Every freshman’s first tradition: fooling yourself into liking people you will never see again after the MSC Open House. We spent a day with incoming freshman Tyler Walker to get a better glimpse into this tradition that is as widespread as a freshman’s eyelids during their first test.
We first met up with Walker while he was roaming aimlessly around campus with a group of 15-20 other freshman. These large groups of fish are called schools and no one truly knows how they begin or where they are all headed, but soon after classes start these schools will dissolve into the familiar, crushing loneliness of college life. Walker introduced us to his “best friend” Charles Thadwin. The two boys had met just a few weeks earlier at Fish Camp.
“Sure Charles and I have different majors,” Walker said. “He’s going to rush but I’m not, and I’m living in a dorm but he’s living off campus and neither of us has a car. But still, we’re totally going to be best friends man. I mean, we played beer pong all night together last night.”
Our experts give their friendship two weeks, or as long as it takes for one of them to meet any other person.
Throughout the day Walker’s school of fish continued to grow. The freshmen seem to believe that everyone they introduce themselves to will become a lifelong friend so anyone is welcome, except for that one freshman whose parents are still awkwardly hanging around. Freshmen still see parents as lame instead of as a source of free food. Walker eventually separated from the school of fish and spent the rest of his day doing things no student ever actually does: dressing up nice to go on campus, being impressed by anyone in a Corps uniform, and actually going into the MSC art galleries.
“I’m so excited to hang out with all my new friends,” Walker said. “I’ll have so much free time to see them since I never really needed to study in high school anyway, and now I’ll only be in class for part of the day.”
Like all freshmen, the naïve Walker will soon abandon his early school of fish and migrate to a new community he actually has something in common with. This may sadden him for a time but he will one day be glad that, unlike Corps fish, he wasn’t forced to stay with his first awkward friend group.