Satire By Mabry Griffin '18
According to historians, the word “freshman” morphed into “freshmeat” at the same time the frosted tips fad of the nineties took ahold of adolescents across the nation, soon to result in old yearbook photos kids our age cringe at when sifting through ancient copies of Mitre and The Albanian. This newfound term was coined to represent the often-animalistic relationship between upperclassmen and those of the lowest high school caste: the freshmen. The word “meat” sounds as though these wide-eyed, pubescent, happy-go-lucky hopefuls are simply a meal we might devour if we are the slightest bit irked by their presence, and while I won’t sugarcoat the fact that this is a likely possibility, I have some tips on how to survive freshman year (both literally and figuratively)
1) Walk really slowly in the halls
While juniors and seniors are rushing to meet with teachers and turn in research papers that are the fruit of 1:00 a.m. caffeine frenzies, remind them of their youth as you take up the entire hallway. Being this happy and worry-free will only happen once in your life so take your time and enjoy it. Imagine that everyday is your wedding day and just walk heel to toe from one class to another, as slow as a sloth, causing upperclassmen to groan and underclassmen to suffer from mild causalities as a stampede of seniors push through your red-rover chain link of friends. What better way to get you in the minds of your elders, than to annoy them to the point of them putting your face at the top of their hit list?
2) Be afraid of Upperclassman
Superman fears kryptonite. Ron Weasley is terrified of spiders. The citizens of the United States receiving a proper education are scared of Donald Trump as a presidential candidate. Underclassmen are frightened by upperclassmen. It’s just the way things are. The next time one of the exuberantly tall seniors gives you the stink eye, automatically assume the worst and contact the Witness Protection Program before your next study hall because there is no way she could have gotten even less sleep than you did and simply be walking around with a fatigued RBF (resting bitch face). If juniors ever try to introduce themselves to you, feel free to use my pseudonym: Jean-Ralphio in order to divert any oncoming attacks. While this tactic might turn into a Franco-like method acting fiasco, you will at least not have to talk to someone who has been in your place, walked in your shoes, and might possibly want to be your friend and give you…guidance! Us upperclassmen have survived both Physics and Chemistry, and can live to tell the tale. Anyone as strong and hardworking as yourself, essentially anyone who is your equal, must be feared, so if a 17 year-old female dripping in floral scented hand sanitizer offers you a leftover cookie from one of our infamous bake sales, beware. We are never nice!
3) Ask Seniors how the College Process is Going
No, really…they love it.
4) Think of the TLC as a Social Hub
You know what baffles me to this day: The fact that the freshmen don’t have their own lounge. While the sophomore and junior lounges flank either side of the forbidden door on the northern end of Hearst Hall, and the senior room is as secretive as what Frank Ocean has actually been up to the past couple years, the beloved freshmen are left with nowhere to cloister. Despite past efforts of the Class of 2020’s predecessors attempting to chill, and sometimes “Netflix and chill”, in the lounges of their superiors, they, like all freshmen who take on such a feat, were exiled from the luxury of having a place to park their forty pound backpacks. Never fear! I am here to save you (please note the superiority complex at hand as it will undoubtedly be mentioned in your English 9 class)! The TLC is the fishbowl-esque rectangular room in Woodley that never fails to heat up as fast as Satan’s kitchen when people start to fill it, and it too can be yours for the amazing price of only $9.99! Disclaimer: If you attempt the following you will, indeed, have to pay a price that, while it may not be the cash you were planning on spending on gummy bears from the bookstore, will be quite costly. I propose that you use the TLC as your own lounge. The sign on the door may ask for complete silence, but the class before you proved that rules like that one were meant to be broken, just ask them about how shorts got banned for the entire school year! Feel free to shout across the room to your best friend if new shirtless pictures of Harry Styles are released, after all the world is your oyster, and the rest of us are just trying to get our homework done and study. Please…don’t let that stop you!
5) Don't, Under any Circumstances, Talk to your Teachers
One teacher is known as “The GPA Killer”. Another openly promotes lying to young children via TED Talks. And a third, with a certain affinity for softball and bowties, seems to be more of a “feminist rage monster” than even the lovechild of Hillary Clinton and Olivia Gatwood that you aspire to be. They are scary! Of course you shouldn’t ask any of them for help! It’s not as though you might actually like them once you put the stigma of Close lore aside! Do not talk to them! If you dare to utilize office hours and tear yourself away from the scintillating discussion of which Jackets Off member makes your heart melt the most…you might be forced to seek their guidance. And if, by some tragic miracle, that happens…your grades might actually improve! We are talking about a devastatingly climactic upward trend! If the potential of teachers helping you, and revoking your 3:00 a.m. crunch week bedtime bragging rights doesn’t make you quake in your shoes…I don’t know what will!
6) Have a Love/Hate Relationship With NCS
Whether your partial distaste for your school has arrived in an unreasonable grade, a Google document, an unfruitful Diversity Forum, or the mention of “Harvard” the second you walk through the doors, use your freshman year to discover both what you love about your school and what you want to change about it. After all, for the next four years, when you aren’t worrying about adjusting to the strict diet of chicken and rice at NCS, or not knowing what BEEF club is at STA, this school will be your home. Make sure you do your part to make it the best one possible.