My mom called me the other day and, after grilling me for 30 minutes on personal grooming, asked me a point-blank question that really got me to thinking:
“Sean,” she said, “if you could collectively make love to any class at Yale, which one would it be?”
I had to think about that one, because I actually find the junior class very attractive. But finally it came to me — the Class of 2006. And I’m not just saying that because the girls have yet to gain the pregnant midriff look.
But you may be wondering, if it’s not sheer physical beauty, what is it about the freshmen? I mean, the seniors are the obvious choice, right? They have three years under their belts and a sort of cynicism that many mistake for wisdom. But the seniors have unfortunately acquired that “too cool attitude” and 35 additional pounds. They’ve hooked up with so much townie skank that Connecticut had to pass a blue law just for them. They’ve been there, done that, and probably ate it.
You’d probably point out, however, that freshman year is the year that your social worth is determined by the number of people willing to engage in long, protracted high-fives with you. You know the ones where you’re actually pulled toward the other person (read: simple assault). Or you might recall that freshmen year is the year you’re so derelict with your laundry that you resort to wearing a bathing suit for a week, washing it daily in the shower. And who can forget the history tests when you still thought a sufficient ID answer for George Washington was, “First president.”02
Sure, freshman year has its weird idiosyncrasies. During no other year is a man’s mettle measured by the number of times he gets shackled to a gurney in Yale-New Haven Hospital (Darrell Hartman). But there’s something refreshing about these news kids on the block. Fresh-man has got to have some sort of symbolic meaning, right? These newly minted 18-year-olds, still sustained by secondary school victories, have an eagerness, innocence and naivete that is absolutely endearing. They’re idealistic, energetic and, at least for the first few months, willing to give people the benefit of the doubt.
But don’t let all this flattery go to your head, Class of 2006. You’ll still stumble upon some hard truths as undergrads, the first and most important of which is that college is an acquired taste. Once the debauchery that is Camp Yale settles down, you’ll realize that freshman year is about filtering — finding those 10 or 12 people out of a class of 1,300 that make returning to Yale worthwhile. A word of advice — do not be impressed by the kid with the slight British accent. He’s probably from Baltimore. So on that note, I wish you a wonderful freshman year and an incredible four years. Oh, and if the consent laws in Connecticut are what I think they are, I’m in Berkeley College, Entryway E, Room 21.
Sean McBride is an editor of Scene. His views do not necessarily reflect those of the Yale Daily News.