The Freshman Refreshment
A few somewhat troublesome months have likely ensued… Here’s how well (or not) Fordham freshies are turning things around.
By: Ryan Green
Whether you’re a freshman, sophomore, junior, or senior, Fordham students have completed roughly 75% of the 2018-19 school year. We’ve (almost) made it. You may be mentally preparing to say bye to the BX after four full years, or just beginning to figure out the ins and outs of the tri-bar-strife. But for us freshmen, this time of the year officially marks when we have begun to blend in (although not quite enough to truly know the meaning of The Blend), and our classmates have started to forget if we’re underclassmen, or just really drunk juniors and seniors. In other words: It’s redemption season.
You’ve heard of the sophomore slump, senior slide, and the junior … going abroad? Anyways, we all hit a point when we realize we can, and must, turn things around. And perhaps none are more glaring than The Freshman Refreshment: when every first-year wakes up from their six-month bender and decides to get their shit together. After all, if not properly reflected on, history will repeat itself.
The Rose Hill Gym oscillates through phases of attendance. First semester, the gym was tentatively tried by us freshmen. Though hidden in the basement and carrying a subtle stench of feet and 6th grade boys, it’s always bearable. However, once our student body hit its mid-semester dip, things changed.
Gone were the three muscular boys in the corner and the gaggle of green-bean-like 6-milers on the treadmills. The regulars, as I knew them, were replaced by the masses, the hoards, what seemed to be the entirety of the student body. They overtook the space, spilling out of the rows of treadmills talking, running, socializing, sweating. It was Mean Girls mall-fountain-watering-hole type shit.
Arriving begrudgingly from my recent slumber, I was appalled at the state of the place. It seemed to me that people, who a month ago would have been fiending the Monday restock of Ben and Jerry’s at POD (that’s “SubCo” for all the AARP Members reading) and calling an early-morning drunk crawl home from Howl sufficient weekly exercise, had decided to make a change and get in shape. Then, I realized, it was just my first-year peers, realizing the consequences of their mistakes, and attempting to right the ship. Yes, the gym is crowded, but, don’t fret, fearless fresh-meat: Your valiant attempts to clear some of the freshman fog with a too-sweaty, half-ass, 1.27 mile run are seen.
The bountiful basement that is Chury’s Liquor Store is the locale of our next moment. Recently, when buying, “I don’t know, I guess just the cheapest bottle of wine you have,” in preparation for an ambitious Tuesday evening, I overheard some particularly flimsy freshman reasoning. There were two guys in line in front of me, picking their poison.
“So, I made, like, a bunch of resolutions this year,” one of the guys said. “I decided I’m going to cut out gluten and only drink on the weekends because, like, my friend told me I shouldn’t black out so much, and, you know, I think bread is bad for, like, your pancreas, which is important for your metabolism, I think.”
His counterpart looked confused.
“We are about to buy a handle of Tito’s for tonight.”
The born-again-celiac responded, confidently, with, “Yeah, I know, it’s gluten-free.”
Coming from the land of high school, first semester freshman year hurts. For us down here at the bottom, it’s been quite an adjustment. Gone are the sneaked sips of gin from your parents’ liquor cabinet refilled by precise funneling of water, high school sports’ most improved awards, and going way too hard with friends in Dennis’ basement after the APUSH exam. These fond tendrils of memory are instead replaced with a world of realizing you don’t actually know how to study or write a paper and surviving philosophy hungover (or drunk, no judgement) for the first time. Whether you have been told to stop blacking out, or have just decided class goes smoother when you’re sober, second semester seems to give birth to moderation - or at least talk of it - when making decisions regarding alcohol. If all those talks of cutting back bring you is a clear conscious for your first REM cycle of the new semester, at least that’s something.
Keeping in Touch
Here we have landed, in the sparkling world that is New York City. Whether you’re from the faraway lands of Long Island or New Jersey*, the city and this school bestows freshmen with a new life, far from home and family. Throughout the first few weeks, freshmen could be found FaceTiming, calling, and texting loved ones with the various ups and downs of their new niche in the Bronx. There was a thrill in being able to tell your dad that you’re super tired and have him assume it was because you were up studying, when in reality you’d just discovered the pseudo-addictive pull that Goose had on you.
However, for most first-years, these calls and communications have slowly, but surely, dwindled. Gone are the days when we were wrought with guilt about calling mom just to see the dog. Although independence courses through our veins and freedom blows by with each gusty wind Arthur Ave throws, don’t forget to give family and friends a call once in a while. Even if your best friend has joined a new sorority (ahem, phamily - sorry, Alpha Theta Phi) and your mom checks in less and less, we musn’t forget where we come from. Call your people, they will be happy - and surprised, to hear from you.
(*Yes, those are the only two options. I gave up on telling people I was from Rhode Island when a well-intentioned but misinformed football player inquired as to what state that was in.)
Although first semester consisted of many nights poring over COMP II and Rate My Professor, things are looking up. We have professors we can at least attempt to understand and classes that don’t make us want to stay in the sweatboxes that are South dorm rooms. We have learned that the only way to get through Starbucks quickly is to order a tall, hot, black coffee, and that the caf isn’t really as bad as we all make it seem (shoutout wing night). Overheard jokes memorializing “The Blend” and whispered rumors of “The Barnyard” remind us that the bar scene is a Jersey Shore-esque web of lies and deceit that is meant to be loved, not understood. I have only hope for the years to come, and full faith in our freshman faction that we can, and will, pull through.