Hello Dukies, and happy o-week! If you’re reading this, congratulations! You are either way too excited about Duke and have already found the boondocks that are the Chronicle Opinion Pages, or you’re finally sober enough to achieve functional literacy. But like I say to the stray Durhamites who walk into my apartment: I don’t care why you’re here—but I’m gonna make it worth your while.
Now we upperclassmen know o-week can be an overwhelming time. We went through it as well: the daytime “funtivities” pretty much everyone gets tricked into believing are mandatory, the almost astonishingly repetitive conversations, the awkward nighttime frat-shuffle. We older students typically interact with freshmen during o-week for one of two reasons: to laugh at you as you endlessly make a fool of yourself—such as when you get off the C2 on Alexander and think you’re in Chapel Hill or when you attempt to pay for Shooters on your Duke Card. Our other venue of interaction is when we attempt to hook up with you, as we know we need to get it in before you stop thinking we’re hot because we’re older and that college social life is about who can do the best real-life Ke$ha impression.
However, freshies, I’ve decided to break the vicious cycle of painfully lackluster basic life skills and awkwardly long walks-of-shame because you don’t know what Edens is. Instead of laughing in your face or eating it, I’ve decided instead to drop some knowledge on you. So, with the risk of sounding like the haphazard collection of awkward GIFs that is Buzzfeed, here is your guide to the five people you meet during o-week.
These kids are basically high blood pressure personified. You’ll probably meet them within 10 minutes of arriving, because they obviously introduce themselves to their whole dorm, complete with business cards and full explanation of why they chose Duke and not the 12 other Ivies they got into. They’re a pre-med, biomedical engineering student with double majors in chemistry and making others feel bad about themselves. As these baby geniuses rattle off 24 clubs they’ve already contacted and ask you terrifyingly loaded questions like, “Wait. You haven’t started studying for the MCAT yet?!” you’ll begin to think you’ve made a terrible decision in coming here. But fear not, little ones—just wait about two months, and you may find your formerly future-DSG president friend has decided there aren’t really any cool clubs here, and med school is like SO overrated, and really, a psych major has GOT to be useful in any profession. Right?
2.The probably dead.
These people have yet to show up for any FAC chats or activities, and you’re pretty sure they haven’t actually moved into their dorm yet. The only sign that these types are alive is a text at 9:30 p.m. asking what you’re doing tonight. You’ve met them at every party you go to, but they’ve yet to remember your name. After o-week, having never seen them in class, the library or the light of day, you’ll have to conclude that they are indeed vampires, and they must avoid the sun because then they’ll turn into fabulous, sparkly homoerotica.
3.The probably a serial killer.
Minus their name and a few monosyllabic tones, this person seems to be mute. They have Wiccan insignia on all their belongings, and there is a strange odor coming out of their refrigerator. They constantly stare at you with wide eyes that either portray absolute terror to be socializing, or a hunger for human flesh—still unclear which. Another name for this species is “the random roommate.”
This new friend seems to have missed the memo that rush starts second semester. Spouting Greek like Socrates, every night for these fledgling fratstars and soon-to-be sorostitutes is a debate of which party carries the most social clout. A word of advice: Having sex with someone does not transfer his or her social status to you. What you were thinking of is hepatitis.
5.Your best friend.
Freshies, I hate to break it to you: Most likely, I’m lying about this one. Although some people seem to immediately befriend everyone and have a Regina George-like cult following, the truth of the matter is that real friendship takes time. Many freshmen entering Duke have not had to create real, intimate friendships in a long time, and it can be absolutely petrifying to come into a new environment without the support system you’ve had forever. But what you have to remember is that no matter how good they are at hiding it, every freshman is in the exact same, relatively friendless position as you are—and is just as excited (but also terrified) to start making friends. The more you remember that, the faster you’ll stop meeting your “o-week friends” and start creating your real ones.
Anyway, gotta go. There’s a Psi Alpha Nu Tau Sigma party tonight, and I’ve got to start painting my face on. Remember to tune in every Wednesday this semester for your weekly dose of awkward, outrageous and questionably moral rantings from The Socialites!
Lillie Reed is a Trinity senior. Her biweekly column is part of the weekly Socialites feature and will run on alternate Wednesdays. Send Lillie a message on Twitter @LillieReed.