Ah, freshmen: young girls showcasing themselves as new meat ready to be packaged and sold courtesy of your local Frat Row pimp, while freshman boys sit at home like vegetarians, drinking their ill-gotten liquor and concocting schemes to remedy the situation. While not everyone fits this stereotype, there is enough truth to these frightening scenarios to warrant anthropological investigation.
Being the youngest people at Yale, with the exception of professors’ children and that genius 17-year-old senior who may or may not exist, underclassmen seem like they can’t wait to grow up — or at least look grown up.
Clearly, high school just didn’t provide enough alcohol to satiate the under-age crowd. But sometimes it’s the appearance of getting drunk that underclassmen cultivate rather than the actual descent into toxicity. Andrew Resnick ’08 has walked home from Frat Row many a time wondering why girls always act more drunk than they really are. Do they drink to impress older men? They certainly don’t drink to impress the freshman boys.
But Genevieve Staudt ’08 said that the image of freshmen, and specifically freshmen girls, is that they “wander around desperately looking for a party.” The truth, Staudt said, is that freshmen “don’t really know what to do — and haven’t really found [their] niche yet.”
While the freshmen are trying to find their “niches,” the frats provide a temporary after-school program where freshmen can find themselves — or a beer. But how long does this scene really last? Freshmen have said that the excitement surrounding frat parties has already tapered off.
“After the first three weeks, parties at frats get really old, really fast,” Ira Baci ’08 said. “Let’s face it, your feet actually stick to the floor.”
And Harry Guinness ’08 just doesn’t enjoy the parties he’s found.
“I was disappointed by the general standards of the parties, mainly because of the low quality of the frats,” he said.
Then again, what freshman boy (other than rushees) really digs the frat scene?
“If you’re not rushing and you’re a freshman guy, it’s pretty much a waste of time, whereas if you’re a freshman girl, it’s really good for you,” Resnick said. “At frat parties, the girls get hammered, and go find upperclassmen to [hook up with]. If they can’t find upperclassmen, they’ll settle for freshman guys.”
Yotam Barkai ’08 agreed.
“Freshman boys are pretty much at the bottom of the food chain.”
To a certain degree, freshmen just want attention.
“The guys get mad when girls spend time with upperclass guys,” Staudt said. “If I’m with one, my guy friends will give me a hard time because the guys get fed up, and they don’t get enough attention — although just because of that, I’m not going to stop enjoying the attention.”
So just because you’re a freshman doesn’t mean the Yale scene isn’t already old.
“I want to hang out, but I’m not exactly sure what the alternatives are to the frat scene — I don’t know if anybody does,” Staudt said.
According to Resnick, alternatives for the boys include “hookers, strip clubs, [and] homeless people.”
“There’s Toad’s, but no one really goes, and the bar scene seems like more of a senior thing, like when you’re 21, although I wouldn’t mind going,” he said. “I think it would be cool.”
Suitemates Barkai, Guinness and Resnick have found what they see as a better solution: pre-gaming.
“The purpose of pre-gaming is to get drunk,” Barkai said. “Basically, everyone comes here, drinks, leaves, and steals our liquor.”
Girls come because they want to get sufficiently wasted for the real “game,” and the boys are able to enjoy their company in the meantime.
“I really like the indoor room parties,” Baci said, who attested to the success of the boys’ pre-games. “We have dance parties akin to eighth grade dance parties,” Resnick said.
For Daniel Hoffman ’08, this is an optimal solution.
“Partying has just been meeting other people. I have no desire to go outside,” he said.
Perhaps the biggest determining factor for freshman party-browsing is simply where they’ll meet the largest number of their peers.
“I think because we’re all so new to the freedom thing, we think if it’s a weekend we should be out and meeting people,” Staudt said. “If the frats are where freshmen are, I’ll go there, because I just want to meet everybody.”
She speculated that the frat scene will “probably last until around Thanksgiving.”
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