As many of you may know, I usually write my column about freshmen. That was, of course, until I had to give presentations to their classes.
It all started when my newspaper advisor, Mr. Eric Broer, informed me that I would be explaining Newspaper to young freshmen, so they would apply for the class at a later date.
I assumed that I’d been selected because I was simply best suited for the job. After all, I’d spent a year as a freshman. Also, I’d been spending a lot of time with them lately, watching them rake, eat lunch and vote.
Broer assigned my fellow newspaper aficionado Jonathan Wendt to act as my copilot.
After dressing up in formal wear–including Hugo Boss ties and Gucci shoes–we knocked on the door of our first destination.
Upon entering, the “Pledge of Allegiance” rang throughout the room. Typically, this would be an excellent opportunity for me to prove my loyalty and assert my American citizenship.
However, thanks to a certain freshman who began speeding through the Pledge at an extremely heightened pace, I was unable to do so.
I expected the entire class to reprimand him, but instead they began to laugh. I glared. They laughed. My eyebrows furled. They continued to laugh. I inhaled deeply, ready to scream, ready to exhume the inhumanities of the world out on my unsuspecting audience.
At precisely that moment, Wendt came to my rescue. “Will Bennett, you look angry. Would you like to fight me?”
I obliged him, throwing my famous left hook that I’d learned from watching Joe Frazier fights as an infant.
The blow connected. He recoiled. I threw a right hook. Before I knew it, an immense feeling of guilt overwhelmed me. I’d ruffled Wendt’s expensive tie, and there is no mending that wound.
I helped Wendt to his feet and glowered at the cackling children dispersed in front of me. Slowly, we walked out of the room in dramatic fashion.
Before we left, I overheard a different freshman chastising us about our fighting abilities. “You two fight like girls. I could take you both on,” the freshman began to chuckle heartily at an entirely unintelligent, uncreative, bland joke.
It was then that it dawned on me. The freshman who said the Pledge quickly was merely looking for an audience. The freshman insulting my combat prowess had the same story. Attention. It’s what they all want. It’s what they all need.
At their young, sprightly age, freshmen yearn for attention. It gives them a sense of accomplishment, a sense of satisfaction, that propels them forward into future grade levels.
While I could have taken this information and acknowledged that freshman cannot act maturely, I decided instead to hold it against them, their entire species as a whole.
So there you have it. That’s why I hate freshman, and that’s why I’ll hopefully never have to write about them again.