There’s organized sports… and then there’s dorm soccer. When it’s warm out, we have the Hassan Premier League, in which all the boys’ dorms compete for the HPL Cup (an actual trophy by the way). Every Sunday, we gather on the turf at the Stadium to wage war against rival dorms. This was my first year participating, and it was my first real bonding experience with everyone in the dorm. Initially, it seemed a little daunting to play with our upperclassmen, but after a few games/wins, they formed strong relationships with the new underclassmen.
The weekends went by smoothly as we won game after game, decimating every team we faced. Eventually, we stood atop the standings as the number one team in the league heading into the HPL Playoffs. We were able to defeat our sworn rival Abbot Hall (we’re the second oldest dorm on campus and they’re the oldest) handily in the semifinals 3-0, locking us up against Browning House in the HPL Championship.
We marched as Souldiers (men of Soule Hall) into the Stadium before being slighted 2-1 in a back-and forth game. It was a tough loss, but we were gracious in defeat. No fans, nothing but two dorms clad in their dorm gear. We won together as a dorm, and we lost together as a dorm.
Activities like dorm soccer help to start new students off with an almost instant network of reliable friends. In my experience, I was able to make connections with people outside of the dorm through fellow dorm mates. Whatever dorm you guys have the privilege to live in, remember that these will be your first friends, and your friends throughout your time at Exeter.