In defense of dumb freshmen

So I’ve been hearing a lot of complaining lately. I mean, I always hear complaining around campus (“Why are the lines so long at meal equiv?”  “Why is it so hard to get a table in the café?” “WHY CAN’T I TAKE MY OVERPRICED COFFEE UPSTAIRS TO STUDY, GODDAMNIT?”), but this is one complaint that always seems to come up at the start of every school year. The grumbles quiet down eventually, but in the beginning there’s always a particularly loud call for blood. The problem, of course, is the freshmen.

“The freshmen are so stupid. The freshmen are so rude. God, don’t the freshmen just suck? I definitely didn’t act like that when I was a freshman.”

Sure you’re all clueless now, freshmen, but one day you too will be an upperclassmen. Remember to be nice to those younger than you. (Melissa Moseley / Columbia Pictures)

Now, in past years I’ve ignored the complaints, or even joined in. But this year, I feel the need to say something. Maybe it’s because I’m a senior, and am feeling nostalgic for the youth that’s quickly slipping through my fingers. (I’ve also been feeling rather dramatic, evidently.) For whatever reason, I’m going to go to bat for you, freshmen, and tell everyone else on campus to calm the hell down with the insults.

Don’t get too excited, freshmen. I’m not here to tell you how great you are, or how you’re now a vital member of the College community. The fact that you’re all the country’s future fills me with more apprehension than Whitney Houston-esque optimism. (Are you the greatest love of all? Probably not.) I think, for the most part, that you’re all dumb little assholes. But guess what? Three years ago I, and a lot of the people I hear complaining, were dumb little assholes, too. In fact, EVERYONE is a dumb little asshole freshman year. It’s like a rule. Try to find one person on campus who hasn’t walked into the wrong classroom, or embarrassed themselves at a frat party, or thrown up somewhere besides a toilet or trashcan. It can’t be done. For some reason, though, we all tend to forget our past embarrassments and unite to pick on you every year. And maybe it’s time for that to stop.

I totally get that upperclassmen have earned their place, and may feel that they have the right to roll their eyes and sneer at younger students. But you know what? Being a freshman was hard. It was scary and confusing and getting mocked didn’t make it any easier.

I’m not here to baby you, freshmen. If I see you walking around with your lanyards, traveling in packs, I’m going to tell you to cut that shit out. But if you need directions? I’m more than willing to help you.

Also, upperclassmen, have you seen some of the freshmen? I would say like 80 percent  are taller than me. And I make it a point never to sneer at someone who might be able to put me up somewhere high where I can’t get down.