Expectations vs. Reality: a freshman view of the THs

Freshman Expectations:

You and your friends are about to be the life of the party. Seniors look at the clock, anxiously wondering where the hell are all the freshies. “Don’t they know we throw these parties for them?” one senior says to another, who nods aggressively in agreement.

You’re the only freshman invited, because the host thought you were cool and figured you’d tell all your friends. The seniors are completely prepared for this: They’ve bought all the Natty, and are more than willing to share anything and everything you have ever wanted or needed, including their family photos, toothbrushes and significant others.

When you arrive with your gaggle of freshfriends, the seniors breathe a collective sigh of relief. They (as well as everyone on the planet) live by the rule Kesha established in her classic jam “TiK ToK:” the party don’t start until the freshmen walk in. You’re greeted enthusiastically by everyone you meet and offered a place to sit as someone crouches down to be your ottoman. Feet resting comfortably, you make conversation with a cute upperclassman who is genuinely interested in your life and your cat’s anal gland infection. The night is going great. You’re like Cinderella, hoping the clock never strikes midnight. You’ve collected countless new phone numbers and have built long-lasting friendships. “I’m so glad I’m a freshman,” you scream beneath a disco ball.


Freshman Reality:

You know the seniors dread your arrival, but you decide to show up at the THs 10 p.m. every Friday. Your FOMO is strong. Your friend was invited, and she brought two whole fellow groups with her, so you tag along.

It takes nine minutes of being lost to get there. You doubt there’s even a party. There’s no loud music. No togas. No keg stands to be seen. You’re getting suspicious, but all of your friends have nothing but optimism and misguided excitement in their eyes. You think you need new friends.

The invited friend knocks on the door first and you wait at the back of the huge mass of people, thinking about how you’ll tell your kids about how popular you were as a mere freshman. A senior opens the door and greets your invited friend with warm open arms. They  take a look at everyone on the doorstep and grimace. They look at your friend as if she walked in naked. You’re not welcome here. You whisper that to someone standing next to you, but are met with an eye roll and an order to stop worrying. As you enter, you awkwardly make eye contact with every single person for at least 2.3 seconds. “TiK ToK” does not play.

You stoop in a corner with a couple of friends. The friend who was invited is being shown star treatment; you think you see someone being their ottoman, but it’s too dark to tell. You and a couple of other friends decide to slink out before being accosted for existing in their sacred space.

Wandering around, you see a senior sitting on their front stoop smoking a cigarette. Your outgoing friend wants to go talk to them, but you know better. You don’t make eye contact and keep walking as if you know exactly where you’re going. You don’t. The senior knows you’re lost. They point and laugh. You figure it’s better not to acknowledge that fact. They laugh louder.

As you’re walk-of-shame-ing back from the THs, you see someone from your FWS walking in the opposite direction. He’s with a bunch of his cool VRDT  freshfriends. He throws a nod in your direction, but doesn’t want to talk to a loser like you. You return to your dorm and Google “So my cat has anal glands” before passing out at 10:31 p.m.

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