Midnight, Memories, and John’s Donuts

Some places are just iconic. The Eiffel Tower. The Empire State Building. The Colosseum. Every school has its iconic spot, that undeniably endearing hole in the wall of which every student has some story to tell. Wash U’s is John’s. John’s Donuts, to be exact. It’s not much for grandeur, but it has nevertheless embedded itself in the campus culture in a fascinating way.

It’s my third at Wash U, and I’m almost embarrassed to admit I only experienced John’s for the first time last weekend. It was honestly a disgrace, and my friends and I decided to make it a mission to spend some night huddled in a diner table and scarfing down sugary goodness in the wee hours of the morning. In fact, we HAD to do this in those few hours between total darkness and the first ray of sunshine because those are the only hours the beloved spot is open.

John’s Donuts is only open from 11-5, as in 11 PM to 5 AM.

I’ll admit, I tried to go to John’s once before. We drove downtown and turned on its block, only to find the store lights dark because it was a Sunday night, or Monday morning, rather (the only day John’s is closed). We opted for the fluffy pancake fare of another late-night spot instead – a more than solid consolation.

Last Friday, however, I finally underwent that Wash U rite of passage. Forgoing the traditional donut, for an apple fritter, I sat at a corner booth and laughed with my friends until our sugar highs wore off. I’m graduating in December – the end of this year!!! It hit me then, when Zijing was goofily holding a donut up to her face to pose for a Snap, how much I am going to miss sweet little moments of pure joy and camaraderie like this one. My time at Wash U has already offered me so, so many and can’t wait to savor the rest of them.