Friends, Durhamites, fellow blue devils, lend me your ears. By a glorious combination of divine intervention and me doing things I’m rather not proud of, I’ve managed to sleep my way into the pages of The Chronicle. Kick back and pour yourself a stiff drink as I, Mean Boy, navigate screaming sorority girls, awkward Asians and drunken d-bags with whiskey in hand and a tendency to embarrass not just myself, but also others around me. Fear not, for I have all the betchiness of the Mean Girls you know and love with (some) added testosterone and that oh-so lovable “I can’t tell if he’s joking or just really that mean, so I’ll laugh anyway” humor we all love so much.
Just when you thought Mondays were bad in high school, you will soon learn that they are even worse at Duke because now you have to both suffer with my weekly articles and learn to cope with the fact that Saturday Night Shooters is still five days away. Tough break, froshcakes.
From the goodness of my heart (and for Duke’s public image—freshmen getting mugged in Durham makes us look bad), I am giving you a day in the life of a Duke student, with real definitions of the places you will come across your freshman year. Think of it as a cafeteria map, if you will. And you’re f***ing welcome.
You walk out of your dorm to find that literally everything is under construction this year. While Duke promises that, “progress requires change, and change requires speed bumps,” the fact is that Duke didn’t get their s**t together on time. The bridge, the tunnel and campus in general seem to have been invaded by orange cones that breed faster than the degenerates on Cops. Once on East Campus, you spy the small, three foot high wall that doesn’t actually keep anyone out, but rather stands as a stone monument to the small, elitist Duke bubble that you’ve chosen to live in. Beyond the wall you spy Ninth Street, John Snow and your very first Durhamite (classified scientifically as “Durhamus Ratchetus” for you pre-meds). If you’re wondering why you have already received countless Duke alerts that utterly shredded your sense of security on campus, look no further. Generally part of that so-called 99 percent and always scary, you might encounter a Durhamite at Shooters or while putting yourself in danger simply by walking through Durham. You were told that their vision is based on movement, so you stay absolutely still. Eventually it loses interest and wanders away.
After surviving your first Durhamite attack, you head to the bus stop. Once again, the bus—more fickle than Spongebob’s demonic Rock Bottom bus—doesn’t show and makes you late to class. Duke has managed to cut carbon emissions drastically by having these shuttles run on the disappointment of its students.
In defeat, you trudge to the Marketplace to realize that, once again, the food is strikingly mediocre. The Marketplace has the remarkable ability to be just good enough to give you hope that tomorrow dinner might be better, yet it remains just bad enough to disappoint you daily.
After eating and going to your seminar on “feelings” (you little Trinity student you), it’s time to go out. You scrape together 20 dollars for a handle of diluted Aristocrat Vodka and drink until at least one girl is crying or vulnerable—or both. If there are no girls present, drink until you can’t feel your loneliness.
After your mobile s**t show makes it to Central, you come across your first fraternity party. Despite how true Greek must have been, you find yourself being handed a sketchy drink by an even sketchier guy.
From there you work your way to the main attraction of any Saturday night: Shooters. The best and worst place ever, Shooters is an extremely polarizing place and many a student foster love-hate relationships with this beer and bodily fluid-soaked wonderland. Some love it, some hate it, and some hate that they love it. Your sober friends realize they have been thrust into a cacophony of budding alcoholism, body odor and shame. Others in the right state of mind journey into a symphony of sexual experimentation, debauchery and the infamous cage. As you venture into this beautiful mess, leave your personal space and dignity at the door.
Once you get your fill of white girls attempting to twerk, the black corner humping rhythmically to god-knows-what Mayan sacrificial rituals, and at least three drunk chicks falling out of the cage, you head to Ninth Street for the late night drunchies. Once inside, you join the rabble of drunken students fighting for s**tty Mexican food while drunk dialing your ex over the din of late night cantina depravity. Much to your dismay, dining at Cosmic Cantina becomes a game of Russian Roulette with the intestines of you and your friends. At least one in six is guaranteed to get food poisoning, yet you always come back for more. Lying in a miserable heap in your dorm bathroom, exploding from both ends, you curse alcohol, Cosmic and Shooters in one culminating, blacked-out, diarrheic tirade. On the one hand you hate it all, but on the other hand you love it. Thus continues the horrible cycle of freshman year. Happy Binging.
Now that you are thoroughly terrified, I welcome you to enjoy your freshman year. In time you will learn to love all these places, despite what I have told you about them—because you’re a stupid freshman. Duke is an incredible place filled with incredibly f**ked-up people. You, along with your classmates, will somehow gain an appreciation of Duke’s and Durham’s glorious ridiculousness which we can’t live with, but could never live without. Good luck, Class of 2017. You’ll f**king need it.
Mean Boy is already on campus, wearing a very unique combination of chubbies, croakies and a sense of not-so-subtle superiority. If you see him around, make sure to compliment him on his pastels so he doesn’t talk shit about you behind your back to all his frat bros.