Surviving Senior Year: Freshmanisms

Now let me start this off by saying I have nothing against freshman.  I volunteer at Orientation every year. I dutifully hand out identification cards and point them in the direction of the cafeteria/registrar/financial aid office.  I’ll help them get through Writing 101. I’ll edit their articles. I’ll listen to their incessant chatter in the library with mild amusement.

But um…well…actually, it’s probably a little bit more than mild amusement. But it’s not my fault, honest. You see I have tutoring hours in the library and when no one shows up desperately asking me to explain what the Bard was rambling on about (All they really need to do is watch 10 Things I Hate You.) I’m left with nothing to do but catch up on my reading…or you know, listen in on other people’s conversation. And I can’t help it if the freshman sitting in the library basement at the table opposite me talk, really, really, loudly. And really, who wouldn’t be intrigued about “OMG. The most perfect schedule. EVER,” or how one particular girl was so thrown off by midterms week that she gave up brushing her teeth because she just didn’t have the time. Or about how one professor “totally mentions sex in every one of his lectures.”

No I am not making this stuff up. I am not that creative or gross. So yeah, as I said. These conversations are a lot more entertaining than Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit. Frankly, the guy liked to ramble on, and his writing can get a little stale.  But the freshman, they never steer me wrong. Their life altering college experience is my reality tv.

Here are just a few of my favorite freshmanism. (Yes I made that word up. It totally works though, don’t you think?)

  1. The way they wear their id cards around their necks on a lanyard for the first three weeks of school. I don’t know. This could just be my college campus. But the first few weeks of school, it’s always really easy to spot the freshman because they are the ones who walk around campus wearing their id cards around their neck. Its stops after a while though, it gets thrown in your bag, you put it in your wallet, you leave it in your car. In your dorm room. Before senior year you’ve had to replace it three times already. By senior year, you’re not even sure you have an id card at all anymore.
  2. The way they travel in packs. That’s the second best way to spot the freshman. They walk to class together. They go to lunch together. Of course your roommate doesn’t mind stopping by the library with you, then can you just swing by the business office with her? Don’t get me wrong, hanging with your friends is great. But by senior year, you’re lucky if you wake up in time for class, never mind waking up early enough for a group breakfast  followed by that core class you’re taking together followed by a coffee break. Followed by…you get the idea.
  3. The look of pure and absolute horror that graces their faces for the entirety of midterms’ week. Now I’m the first to admit I’ve had my fair share of midterm induced panic attacks. And as a freshman, I remember the entire process being ridiculously overwhelming. But by senior year (read: when there’s so much else going on that you forget you have a midterm during the next class until your professor mentions it.) it’s not quite as stressful. You’ve survived before, and you’ll survive again
  4. Their shock at how quickly the classes they want manage to fill up during registration week. The registration process is not a fun one. For anyone. But if you’re a freshman it’s particularly brutal. You’re the last register, but yet your advisers warn you of picking the perfect schedule and core requirements and classes you need to take. So you plan, and pick and you fantasize about how amazing it will be to only have class three days a week. And then you go to register. And all the classes you want are gone. And your left with the teacher warns against taking at all costs. Ah, memories. Cheer up, by senior year, you’ll get first pick. I promise.

So what do you think ladies? How much has changed since you were a freshman? Are you a freshman now?  Do you wish you could speed it up to senior year, or are you happy where you are?

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