Teens Leaving Home: The First Semester of College

Disclaimer: If I knew you in college, this is not about you…or it is cleverly disguised so only I (and you and our whole freshman floor) knows who you are.

When I think of Freshman year at Emory University, I remember stomping gracefully around the sticky club fair and signing up for as many clubs as were giving away free candy, the sour smell of moldy beer cups, rotting pizza boxes and layers of Fabreze.

Soon (maybe already), many of your kids will be raiding the container store and using their College Code of Conduct books as doorstops.  Recently, I was asked to reflect upon this right of passage and offer some words of insight to parents and rising freshmeat, oops I mean freshman.

Shall we look at a few different types of College Freshman?

1) The Summer Camp Person

Frat Boys! Girls in a towel walking down the hall from the shower! Beer! Water balloons and hair gel (true story)! Freeeeeedooooooom.  These are the people who have the summer camp mentality of trying everything, going out every night and enjoying everything to the absolute fullest.

You remember them? They were the ones who threw that ‘Scarface party’ in their 6 foot by 6 foot dorm room and served bloody Mary’s and jello shots with eyes in them?  They were the girls who fell asleep in some random person’s room…naked and then got ‘chiefed’ (when people draw penises all over your face).
(I really hope no one from college reads my blog).

2) The Oh-My-God-Its-Not-Really-Summer-Camp-Oops Person

This was a Summer Camp person for the first, oh, maybe 6 weeks of school.  Then they got caught for brewing their own beer (shout out to a friend!) in their dorm room or started to be called ‘VB’, as in Village Bicycle (like everyone gets a ride if you know what I mean…she could get around).  They soon realize that unlike the summer camps they went to in High School, college doesn’t end in 6 weeks.  It ends in four years…they soon realize that those people they took a bong hit with last weekend are going to sit on their dissertation committee.

3) The Home Away From Home Person

Can you say: I have a significant other waiting at home?

This is the I-Made-My-Room-At Home-in-My-Dorm-Room-Person…except they only have half the room, and it does not smell as good, and no one regularly vacuums, is the true party pooper.  They are still living in their high school glory days, call home a few times a day and are constantly homesick.

4) Martha Turned Rachel Person

(Martha Stewart turned Rachel Ray)

Ok, this might have been me when I was in college.  Remember those boys who always came to class looking like they stepped out of a suitcase that flew to Australia and back, got stuck in a rainstorm on the tarmac and was spilled on by pink kool-aid.  This, of course, was not only incredbly endearing to me, but also itched at my maternal insitnct to help.  I loved to bake for my friends, sew ripped shirts and I cannot tell you how many laundry lessons I gave to boys.  I probably ended up folding half of their laundry with them.  These are usually people who, like me, are not huge partiers, but still want to be social.  You also become the hall therapist…not bad for knowing all the gossip (VB definitely gave stoner boy a sponge bath in the boys bathroom after Freshman formal!)

5) The Chasing Suma Person

I might have been a little of this too–as much as I hate to admit it.  Suma Cum Laude is the highest honors you can get at most Universities.  Chasing Suma’s are the people who come to school ready to graduate, go to grad school, get a high paying job and retire by the time they are 30 (unless they plan on becoming president).  They study a lot, join a bunch of important clubs and run for student council.

6) The ‘What Was That Girl’s Name’ Person

I had one of these girls on my floor, but for the life of me I cannot remember her name.  These are the people who tend to be around a lot, but are really afraid of breaking anything (a window, their ankle, their heart) and tend to be tentative about everything and anything from taking a vodka shot to raising their hand in class.

Of course, there is a bit of a mixture of all of these fabulous people in everyone.

Essential College Slang and Freshman Lingo:

Luge: This is when you get a huge block of ice with two or three grooves carved in the sloped sides.  Someone kneels and puts their mouth to the bottom of the luge or ice canal and someone else pours a shot or alcohol from the top of the ice canal so the liquid is chilled before it reaches the person’s mouth. (um, hello brain freeze?)

Chiefing: References above.  This is when someone falls asleep and others draw penises/female anatomy/other male anatomy all over their face/neck/body with Sharpie…or if they are nice regular markers (but who has regular markers in college).

Milking: Ok, I made this one up, but this is in honor of one of my friends who chugged two gallons of milk so that he would have to puke in the middle of his Chemistry test…and sure way to get out of not studying (and having everyone in class hate you because the smell is putrid).

Tent boxing: I used to love building tents at sleepovers when I was little, but the magnificent tents I saw built during college do not even compare to what  we did with three couch cushions and my Barbie sleeping bag as a 7 year-old.  Tent hot-boxing is when people build elaborate and padded tents (or just used zipped up sleeping bags) and then smoke pot inside them to keep the smoke in to get high faster.

Keg stand: When someone gets held up by their ankles doing a ‘hand stand’ on top of the keg while they drink.  I never really understood this, can’t you drink more standing right-side up instead of upside down, so gravity works with you?

Security: In college this tends to mean something different than in real life. If a frat party hired ‘security’ it was usually an off duty cop who was paid an exorbitant amount of money by rich college kids to stand outside and make sure now real cops came by (or to kick out anyone who was stealing).

No Responses to “Teens Leaving Home: The First Semester of College”

  1. Perfect Moment Project
    September 4, 2008 at 12:25 am #

    Great advice. Go girl. Also good to have an auntie on the other end of your texts. signed, sara’s auntie

  2. Vanessa
    September 5, 2008 at 9:05 am #

    thank you, aunties are crucial role models for teens!

    always would love your tips

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