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Deerfield Schemes
Mason Zhao '20 Staff Writer
March 7, 2019

Everyone knows of the cliché scheme culture at Deerfield: Snapchat before in-person chat and visitation before dates. I will, in this piece, attempt to define the so called “scheme” culture at Deerfield and possibly offer a solution to fix the ineffective “scheming” tactics.

It is important to define some simple terms about scheming at Deerfield Academy. “Scheming” is essentially equivalent to having a crush on a potential significant other and trying to flirt with them, but also doing so without risking too much. Social media is crucial as many students prefer cyber conversations over face-to-face conversations. In general, unlike modern-day flirting, “scheming” is a more passive form of flirtation; students avoid confrontation as many are shy to openly express their true emotions.

Credit: Mark Chung

Most schemes start with Snapchat. After successfully obtaining your crush’s Snapchat, you must initiate “conversation.” According to “scheming” guidelines, first and foremost, the mood of your Snapchats is essential in starting your relationship on the right foot. With the option of revealing your full-face, half-face, or shoulder, Snapchatting at Deerfield has evolved into a form of art. Your Snapchat should not show that you are completely head over heels for someone, yet it must also imply that there is definitely some potential romance budding between you and your crush. A very important thing to note is that responses must be within 2 to 8 hours, no earlier and no later. You don’t want to seem like you are waiting for their Snap, but, at the same time, you want them to know that you are somewhat interested. When it seems like you have established  a stable “friendship” with your scheme, how about asking about his or her interests? Maybe even how their game went? But always remember, hold your temptation to open the Snap too early, and make sure to vary the chats.

After the stage of asking questions that you already know the answer to, the most important step in the scheme process happens. You, finally ask your “special someone” whether they want to hang out. This is the determining step in the scheming process because he or she will finally reveal their thoughts about you – you will either fall into the dark hole of the friendzone or blossom together into something bigger.

In the best case scenario, your scheme will answer with a “Sure” or “I’ll see you at the Greer.” Now is your chance to finally make a lasting impression on the person.

However, in some other unfortunate occasions, you encounter one of the sadder moments of your life: an outline of a red arrow. This empty arrow, on Snapchat, implies that the person, on the other end of your conversation, has opened your Snap and chosen not to respond. In this case, try not to fall into despair. You must remember that your crush is only one of the eight billion people on this planet, and there are many, many, many fish in the sea. Just because your scheme did not succeed one time does not mean that your next scheme has to know about it or that another new scheme will not be successful!

So, now that I have told you the way that scheming works here at Deerfield. I will propose a mind-breaking alternative. Something more applicable to real-life society. Something that most Deerfield students have never done: partaking in face-to-face, real-life romantic courting.

I know that this may seem daunting and insurmountable, but this is how most relationships beyond our Deerfield bubble form. Here are some tips and tricks to get a head start on this innovative flirting method.

Face to face interactions:

Deerfield Academy’s website reads, “Today, the Academy captures this notion in a set of core values: face-to-face interactions characterized by joy and generosity of spirit.” One of the most important values that the Academy enforces on its students is the value of face-to-face communication. Yet, in the scheme culture, face-to-face interaction is unheard of. I adamantly believe that this value should remain consistent in scheme culture as well. Instead of constantly asking “Wyd” or “How was your co-curric?” what about simply going up to them in the Greer and saying “Hi.” Something as simple as that could be the start of a special something. If you simply cannot accept the fact that people are allowed to introduce themselves in person, what about simply starting to smileat them on the path? The greatest part about this tactic is that there is no worst case scenario because all they will do is simply say “hi” back. See? Win-win!

Get to Know Your Scheme (Not on DAInfo):

Schemes are people too! Often times, Deerfield students think that their scheme only exist in the cyber realm and in their math class. However, that is not how human beings work. Your scheme wants to make friends. Your scheme wants to talk to people. Your scheme is human! If you can get over the fact that you can talk to them in person, next step is to try to find commo ground. Talk about your hobbies, favorite music, Netflix shows, and embarrassing stories. The list is endless.What is important is that your scheme knows who you are, and you are no longer just someone that is referred to as “the guy  on SnapChat.”

Go on a date:

The Deerfield bubble can seem suffocating at times. With the same Greer nights and sports events, occasoinally you need a breather from the Deerfield masses. With a great selection of attractions just around this campus, take your crush to see a movie or go eat Froyo instead of a night stuck at school. Getting off campus can help remind you that you are not simply “scheming” but that you are looking at a possible significant other. This may even get you extra brownie points as your crush may view your preparation as a sign of thoughtfulness.

Now, with my last words of wisdom, I wish you well with your schemes. Finding a significant other is about honesty and courage.

Don’t be afraid to actually, in-person, express how much you like someone. One of my favorite quotes that inspires this is, “You miss 100% of the shots that you do not take.” So, why hesitate and miss that shot? Go, scheme (the healthy way).