By Harrison Barron
It’s that time of the year. Hide your beer and stash your drugs. Accepted students lurk on the hill.
Last week, I passed a large group of prospective students walking down University Place. The pre-college students seemed pretty apathetic as they typed on their cell phone keyboards, texting friends back home. “Oh my god, I love how everyone here is so obviously from New York.” Or perhaps, “Oh my god, I hate how everyone here is so obviously from New York.”
I mostly felt bad for the student tour guide. It must be hard walking up and down Syracuse University campus multiple times a day, with nosy parents more interested in historical facts and the health facts about dining hall food.
So, I thought I would make these students care. I backtracked about 15 steps, took out my cell phone and walked slow enough for them to hear everything I was about to say. As I passed the group, I screamed into my phone, “Mom, get me out of here! I can’t stand it anymore!”
Afterwards, I ran through campus and fake sobbed my way back to my dorm. I decided that I was going to do what I wanted, without embarrassment about the potential outcome of what the accepted students thought of their visit to SU. I guess what I wanted to do was possibly change the future of their college decisions.
Shouldn’t we be doing this more? Do we really care what happens to these people? They aren’t us after all.
Acting like this can be difficult though. Throwing yourself into such a dramatic fervor can be nerve-racking, especially when it’s in front of a crowd of strangers. You might even find that you don’t know what to say. I’ll make this real easy for you. Here are a few Mab Libs that you can scream while walking past a group of prospective students:
“Oh my god (Person’s Name), last (time of day) I was (verb-ing) (adverb) for (amount of time), and my dorm room was robbed because of a lack of security.”
Or: “While I was at (name of fraternity) last week, (male name) put (thing) in my (thing).”Some of the students won’t care. These are the uninterested ones—the ones who are humiliated to be seen with their middle-aged parents.
This is the group I fell under when I visited this campus after being accepted two years ago. My parents are a bit older, so I was embarrassed as they loudly mingled with the tour guide, telling him about Vietnam protests and my mom’s tenure as president of her sorority. “Kappa was so cool and sexy at UMass in the 60s,” she told him as I threw up and tried to hide.
Fortunately, though, I wasn’t the other kind of student: the kind who was up front taking copious notes and asking questions about everything from textbook prices to the types of trees that are indigenous to Syracuse.
These are the type of people you see in Schine buying three sweatshirts, a basketball jersey, and a “Syracuse Mom” mug.
So, let’s give these kids something to think about. As a current SU student and a former prospective student, no one wants to hear you say, “This is the greatest place that has ever been created with the purpose of furthering education.” That is boring. People like tension. They like drama. So, give them what they want.