Into the Asylum

October 22, 2019


My name is Hayley Johnson ’20. I am seventeen years old. I am a senior. And last week, I took the biggest risk of my entire life. I entered the Asylum. 

It sounded like a fun idea when it was presented to me. I was completely willing to sacrifice myself for the sake of knowledge and for Royal Reporter views. I did not understand what I was signing myself up for. I thought it would be easy. I was wrong. 

The Asylum is Servite’s award-winning all boys cheering section. They’re practically famous for the spirit, volume, and overall intensity of the boys who opt to be a part of the tradition. 

The nerves only began to creep in as I approached the stadium. I saw the Servite boys in their pro-dress, making their way up to the bleachers, and the challenge ahead of me began to present itself more clearly. But there was no backing out. I had to go in. 

I went to the game with Maddy Gomez ‘20 and Whitney Deubler ‘20, both of whom had different ideas as to how I should approach the situation. Whitney encouraged me to try to sneak in through the back while she captured the moment on my phone, and Maddy gave me a simple “don’t do it.” Overwhelmed, I decided to call on the help of a Servite friend to guide me into the Asylum. I called Vince Mann ‘20 on my phone and asked him to meet Maddy, Whitney, and me just outside the Asylum. When I asked for his help, however, he declined with a nervous, “For your safety, no.”

Maddy and I trying to get Vince to help me get into the Asylum. Photo by Whitney Deubler ’20.

At this point, my courage was rapidly draining, and I was close to making the decision to abandon the endeavor, when suddenly something came over me. A strength from deep within me overtook my sense of reason, and I made my way around to the back of the crowd. I took a deep breath, found a way in, and finally entered the Asylum. 

I was in a sea of motion. All of the sounds around me merged into one as I was swallowed into this clump of well dressed, screaming boys. I couldn’t stand in one place for long. I pushed my way through the crowd, now unable to see the outside. I continually lost my balance, almost giving way to the pushing and shoving around me several times. I had to get out of there. 

I fought for what seemed like eternity before I caught sight of a stunned Maddy and Whitney. I pushed out of the crowd the way I came and stumbled up the bleachers toward them. Whitney, laughing, snapped a few pictures of a very uncomfortable me, and these pictures are now the only remaining evidence of my task, my journey, and my narrow escape.

Out of the Asylum. Photo by Whitney Deubler 20.

Needless to say, I spent the rest of the night far, far away from the Asylum. It is my humble desire that my experience – my own story of doubt and ultimate survival – will serve as not only an inspiration to others, but also as a cautionary tale. 

I entered the Asylum so you’ll never have to.

1 Comment

One Response to “Into the Asylum”

  1. Anika Leon on October 28th, 2019 10:39 am

    I have always wondered what it would be like if i entered the asylum. This story has helped me to realize it is not a good idea whatsoever. It is funny to hear about it because I did expect it to go somewhat the way you described.

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