Maturity? The influence of first years on upperclassmen

I believe this week I’m supposed to mention thought- provoking statements on how one should preserve his or her health in this hectic environment known as Trinity University. However, I’ve decided once again to do what I want and instead have chosen to ponder questions aloud that have pervaded my mind over the past few weeks. First: Who are all these new people walking around campus? Second: Why are they here? Third: Why do they think I know where buildings are? (Hint: I don’t.) If you’re a discerning reader, then you must have deduced by now that I am referring to the hordes of young ones who have entered our realm, known as “first years.” These young people are the ones who wear bikinis/underwear to parties, spill drinks on everyone, consider moshing at the Sean Kingston concert to be “hardcore” and don’t know where anything is (get a map). While you may think this is yet another rant against these individuals, I, conversely, would like to take this time to applaud them for bringing tremendous amusement and perspective to my daily life (don’t worry “” next time, I’ll move on to the subject of nuclear disarmament or Forever 21 sales). It’s both bizarre and refreshing to be the most sober one at a social gathering now (and the most fully clothed). And thus, I would like to express my appreciation, through this small snippet, for the existence of first years.

I think that over the past four years I’ve learned quite a lot. I’ve learned how to write a decent essay, how to get to class on time (most days) and how to avoid bad food choices that sometimes infiltrate Mabee. Yet, there is one very important thing that I have failed to learn. This trait, my friends, is adaptability. The word “change” freezes my blood and causes a drastic change in my heart rate. I fear not having control over a situation and not knowing everything about the people I encounter (hence the Facebook stalking). Being unprepared is quite disgusting to me. However, first years embrace change fully. They greet every day with (sometimes embarrassing) excitement and know how to have a good time. I often wonder if I ever had this sense of spontaneity. I knew how to pull together a toga in less than 15 minutes at one point in my college career and now fret over the gas mileage between social venues. That’s pretty depressing.

The ancient Greeks had a word for what has befallen my pitiful soul. This word is hélikia, which means both maturity and stature. They believed that as you grew up and matured, you also gained prominence and honor. Well, that’s cool and all, but I desperately want to immature myself. Y’all can take your hélikia back and give me the courage to try something new at Einstein’s and the excitement at the possibility of knowing our Tigerfest venue. I think re-embracing the constant changes that abound at our university (whether it be a new science building or a new professor) is the only way that I’ll be able to maintain my mental health (Hah! I made it relate to the theme of the week!), as I begin to face the biggest change of all “” leaving this place. So instead of entering the doldrums of maturity, I have instead chosen to try to play this year by ear and follow the everlasting advice of the renowned artist Young Jeezy: “You just do you, imma do me. Wanna see how it’s done? Then watch me do me.” If first years can do it, I can too.

Gabrielle Shayeb is a senior majoring in history.