As everyone knows, the first week of classes has come to an end. Syllabi that haven’t been changed in years have been regurgitated by professors that already seem tired of the semester. Is it just me or has syllabus week gotten less syllabus focused? It seems like professors go straight into the material without any transition. I need them to slow it down a little bit; they are doing too much! 

Classes haven’t really let up and we haven’t even had our first test yet. The whole first week, I felt like I was in the library more than in my apartment. With that being said, I decided to go to PackaPalooza this weekend. I figured, why not go to see what it’s like? I needed the stress relief. Just something to relieve me from the stressors of college day-to-day. Especially due to the fact that I never went during my first year in 2019 which was right before COVID hit.  COVID was always canceling events and once people had to leave campus, PackaPoolza was pointless.

Once I started walking toward the event, the huge crowds of people walking in the same direction told me everything I needed to know. At first, I was a little overwhelmed with how packed it was. It seemed like there was someone a little too close in my personal space to my liking every five seconds. Once I got more comfortable, I started looking around for stuff to do. For the most part, from what I saw, it was really just a bunch of student organizations and businesses promoting their stuff. Since it’s my senior year, I wasn’t too interested in free stickers and other small merch most orgs throw at new students. I already have enough stickers and mugs to last me a lifetime. 

As I kept walking down, I ran into familiar faces, that of my mentees who had just started their first year and of old friends I hadn’t seen in ages. It was also interesting to see so many people who don’t go to NC State attend. It seemed to me that it was mostly geared towards college students, for the most part, particularly first-year college students. There was nothing there that really would’ve caught my eye if I wasn’t a student and at this point, I don’t really care too much about signing up for fifty different organizations and interest meetings. I already have my community. I’m too tired to go looking for more to add.

As for the food options, it was straight. For the most part, it felt like I was at a tamer version of the State Fair. If I wanted to go get a funnel cake and an oversized turkey leg, I would’ve waited for September. I thought the performances were enjoyable. There were a couple of alternative rock bands that were pretty entertaining. My only critique is that PackaPoolza’s main events have been with white musicians for the past couple of years. Every year I already know what I will hear at PackaPalooza, just another indie or rock band. 

I feel like they haven’t really expanded upon artists of color in the past couple of years. This is ridiculous because there are many local artists of color that definitely should be appreciated and given some spotlight. There just doesn’t seem to be that much variation when it comes to their main acts. Overall, it was mid. PackaPoolza is something that I think every student should go to at least once. However, if you’re looking for the fair’s aesthetic, just go to the State Fair.