By Zach Busch
Seven easy steps to being the freshest freshie that ever freshed… while suavely hiding your true freshman identity!
1. Be a trendsetter! Get in big herds and wander along Prospect Street like a pack of starving hyenas! The beginning of freshman year is all about making friends, school spirit and being part of something bigger, but it’s also a great time to set yourself apart and lead the crowd for a change. Specifically, lead a crowd of freshmen up and down the streets of Georgetown all night like a gang of lost little British orphans looking for nice people to take them in. The upperclassmen will respect you for it.
2. Tell everyone all about how hard you partied in high school! Nothing impresses upperclassmen like nostalgic and/or moderately fictional stories of your glorious high school ragers (don’t forget to call them “ragers!”). If the party you snuck or ratio-persuaded your way into doesn’t meet your tastefully high standards, find someone who’s actually supposed to be there and enchant him or her with tales of bygone days when the Krug champagne flowed long into the starry Nantucket night. Or maybe you don’t have too many of those stories because you didn’t attend Salmon Vines Preparatory Academy like your roommate—that’s ok, make something up! They won’t even notice.
Our infallible guru of cool
3. Hormones got your tongue? Tell them where you’re from and what school you’re in! Making small talk can be tough; engaging that special someone you’ve been Facebook-stalking in a meaningful conversation is even harder. If you want to move beyond the chit-chat and really bond, ask them unusual, thought-provoking questions that really put them on the spot, like what state they’re from, which dorm they’re living in, or which of the three four schools they’re in. As risqué as these topics may sound, these sorts of things are a great way to get past the superficial and really understand what makes a person tick. Or go crazy and tell them what classes you’re taking—then, after a well-timed gawk pause and a slurp of your Natty, waddle away like a confused penguin, leaving a sensual aura of mystery in your wake. They’ll be dying to learn more.
4. For extra cool points, whine about Leo’s as much as physically possible. Leo J. O’Donovan Dining Hall is among the finest eating establishments on God’s green earth, and I should warn you now that any meal you have anywhere else from now till the day you die will appear bland and unfulfilling. But you know what’s a hundred times cooler than liking things? Not liking things! No one wants to hear about how great the food at Leo’s is, even though it probably deserves a Michelin three-star rating. So complain about Leo’s. Complain about Leo’s everywhere you go, to everyone you know. At any given moment, if you’re not whining about Leo’s, you’re doing something wrong, and also probably losing all your friends. But don’t let that stop you from enjoying every last bite of your unlimited Carte Blanche meal plan your parents bought you. But remember, never actually call it Leo’s—total freshman move. Instead…
5. Keep it classy—call buildings by their proper names! You’d think this would be a no-brainer, but in these texting-obsessed times you’d be amazed how many Georgetown students can’t put in the effort to call campus buildings by their full names! “I like to study in the MSB.” Actually, the MSB is a school of Georgetown, I think you mean the Rafik B. Hariri Building. “You’ve got class in the ICC?” Uh, I don’t know what that is, but I do know a really cool place called the Edmund B. Bunn, S.J. Intercultural Center. Amateurs! It’s almost like THEY’RE the freshmen!
6. Wear Georgetown t-shirts every day to create your own unique style! I know what you’re thinking: wearing every Georgetown event shirt you receive, total freshman move. But have you thought about wearing it ironically? That’s right, you can wear your school spirit and still be a hipster! Dressing like the herd, to fly in the face of the herd—they’ll never see it coming! And don’t settle for lame school shirts that actually look nice—go all-out with NSO shirts, Club Lau shirts, anything that no one else wears! If you’re feeling especially daring, wear something from your high school! Throw in a lanyard (worn over the shirt, of course), some edgy Sperry topsiders and shorts in an unusual color such as salmon, and you’ll be quite the trailblazer!
7. Embrace your inner (or not-so-inner) freshman! Oh, who are we kidding? Freshmen are the coolest. We all secretly want to be like you, we just can’t admit it. Not only can you get away with everything we’d be socially crucified for, but you get to experience everything from the beginning! Every day is a new adventure. So act like it!
Busch is an Undeclared Sophomore
Photo Credit: Zach Busch
The quarter life crisis entered our cultural consciousness as sort of the little brother of the midlife crisis, a perceived inability to assimilate to life in the supposedly real world of adults and maturity. Symptoms include comparing one’s accomplishments to those of one’s peers, feeling pressured to succeed, and uncertainty or anxiety about the trajectory of one’s life. A fair amount of skepticism surrounds the alleged crisis – some argue that the coddled Millennial generation should thicken its collective skin and learn to handle the entry shock. Whether this relatively callous position forces wallowing young people to “snap out of it” or discourages the truly distressed from seeking help remains to be seen.
Are you panicking yet?
Such a brusque response seems heartless, but a quarter life crisis can be remarkably difficult to pin down. Questionnaires designed to sort the pretenders from those truly in extremus ask subjective questions, such as “Do you feel a lot of pressure and expectations to do, have, or be something?” They are emotionally charged too: “Is your life just not at all turning out like you planned?” could just as easily cause a nervous breakdown rather than detect one already at work.
Millennials are supposed to be on the lookout for “feeling trapped in a job, relationship, or both” according to Mental Health, an online mental health resource. “Those who want to succeed conventionally,” are declared an especially at risk population. By definition, that’s a sizeable portion of young people. With such vague guidelines for self-assessment, and with so many Millennials apparently on the verge of emotional implosion, it might not be so irrational to suspect everyone between the ages of eighteen and thirty-three of having a quarter life crisis to some degree of severity.
There exists a tendency to equate the quarter life crisis with the midlife crisis, or to see the quarter life crisis as a sort of taste of what’s to come later in life. In addition, both carry an unfortunate pop-psychology connotation. If a forty-year-old man buys a sports car, he must be having a midlife crisis; if a twentysomething admits to fearing the future, it must be a quarter life crisis. Admittedly, both crises originate in the sufferer feeling powerless or trapped, often in a job or relationship. But sharing an initial symptom, no matter how similar in appearance, does not make the two crises identical. They come at different points in a person’s life, when different stressors are wreaking havoc on that person’s mental and emotional wellbeing.
This is what a Georgetown quarter life crisis looks like
Where the midlife crisis is a manifestation of an adult’s fear of stagnating, the quarter life crisis seems to be more a fear of how to even begin. Johan Clarke (COL ‘15) described his developing quarter life crisis as the realization that “we’ve been living a life made for us … and now we have to make our own decisions and we’re starting to realize that there is not any set path through life.” Millennials do not have a foundation in adulthood to ease their fears, like a person having a midlife crisis would have. This feeling of being adrift, with no concrete track record of success in employment, financial stability, long-term relationships, or other conventional markers of maturity, is unique to the quarter life crisis.