Delphine and Patrick show off their impressive Hunger Games costumes. It’s 6:00am. Usually, we sleep until 6:20, but this morning is different. Today we are playing The Hunger Games for morning exercise. Girls Dorm is filled with palpable energy as everyone scrambles to find their costumes and prepare for the ultimate morning. The 53 of us arrive early to 6:30 circle, eager to commence.  We have prepared extensively for this day—mastermind planning, strategizing, making alliances, enemies…

The words “may the odds be ever in your favor” are spoken and before I have time to react to what is going on, everyone around me sprints to the cornucopia filled with precious weapons consisting of wet socks and water guns. This is where the weak are killed off and the remaining are left to find shelter…

Never take your eyes off the playing field. Do you play offense and attack? Or defense and hide? You are never safe. Be aggressive, but don’t make yourself too vulnerable. Trust your allies, but never take your eyes off of them—never give them your weapons. This is a selfish game…. don’t forget that. Ever.

When the final round comes around and there are only a few teams left, you know it is time to attack. If you are going to die, you need to go down fighting your hardest. Leave everything on the playing field and, may the odds be ever in your favor…

-Ali Boutros