Schooled: Our Favorite Freshman Memories

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.


Lisa Q. Mathews

CotC Word balloons

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.

 Marla Cooper

CotC Marla Cooper

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.

Vickie Fee


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!

Cynthia Kuhn

cynthiaThe 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…


Ellen Byron


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? 

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27 thoughts on “Schooled: Our Favorite Freshman Memories

  1. Freshman year of college I roomed with two other girls I met at orientation. Mistake #1, especially since the sleeping arrangements were triple bunk beds. I will never forget the look on my mother’s face as she made up that middle bunk (because the other girls wouldn’t sleep in the middle). 🙂

    Liked by 5 people

  2. Can I just say how much everyone’s posts are? And Marla, happy to forward my copies of the Scientology magazine, which I get for some reason, even though I screamed at them so loudly to take me off their mailing list that my next door neighbor heard me and called to find out if everything was okay.

    Liked by 4 people

  3. These are some great stories. They sound like fun times *nodding my head*. Fun times. Alas, I’m too old to remember high school.

    I do remember my first day of college. I was married with kid. We had just moved to San Antonio. I walk into my first class, Business Logic, taught by the dean of the business college. His introduction? “If you have an associate professor who is late, you can leave after 5 minutes. If a tenured professor is late, you wait 15 minutes. For me, you will stay in your seat and wait the entire class!” I got all the gems.

    That year I joined the accounting club. I have no clue why I wanted to be an accountant. I woke up one day in Alaska and said to my husband I wanted to be an accountant. But that’s another story. Anyway, I was in the accounting club, and heard that first semester in order to get into the accounting honor fraternity you had to have be at least a sophomore with a certain # of accounting classes and a certain GPA under your belt. I worked my butt off and got in at the earliest eligibility. I still have my class ring with BAP on it.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I’m glad the Scientologists didn’t hook me up to a machine that gave me shocks! (Although I wouldn’t put it past them…)


  4. Freshman year of college, I took first semester Calculus because that’s what you do in college. My dad was a civil engineer, and Mom was a math major. Half way through the semester, after I couldn’t drop the class, I realized that as an accounting major, I didn’t need it. It still took me awhile to convince my parents I didn’t need to take any more after that.

    That’s also the class I struggled with the most. I suspect she really curved the grades at the end, which is how I got a B. That’s the only explanation for it because I was hoping for a C before the final grades were posted. If I had gotten a C, it would have been my only C ever.

    Liked by 4 people

  5. Freshman year, my dorm hosted the Degenerate Rock Marathon, during which we played music such as Jimi Hendrix, the Stones, the Crazy World of Arthur Brown, King Crimson, and the Velvet Underground. We stayed up all night (aided by lots of Rainier Ale and other things) and thought ourselves OH so hip and cool. Oh yeah, we did also study astronomy and Shakespeare and French and stuff during the daytime…

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    1. Cynthia, do you have any long term effects
      from those lab experiments? I remember they had us pipette some scary liquid by mouth (those glass tubes, like straws you had to suck the stuff up through but not touch the liquid). I had such a panic attack I refused and ran outside into a blizzard. Luckily, my Brit lab partner was Hermione Granger’s twin so I didn’t flunk.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Lisa, I would have refused to pipette scary liquid too! (And you were so lucky to have Hermione Granger’s twin!) No lasting effects that I know about ALTHOUGH I do tend to draw stars whenever I doodle…hmmm.


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