Arts & Culture / Mosaic / September 26, 2012

Identifying freshmen students

Andrei Papancea/TKS

Freshman stereotypes are well known to upperclassman: traveling in packs, wearing lanyards and generally looking confused. But are these traits even true? Are they what really makes a freshman recognizable to the upperclassmen?

Junior Marika Takemura argues that only some of the stereotypes are true.

“First-years are always together or in pairs,” she said. She said she did not know of any other myths, true or not, that surround the idea of a freshman.

“They always wear their lanyards as a necklace,” junior Nathan Johlas said. But he also thinks that this is the only true one and he usually just assumes people are freshmen if they are “people I haven’t seen before.”

Sophomore Alexander Barnard also knows very little about how to spot a freshman. The only thing he had to say about them is, “They’re short.”

On the other hand, senior Jonathan Plotnick agrees with every typical identifier.

“You can almost always tell when someone is a freshman,” Plotnick said. To him, they are recognizable by freshman packs, looking young and looking disoriented from not knowing where anything is.

Throughout his years at Knox, his reaction to freshmen has developed from thinking, “Oh, I get to mentor you,” to, “You’re cute and adorable but get off my lawn.”

Freshmen themselves seem highly unaware of the stereotypes that follow them. When asked about them, freshman Maddie Dana says she “hasn’t encountered any” and she isn’t even sure what they are.

Sophomore Tyler Sauter agrees.

“I don’t feel that different from all the other classes,” he said. He thinks that it is hard for anyone to tell and that it is a surprise for him every time he learns someone’s class.

Freshman Carly Berinstein says that the only identifier that she knows about freshmen is that “they’re [supposedly] dumb,” and they typically “go crazy,” as it is their first year.  But, she still has no distinct way of actually identifying her fellow classmates.

“I think [freshmen are] more polite and more willing to talk and strike up and conversation with you,” Berinstein said. The reason for this, she says, is just because college is so new to freshmen and “they just want to make a good impression.”

Kayleigh O'Brien

Tags:  freshmen kayleigh o'brien stereotype upperclassmen

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