A ‘Last Chance Dance’ has been a tradition for almost a decade for a number of colleges including Yale. But why is a Last Chance Dance any different than a regular dance? Besides the obvious reason that it is the last dance; another unique aspect of the Last Chance Dance is that computers are involved.
The Last Chance Dance uses a computer system to match people up that have mutual crushes on one another. At the end of the year, students log onto a website using a Yale e-mail and enter five people they like into the database. If two students are on each other’s lists, they are notified that they have a mutual crush and they can take it wherever they want from there, at the dance or otherwise.
This used to be a Yale-only thing but when one Ivy League school comes up with something cool, their rivals must one-up them. Harvard started a Last Chance Dance as well, but at Harvard, students are allowed to enter 15 matches. What if your crush is a year younger or an underclassman? Harvard doesn’t let non-seniors enter names into the Last Chance database, but they do allow non-seniors to attend the dance, for a small fee of course.
But move over Yale and Harvard, Bowdoin College takes things a step further with their ‘Senior Seven’ idea. At Bowdoin, the focus isn’t the dance, though there is one, their focus is the whole week. Students select seven people they would like to meet up with in some capacity or another. Nowhere does it say this, but it is generally expected that each match you get is essentially a one-day thing. Does everyone get all seven matches? Of course not, that probably only happens for the extremely popular, attractive people, but matching up two, three, maybe four people isn’t unheard of. And not every match is all about hooking up; relationships have been known to start based on this tradition. But let’s be honest, it is mostly about hooking-up.
Imagine pining after a fellow classmate for 4 years. This chance is your opportunity before it’s too late and in many ways your ‘last chance’ before commitments and adult responsibilities begin to invade your life. Sure there are an influx of random, drunk hook-ups during these school’s senior weeks and at the dances, but isn’t that what college is for? In real life, it is no longer acceptable or safe for that matter to start drinking at noon, stumble from party to party, meet someone, have some fun, and stumble across the quad to your dorm room and your own bed. If you do this for a week straight in real life, you’re an alcoholic.
Students know this; they understand that senior week will be it for them. After graduation, everyone has to move on to the real world and become fully responsible adults. So should schools endorse these end of year functions? Of course they should! For students who have held onto a crush for four years, they get one last chance to make something of it. For students who are just looking to have fun, they will have a good time. For those students looking for love, for the lucky, it might happen. They’ve put in four years of hard work and dedication, they deserve a last hoorah, every college should implement a Last Chance Dance.