In my last year at Vassar, I’m hoping to truly live up to my reputation as “legend”—thanks Friendsy!—by being the leader of the campus’ coolest new posse. This year, I need to recruit the young and hip—and what better day to do so than Serenading.
Main House — 12:38 p.m.
I find a freshman in the flowerbed. Behind me, seniors are lobbing water balloons at the rest of them. My buddy in the flowerbed looks so cool, face-down among the million-dollar tulips. Like the morning couldn’t mean less! They don’t need other freshmen! They need me, the also-very-cool senior! “Hey there,” I whisper as a water balloon splashes across their face, “do you have a best friend already?” They look at me and grumble something that sounds like “Main or Shine,” but could just as easily be “hmpg bu sign.” They’re so right! This is a sign that we’ll be the founding members of “Cool Posse 2k14!”
Strong House — 12:42 p.m.
“Yeah, Strong!” I shout as I grab two water balloons and hide them behind my back. “You’re so strong and cool!” I throw one water balloon at a girl who has groovy elevator shoes. She rocks! I run at the Strong freshmen, as if I’m going to throw a balloon from up close, but then I quickly turn around and throw it back at the seniors! “Hey,” I say under my breath, looking down at her cool platforms. “STROOONNGG,” she yells with wild eyes and reaches for a bucket of water to empty on my head. “I’m here to hang!” I yell back, and she looks at me inquisitively. “Yes,” I nod, “I’m starting up a posse, which will be the coolest one on campus.” I give her a totally cool wink. We’ll run this school in no time.
Davison & Raymond Houses— 12:50 p.m.
I know I now need someone who looks cool in aviators and can say some phrases in Russian. I see two freshmen struggling to pick up a trashcan full of water balloons to dump on the senior with the megaphone. Cool! They’re even wearing plastic sunglasses with neon-green arms that say “Juliet.” “Wowie, where did you get those shades?” I ask. They look up, straining to hold the trashcan, when one of them drops it on their foot and shouts “Damn!” Excellent. They know some bad words. They’re totally in.
Lathrop House – 12:55 p.m.
Fifteen freshmen stand outside wearing really cool cut-up shirts. One even has theirs tied around their wrists like sweat bands. Smart idea! This is the kind of cool thinking my posse needs. I sneak up beside them and stick my own wrist in front of their face. “Check out this hospital bracelet,” I say, showing them the blue paper cool thing I’ve been wearing for a week. “Yeah, I’ve got vertigo. No big.” I shrug. They stare at me and laugh, and I can see they have some Chewy bar stuck in their teeth. A water balloon thrown from the seniors explodes at my feet. I jump up and follow the seniors running to Jewett. I don’t need anyone from Lathrop; the L’s can be confused for “Losers.”
Jewett & Olivia Josselyn Houses – 1:01 p.m.
We pass Jewett without stopping and cross the street dividing Mega-Cool Joss from the other dorms. I’m sweating now, mostly because I’m running with a thermos, but also because my fight-or-flight reflex is kicking in. Joss freshmen are the coolest. They all have greasy hair and bass guitars and probably know how to get to Brown House without having to use MapQuest. I pick up a water balloon and aim for a chillax freshman sitting in a lawn chair. We make eye contact!! I wave and then make a cool sign with my hand that means “Rock & Roll.” I wave again, but another freshman leans in and passes my new friend a small smoke. It’s true: Joss posses are the coolest!
Cushing & Noyes Houses– 1:08 p.m.
The Cushing freshmen run inside when they see us coming. I understand that you don’t want to participate, Cushing, I really do; I also get a rash from wet grass, but running inside is not cool. In front of Noyes, one freshman comes up to me and hands me a water balloon. They go in for a high five. “Seniors are so cool!” Who in the heck do they think they are? I should nail them right in the kisser! Don’t tell me what’s cool! I clap the water balloon into their open palm totally stone-faced. “Enjoy your QA requirement, Freshie,” I say, backing away with my fist in the air. I can’t help but feel excited for the year ahead—I’m already hungover and have four cool freshmen in my posse. I’ll send out a WhenIsGood as soon as I get home. We’ll need a Deece meeting to choose code names.