My editor did a strange thing this week and asked me to write an article giving advice to freshmen. What’s weird is that she asked me to write an article. I guess it’s not obvious that I have no good advice to give. However, before I start on the advice, I have some good news: my pre-frosh from last year came to Williams, which is really odd considering she had me as a host. So here it goes: Mark Rothman’s freshmen tips and advice, which will henceforth be referred to as Mark Rothman’s Freshman T&A.
Let me start off with advice about getting around town. Williamstown can be very confusing with all the intersecting streets, so let me make it simple. There is Spring Street, Route 2 and Spring Street. Spring Street is Williamstown’s version of Madison Avenue or Rodeo Drive, mostly because everything is overpriced. While on Spring Street be sure to stop at Goff’s and pick up a gray Williams sweatshirt. No one else has one; it will help you stick out from the crowd.
Route 2, on the other hand, is a highway, which will take you into North Adams. So basically there is no need to go on Route 2. I would actually go into more detail about the surrounding towns, but since you are all freshmen, you don’t have cars, so you are not going anywhere.
Perhaps the most important thing on Spring Street for freshmen is the Log. The Log has dance parties every Thursday; perhaps you remember the dance party there during pre-frosh weekend. It was the place that was supposed to be filled with freshmen, yet had an alarmingly high number of upperclassmen there. Get used to it!
As upperclassmen there is one thing that we all want and will do anything to get: a facebook â€“ it’s the most important thing you will get as a freshman. Protect it! My elders told me to cherish the book! Cherish it! Or you can sell it to upperclassmen for big bucks. The facebook is important because when under the influence you might meet people and remember only their first name, hometown or dorm. The book can fill you in on the rest. It is your greatest tool for stalking. But seriously, the facebook is a great resource and one which I use daily. Of course, I read the facebook for the articles.
Now let me talk about the most important aspect of Williams: the academics. Just joking, I am talking about the party scene. The legal drinking age in Massachusetts is 21 years old; however, now that you are on campus it is actually 18. Of course when consuming alcohol you must be careful. Security will take your beer away from you if you are underage, as opposed to me who will give you beer if you are underage.
Now what you do have to watch out for are sketchy parties. These parties are usually so dark that you cannot tell if you are dancing with someone or a pillar. The difference between someone at a late night party and someone wearing camouflage in the woods is that you can actually see the people in camouflage. However, the hunter mentality is present in both cases.
Another good party tip is to avoid me and parties that I attend. This should be made particularly easy considering that my picture is running alongside this article.
One more thing to keep in mind is that now that you’re here you must be bitter and you must be a part of WUFO. Whether you like it or not, everyone is in WUFO. Someone once said the biggest organization at the College is WUFO, when actually the biggest organization in WUFO is the College.
But being bitter still remains the most important aspect of being at Williams. If you cannot find something to complain about, here is a common list of grievances: Factrak, housing, College Council, food quality, lack of options on a Saturday night, my articles, smallness of the town and the thing I am most passionate about: student apathy. As first-years, you have a fresh start, so save the anger for sophomore year when you are living in the basement of Mission, right next to loading docks. However, if you are already bitter about something, write about it and submit it to firstname.lastname@example.org. Everyone else does.
My last piece of advice: do not listen to a word I have said in this article. You are at one of the best colleges in the world. Enjoy it, especially since you have the facebook!