#FreshmanProblems

By RACHEL KRAMER
On February 26, 2012

  • Northern Illinois Athletics Junior John-Martin Cannon was named the Most Outstanding Wrestler at the MAC Championships. Alex McCrossen /// The Spectrum

You wake up at 7 a.m. and shut off your alarm clock as fast as possible so it doesn't wake up your roommate. Dealing with her in the morning is not what you need before going to her 8 a.m. Chemistry 101 class where English is the professor's third or fourth language.

Deciding what to wear for the day is always a problem. All of your clothes are crammed in the small space that passes for a closet and your selection is limited because you have been putting off doing laundry for three days. As much as you don't want to look like a slob in class, the warm UB sweatpants are just so tempting. After deciding on a respectable outfit involving some form of oversized shirt, leggings, and a pair of cozy Uggs, you run to catch the bus and realize it's a lot colder outside than you had originally thought. Too bad it's too late to turn back now.

After checking with the bus driver that the bus is actually heading to the Union, you plug in your iPod in and look at your phone to avoid looking awkward.

Sitting in lecture, you have a question, but don't dare raise your hand and be that kid in class.

After a morning packed with Gen Eds, you want to get lunch and so you stand in line at Pistachios to get your favorite pasta dish because it is "the best food on campus." However, when you go to pay, you realize that if you want a soda or a water bottle, it goes above the allotted money for the meal plan and you will have to use your dining dollars.

You make sure to go downstairs to Putnam's to double-swipe on water bottles, cereal, or almonds because it's Friday afternoon and you have four leftover meals that you won't spend. Even though you switched from the 19-meal plan to the 14-meal plan, you end up with extra meals every week.

It's raining outside and since you did not bring a rain coat, you have to navigate the tunnel system to get from the Union to Park Hall. You get lost three times, but won't ask for directions because you don't want people to know you're a freshman.

Once you are done with class, you realize that you have to do laundry because you are going out tonight and don't have any underwear left. Dragging your hamper down three flights of stairs, you find that only one machine is open.

It takes you two and a half hours to get your clothes clean.

You eat dinner in the dining hall, after complaining to your friends that the dining hall food is always terrible. You sit with your group of friends as they complain about how they're gaining the freshman 15 and really should go to the gym tomorrow.

Once back at the dorm, you start your Friday night ritual. Since you and your friends decided to go out tonight – even though it is only 15 degrees outside – you pick out your outfit assuming you will be too drunk to feel the cold.

Because your fake ID hasn't arrived yet, you get alcohol from that friend who looks like he is 21 and who is best friends with the owner of the liquor store. Pregaming is always challenging because it's a dry dorm, so the RA is always on the prowl looking to write someone up for underage drinking.

You get completely drunk because you don't know where you will find alcohol again during the night.

You shove your way onto the drunk bus – but not fast enough to secure a seat. You ride the whole way swaying and in danger of falling into the lap of the person sitting down next to you.

You arrive at a frat house. You shove your way to the "bar" and get a red solo cup full of "juice" even though everybody has warned you against it by saying: "you don't know what's in that." You don't care; it tastes fruity and you know you will stay drunk.

Once the frat gets lame, you head out to Northside Bar hoping to find someone to hook up with. But both your hands are marked with X's, acknowledging you aren't yet 21. That's okay, though, because you already blacked out from the amount of alcohol you drank earlier.

At around 2 a.m. you are hungry and Just Pizza seems like such a good decision.

Then you get tired and decide it's time to head home but you still have to fight your way onto the bus. This time you get a seat. Good thing, too, because the nausea is building and it takes all of your self-control not to throw up on the bus – you want to be classy.

After walking up three flights of stairs, stumbling down the hall, and struggling to put your key in the door, you realize your roommate has sexiled you and you need to find another place to sleep.

All you want to do is sleep in your own bed, but you stumble down the hall to your friend's room and crash on the floor.

You wake up hungover Saturday morning ready to do it again.

Disclaimer: I am a freshman.

Email: rachel.kramer@ubspectrum.co


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