/10.
  11. Please, please let all of the new members be roommates.
  12. Alternatively, please, please let all of the new members be located on the first floor, given my doubt about my ability to walk up stairs after my acrobatic break-in efforts.
  13. No roommates and four recruits on the third floor? This is just classic.
  14. Do I really have to pound on the door? Do they have a doorbell somewhere I can ring? I better pound because no one’s going to wake up to a soft knock.
  15. Well, that was way more painful on the knuckles than I anticipated.
  16. Who takes two full minutes to answer the door? Is it possible someone actually slept through a rollout on their very own door?
  17. If they want to walk to the Daily in bare feet and no coat, I guess that’s fine.
  18. One down, 35 to go. Shouldn’t take more than an hour.
  19. Between the exhausted stares in our new members’ eyes, the groans of awoken roommates who just wanted a solid eight hours and the bruises quickly forming on both of my door-pounding fists, I’m beginning to wonder if anyone at all actually finds this a worthwhile and exciting activity.
  20. If forcing a freshman to climb through the open window of the second dorm on my list is a violation of the Fundamental Standard, it’s a risk I’m willing to take. Never again.


Contact Jackie O’Neil at jroneil ‘at’ stanford.edu.

Jackie O'Neil '21 is The Daily's Vol. 259 staff development director and the former executive editor for Vol. 258 and managing editor of The Grind for Vols. 255 and 256. She's a Richmond, Virginia native studying political science, psychology and ethics. Contact her at joneil 'at' stanforddaily.com.

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