By Agent G
It’s difficult for me – as I am sure it is difficult for anyone who has done what I have done – to explain their reasoning. Some say they do it for country. Others say that they do it for thrill. I do it only to give you a window into the truth; to give you a new perspective on something that you have locked in the back of your mind. This truth is a time capsule only to be opened only at wakes and weddings. I am a spy. I am a spy and I have infiltrated the freshmen class. My name and appearance are changed, my background and motive mysterious, my connections to the ResEd system formidable. Over the rest of orientation, I will report to you my discoveries and observations.
On the day of first-year arrival, I attended an ice cream social. At this point, no one knows anyone and everyone is looking for a friend. My only issue in this regard was that I had made my alternate persona too frightened and awkward to approach anyone. I attempted to place a stark distance between my own persona and that of my character as not to rouse any suspicion from the academic ambassadors, but in the end, I realized that I had shot myself in the foot. So, there I stood shaking like a leaf, with popsicle in hand and my eyes wide in social terror.
No one talked to me.
I had secretly hoped that there would be someone to take pity on me so that I could engage in normal conversation and make a patsy friend. I had no such luck. However, I did get a chance to watch. Without the excitement and anxiety of being a brand new college student, first-year orientation is fucking boring. The crowd at the social mostly consisted of roving first-years. Some were free to mingle about the group, but most were invisibly tethered to their parents. It took a special kind of person to go up and engage in conversation with someone who wasn’t their height; this isn’t necessarily a compliment, either. Most of the engagement that I saw from the first-years was by typically cocky guys. Protected by their false sense of security, they felt no pressure to let their intensions lay bare behind what they perceived to be cunning conversation. Additionally, anytime any of them made eye contact with me, I gave them puppy eyes and watched them look away in fear.
My next stop was an ice-breaking exercise. The small common room I entered was lined with freshman while the RA’s sat on the furniture. They were in the middle of playing a name game when I walked in, and I was promptly told to take my position at the end of the line. (My costume must have been fairly convincing.) They were playing a game they called ‘picnic’ – in which they said their name and a food that started with the same letter. The game added a level of difficulty by forcing the first-years to try and repeat everyone’s name and food. They were so unreasonably bad at this. It must have seemed like some kind of a trick to them, like whatever food they said would say so much about their personality. Additionally, I blew them out of the goddamned water with my memorization. Not because I’m a genius, but because they were so addled by perceived social pressure that they couldn’t keep their eyes on what was happening for more than a second at a time. And while most of their fear of being judged on their fear was unfounded, there was one member of the group that made the fatal mistake that they were all dreading. When it came time for the tall, muscled boy to reveal what he would bring he told us he would bring Jägermeister. Nervous laughter followed.
I then followed my group to their cluster meeting. On the walk over, I had a very pleasant conversation about majors and hometowns with someone whose name I have already forgotten. Once we arrived in the lecture hall, the rules were clearly explained and the RAs tired to assure the first-years that they were students. This was mostly very dull – and a moment I never really want to experience again. However, a moment of gold happened during an ice breaker intermission. We were asked to high-five someone around us and then talk to them. One boy could not for his life find anyone who wanted to look at him until one choosey hot girl was left with no other choice. He went in for the high-five and they interlaced fingers. Then he shook their hands from back and forth in victory. He then dragged her – hands still above their heads mind you – over to the side of the room. As they arrived, the boy quickly realized what he had done, and threw his hand into his pocket.
After the meeting, I went back to my room to remove my disguise and to ice my head. Watch out for more installments soon.