In the Days of My Youth

As many of you may have noticed, the usual influx of pre-freshmen has been swarming our campus in recent days.

They come with wide eyes, thinking of all the fun they could have here in college.

They fantasize about finally becoming free from the parents they are cautiously walking five or 10 feet in front of.

Hoping to acclimate themselves as quickly as possible, they strut around as if they own the place, like someone from Ohio in New York trying to “blend in.” But HA!

Your little brochures and excited tour guides give you away, guys.

I can see right through your veil of faux comfort, for I was once there, too.

On the surface, a lot of you look like a lot of us.

Guys strut around with clothing half falling off, wearing skate shoes that you could probably go snowshoeing in.

Their aim is to look as uninterested and unaffected as possible.

This aim is best achieved by bopping their heads to pop-rap on their headphones.

These tactics, however, are fairly ineffective as there is no disguising being led around by tour guides.

Try as they may, they are clearly following current students, Advocates, who tirelessly tell them some really cool anecdotes about when the gym was built, or how long Waterman has been around.

Enter the dead giveaway.

Further, pre-frosh girls try to look at once cute and interested, considerably more clued in than their male counterparts.

Simultaneously, though, these ladies are testing out the new “sophisticated” look college students are supposed to have while sipping coffee and discussing French poetry.

It’s difficult, because in high school you’re supposed to look like everyone else, and most importantly, only be as intelligent as everyone else.

Here, one must gain an air of independence and booksmarts, usually resulting in them looking silly and confused.

Now I see you all daily, whether while walking around campus, or taking the bus while you cautiously avoid eye contact and try your hardest not to give away the fact that you have no idea where you are.

It’s great for me, because I immediately get uplifted to a higher echelon, whereupon you are the future college student, and I am the current.

Without saying anything, my superego goes into full blast, and I can’t help but revel in the position I’m in.

That’s not to say that most everyone else on the bus isn’t also already in college, but that doesn’t really matter.

When all you’re looking for is petty ego-stroking, seeing a visiting student will do just fine.

And did any of you see the even younger kids walking around last week?

That was amazing!!

Since those little dudes were only like fifteen, seeing them around was even better.

I remember that when I was a freshman in high school, a college student seemed like another species.

Because I was always so intimidated by the incredible coolness age carried with it, seeing a college student made me feel like a rock star had come into our midst.

Now, only recently freed from the traps of young-adulthood, (although seniors still scare the hell out of me), I can revel in the memory of when I hoped to become the person I am now.

Of course, I had always assumed I would have gained national fame and love by now, but that’s ok.

I can wait.

For now, I simply look around for a visitor, an outsider to instill my desire for superiority into, silently breaking them down to mere peons in my imaginary kingdom.

But don’t feel bad guys, you’ll get the chance to do the same!

In five years, I’ll be old enough that being cool will no longer be cool, and you guys can take the reigns on the superficial ego trip.

I remember when I was deciding which school to choose (I only applied to two, so the decision was rather easy), and I came to take a look at UVM.

I walked around with my head up, separated from the ‘rents, trying desperately to disguise my high school status.

I remember thinking, “When I’m in college, all these visiting high school students are gonna be such an ego boost to see around.” I sure was right.

Seriously, despite what any of those socialists and peaceniks that you see tabling at Cook Commons say, the best way to feel good about yourself is to feel superior to someone else.

And how easy is that once there’s a group amongst us that fits in like a bunch of UVM students at the Million Man March?

Perhaps its just because of my lack of anything going for me that I need to latch on to this base level of educational stratification and ageism, but I feel great every time I see one of you walking around.

Immediately I become the “model” of a “typical” college student, like in 90210, when they all went to college and hung around at the Peach Pit and acted sophisticated.

I mean, they were cool in high school, too; it is 90210, after all.

But seriously, if Dylan the dropout college student with drug problems had met Dylan the high school kid with family troubles, he probably would have sucker punched him.

The older Dylan was just a lot cooler.

He drove a motorcycle and dated girls that weren’t right for him.

He snapped at people, slept late and had no concern for anything but having fun and escaping his demons.

Classic cool.

I’m not saying that I share any of the characteristics of the great Dylan McKay, with the possible exception of good hair, but you get the point.

I’m terribly cool, and no matter what you do, say or even think about, you can’t be as cool as I am.

I’m in college, after all, and to quote Kool Keith, “You live at home wit’ ya moms.”

Thanks, guys.

You’re a big help, and I’m really not kidding.

Any time I’m having a bad day, or just need something to make me feel better, you’re always there for me.

Remember this when you and your parents pile in the minivan to go back to Connecticut, hurried because your little sister’s dance recital can’t be missed.

No matter what happened to me last night, or when or where I woke up this morning, you guys are still in high school. HA!