Seasoned Upperclassman Offers Advice

By Sarah B. Keating
Elm Columnist

I love freshmen. I love witnessing the pinch of inexperience they unknowingly sprinkle into a situation, that trademark of trying so hard to fit in, but in reality, ending up blatantly standing out. From the moment they started wearing their Senior Week 2010 tie dyed t-shirts, I have been secretly hoping that this year’s group will be more socially inept than I was. And there is definitely potential. Like when they run down the Kent first floor hallway, naked, screaming “I’M A FRESHMAN, AND THIS IS WHAT FREEDOM TASTES LIKE.” I smile, remembering my first beer.

Well actually, I don’t remember.

The details of that monumental night escape me due to sheer intoxication. It started with a toga party and ended the next morning as I did the walk of shame across campus, wrapped only in an American flag.

I patriotically hang that flag in my room, as a badge of honor, reminding myself of that first taste of unrestricted freedom. From that night forward, I was officially inducted into the cult of stereotypical, but nonetheless legendary, American college students. I am an upperclassman made wiser by the humbling lessons of freshman year, which I would like to impart upon this year’s rookies.

First and foremost, your lanyard is not a necklace. Girls especially may think that this collection of childhood key chains on a string is the perfect accessory to any outfit, but unfortunately, you are wrong. Wearing your school ID lanyard around your neck is equitable to wearing a pocket protector. And even those are only acceptable as part of a nerd costume.

Second, do not try to text while running on the treadmill. Even if multitasking comes easy to you, you will be unable to concentrate on running, texting, and checking yourself and the guy doing bench presses out in the mirror. Then, to the enjoyment of those around you, you will lose your balance and become a jumble of limbs on the unsanitary gym floor.

Third, hooking up with someone Saturday night does not mean you are in a serious, committed, monogamous relationship by Sunday morning. Fact.

Fourth, the freshman 15 is not from the dining hall. It’s from the fourth meal, the one you eat in the time between when you start drinking and the time you fall asleep.

Fifth, embrace the Brolo-Ralph Bro’in culture. Lax is life, second only to hunting and being from Baltimore. If your closet is not overflowing with lax pennies, pastels, camouflage or Baltimore prep school attire, ask your roommate to borrow some of hers. And on your way to the gym, bend over and make sure your socks are pulled up to mid calve.

Six, the silent floor of the library is just that. If you somehow did not notice the “Silent Floor” signs posted on every square inch of that floor, then prepare to face the wrath of some upper-classman tweaking on Adderall. She will not so gently remind you that there is no talking, at which point everyone else on the floor will turn and stare at your study carrel.

Seven, do not drunk dial.

Chances are your most recent calls are from your hovercraft of a mother. Leaving her a slurred voicemail at 2:30 a.m. on Tuesday morning will prove hard to explain come Tuesday afternoon when you can no longer avoid returning the thirteen missed calls from “Mom’s Cell.”

To all you doe-eyed, fawn of freshmen: this year is barreling towards you like an eighteen-wheeler.

Be enlightened and humored by my mistakes; don’t let your first year of higher education hit you like a truck, because I really hate road kill.

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