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The military academies in America spend the entire summer prior to a new student's freshman year indoctrinating them. Other military schools, however, like Virginia Military Institute or the Corps of Cadets option at Virginia Tech, don't have the whole summer to pull it off.

So, they spend one intense week prior to the start of classes attempting to scare off the uncommitted, drive them to physical and mental exhaustion, and instill discipline. This is called Hell Week, in which the new freshmen (usually called something degrading, like rats or knobs), get their heads handed to them.

Rumor has it that if you can survive Hell Week, you can survive the freshman year, and if you can survive freshman year, you can survive your time there. Me, I'm glad I'm a civilian.

Hell Week is the third of four major traditions at Bryn Mawr College, taking place in February. This is one of the most anticipated traditions at the school, the time for the frosh to be helled by the sophomores, while the juniors try to be sympathetic towards the frosh. Each frosh picks out a heller, who is in charge of her schedule for the week. The frosh will undergo many embarrassing situations throughout the week, such as singing the Wheels on the Bus while on the Blue Bus to Haverford, or holding up Guild with a banana.

The first night of Hell Week is schedule copying, when the frosh see what they'll be doing in the dorm for the rest of the week. The next day is Dorm Dress-up Day, where you'll find members of the Pem East Whore Corps, or Rhoads Rodents, to name a few.

Also during Hell Week, the frosh attend Trials, where the sophomores find something "wrong" about the frosh, and the juniors try to defend them, while the seniors judge the case. All the frosh dress up to be cute and adorable, so as to gain favor from the seniors, but nonetheless, a punishment is always set, to be carried out the next day. The punishment is also something meant to embarrass the frosh, such as wearing a sign all day, or saying a certain phrase whenever she sees someone wearing a hat. The punishments are varied, and personalized to each frosh.

On Friday afternoon, the frosh are put into Confinement, for two hours, each dorm separate from the other. This is a time to either do homework, watch movies, sleep, chat, or practice for Performances. Performances are held right after Confinement, where any frosh is able to sing or act under the direction of their heller or of their own volition. After Perfomances, the frosh are told Bedtime Stories by the seniors, and do Calisthenics, to prepare them for the infamous Duck Pond Run at 5:30 the next morning.

This Duck Pond Run is the one mile journey to the Haverford Duck Pond. The last person to reach the Duck Pond is thrown in on that cold, February morning, so many frosh get rides from the juniors. This is the highlight of Hell Week, the rest of the week is spent being helled and participating in the dorm activities.

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