School’s in! All the Facebook photos of first day of high school and dropping kids off to college have the Chicks strolling down memory lane. Read on for some of our favorite memories from our freshman years.
In the frosty winter of my freshman year, the questionable movie A Change in Seasons was filmed in our sleepy New England college town. Storyline: Middle-aged-jerk professor (Anthony Hopkins) cheats on his wife (Shirley McLaine) with a hot young co-ed (Bo Derek). Wife gets even by taking up with the hot young campus handyman. All four go on a ski weekend together and their teenaged daughter shows up to yell at them all. Anyway, scouts came in from LA ahead of time to pick locations—and a bunch of students were cast as extras. I think I’m in a scene cheering at a basketball game. Bo Derek always looked dazed, wore voluminous white furs, and stayed in her trailer as much as possible. The only foods she ordered in were celery and Fresca. Oh, and Anthony and Shirley hated each other in real life, too. The most memorable thing for me, though, was that some woman was so engrossed in watching the filming that she ran into me with her station wagon as I crossed the street. My friends helped me up and we went to get hot chocolate. We laugh about it every five years at our college reunion. Sort of.
Although we didn’t get together until several years later, I met my husband the first day of my freshman year of college. We hung out a lot that year, just walking around campus, relishing our first taste of freedom and doing whatever random thing we felt like doing. One day on the main drag nearest campus, a man with a clipboard stopped us and asked us if we’d like to take a free personality test. We both looked at each other and shrugged. Sure, why not? We went inside and they took us into separate rooms. They then asked me a ton of questions and proceeded to tell me how depressed I was — like, seriously, he was worried about me — which I found hilarious because I’d never been happier in my life. Then they put us in a room together and showed us a film about how we needed to overcome past traumas by getting rid of the thetans that had attached themselves to our bodies. Did they actually use the word “thetans”? I don’t remember for sure. But we still talk about that time freshman year when they tried to recruit us to be Scientologists.
Ah, high school. Pep rallies and prom, Home Ec and hijinks. Pimples, peer pressure—and humiliations. I didn’t waste any time on the humiliation front. I jumped in and embarrassed myself on the first day of my freshman year. I was feeling pretty cute. I had talked my mom into letting me wear a dress shorter than she preferred. It was a jumper and a blouse underneath with wide cuffs and puffy sleeves. In case you haven’t guessed, it was the 1970s.
Halfway up the sidewalk, I tripped and fell hard. At least it wasn’t on my face. But both my knees were bleeding through gaping holes in my ripped pantyhose. I limped inside to the restroom, stripped off the hose, and staunched the bleeding with paper towels. With my dignity smarting more than my kneecaps, I made it to homeroom, hoping I could shrink into my desk and disappear. To my horror, the teacher expressed concern for my injuries in front of the whole class and sent me to the school nurse. The scrapes were less obvious camouflaged by bandages, but I still thought EVERYONE was staring at me. The wisdom of age tells me the other teens were too wrapped up in their own self-consciousness to notice me. But, I didn’t know that at the time!
The psych class I took freshman year had a lab component, which sounded like it meant we’d be doing experiments…but actually we had to volunteer for experiments.
The one I remember most vividly was where we had to trace, while looking into a mirror for orientation, the path of a metal star with a stylus. If we hit the sides, we got a shock! It was like playing the game Operation while being hooked up to the machine at the beginning of Ghostbusters. Not sure what the point of that was…
Oh, I have a very vivid memory from my freshman year in college. For financial reasons, I spent my first year and a half of college at a state school in New York, SUNY Binghamton. Although Binghamton is a fantastic school, it wasn’t the place for me. (Sidebar: I did meet one of my BFFs there, Laurie Graff, so I’ll always love SUNY for that.)
On the last day of freshman year, my parents came to pick me up. We went out to lunch and then returned to the dorm to retrieve my belongings. As we approached the dorm, the head advisor was being escorted out—in handcuffs, flanked on each side by an FBI agent. Both agents carried shopping bags stuffed with pills. Turns out the dorm’s head advisor was also the dorm’s—and the school’s—head drug dealer.
I’m not saying that was the nail in SUNY’s coffin, but it’s an image still emblazoned on my brain. January of sophomore year, I transferred to Tulane University. And all I have to say now is… Roll, Wave!
Readers, drop us a note in the comments below! What’s your favorite memory from your freshman year of college or high school?
Did you enjoy this article? Subscribe to Chicks on the Case and never miss a post. Just click the button on the top right side of this page and let the fun begin!