Columns / Discourse / September 24, 2015

Freshman year: A comedy of errors

I sit here on the picnic table in the middle of the Quads, sun beaming, frisbees flying and the scent of weed just obvious enough to make me feel like I have to sneeze. It’s the perfect college day and I’m enjoying it thoroughly. However, that’s not the reason I’m lounging outside. Truth be told, I’ve locked myself out of my dorm and I’m waiting for my roommate to come let me in. My fellow freshmen walk past me and offer smiles of camaraderie. They, too, have sat exactly where I sit. Their roommates have also had to begrudgingly put on pants and drag themselves down to open up the door. I smile back at them, not so much embarrassed, because I know it is just my time to embrace the woes and wearies of freshman year.

My first mistake goes back to Sept. 4, when I decided to wear a long-sleeve shirt to move-in day. I helped my family haul my (embarrassingly large amount of) luggage up to the third floor of Sherwin and immediately regretted my decision to attempt to look nice. I walked into my room, quickly said hello to my roommate and stripped. Welcome to college. Over Orientation Week I met more people than I was ready to and pretended to be someone who I wasn’t to almost every person — mistake number two. That girl I met on the second day who liked to dance? We bonded over the fact that I danced ten years ago! That guy who is really into anime? We talked about how I once watched half of the first season of “Avatar: The Last Airbender”! Every familiar face who comes up to talk to me brings on a different personality that I didn’t know I had. An easy solution would have been to tell her that I have the coordination of an elephant, and him that I really couldn’t give a rat’s ass. But, alas, I was desperate for friends and they were desperate for someone who could relate to them, so we all won in the end, right? Probably not, but I can always blame my ragtag group of misfit friends on my “kooky freshman year!”

These past three weeks have been a series of unfortunate events as I have: asked seniors if they’re freshmen; danced disturbingly sober; called my professor a “teacher” and had to make small talk with the guys in my suite who use the urinal as I brush my teeth. But, hey. I’m having fun. Contrary to popular belief, I like being a freshman. I’m enjoying having a built-in excuse to make mistakes. I hear upperclassmen groan and roll their eyes at how freshmen are so lost. “God, you know they’re a freshman when they yadda yadda yadda…” All I have to say is, I can f*ck up and blame it on my insignificance and cluelessness. What’s your excuse?


Lillie Chamberlin
Lillie is a senior at Knox, majoring in creative writing and minoring in gender and women's studies. At The Knox Student, she has worked as the discourse editor, co-editor-in-chief, and is now a co-mosaic editor. She is also a co-nonfiction editor at Catch. Her work has been published in the Galesburg Register-Mail.

Tags:  freshman humor orientation quads

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