Stop hiding it: We all know you’re a freshman, here’s how

Carole Hodorowicz, Columnist

Well, we are finally at that point in the semester. No, I am not referring to the multiple holiday breaks awaiting us. Nor am I talking about the final exams our teachers have been preparing to ruin our lives and GPAs with. 

I am talking about the freshmen. After three years of observing each new class that graces through one of the Midwest’s finest—some even say it is the Harvard of the Midwest—institutions, there are always a few things you all do that makes you stick out and remind us all that you are indeed freshmen. 

Since we have reached this point in the semester, I find that it is my responsibility as a journalist and senior member of this campus to let you know that you need to stop doing these things and finally blend in. 

You don’t know what “things” I am talking about? Allow me to inform you.

1. Wearing your lanyard around your neck

OK, I know one of the main purposes of a lanyard is so you can wear it around your neck in order to keep your necessities in one place that is close to you. But at the same time, everyone knows that lanyards should not be used for this purpose—well at least I do, and so do my older colleagues. Wearing a lanyard around your neck on campus or out on the town is the equivalent to tattooing “I was born in the 2000s” on your forehead. 

2. Asking “What’s Jerry’s?” or believing someone when they say “Jerry’s is the move!”

Some losses are too painful to talk about. One of the biggest hits Eastern’s campus and the surrounding community took was the death of Jerry’s. It was not the best pizza in town and it was not the best bar, but it was one of the best parts of the college experience Eastern offers its students. Unfortunately, Jerry’s served its last slices and beers during the 2016 fall semester. The sign remains and the stories are still told, but these kids born in the 2000s will never truly know what we all once did. That’s why it is hilarious when you tell one of them “Jerry’s is the move!” on a weekend night and you see their ears perk up and their eyes widen as they respond, “Jerry’s? What’s Jerry’s?” Even more so, that’s how you know they are freshmen. 

3. Wearing your “Class of 2018” high school sweatshirt or high school sports gear that screams “I didn’t really graduate high school and can’t let go of the past four years”

One of the most important things to remember about high school is that it only lasts four years. When those four years are over, there is nothing wrong with making a few stops down memory lane—but there is a huge problem (and indication that you are a freshman) if you live there. As a high school athlete and team captain of the swimming team myself, I remember how important and powerful I felt wearing my uniform. Some would argue that I got the captain position based on personality rather than talent, but that is beside the point. I remember that feeling. But when I graduated, I was able to accept that I would never wear a skin tight one piece or competitively swim again and so, I moved on. Stop exclusively wearing clothes that bear the name of your high school and start wearing EIU blue. 

4. Drinking frappuccinos

Or drinking coffee with any added ingredient. This is college. We are tired and we have one-way tickets on the hot mess express. We drink our coffee black, no exceptions.

5. Not voting

Did I need to go there? Yes. Was this column just a way for me to slyly slip in this topic? No comment. Voting is a privilege. Having a voice is a privilege. When you’re 18, you get to take full advantage of these privileges. I would like to hope you all did, but I know that is not the case. The excuse “I don’t know anything about politics,” or “I forgot” does not apply to anyone, and that includes you, freshmen students. 

There are so many resources out there that can provide you with as brief of or as detailed of a breakdown about candidates, their plans and more. I can’t say that I won’t hold at least a little bit of a grudge against you if you chose not to exercise these privileges, but I can say that you are in good hands at Eastern if you want to educate yourself on politics. I suggest you start out by taking a class with Dr. Kevin Anderson.

Carole Hodorowicz is a senior journalism major. She can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected].