The Michigan Times

Fresh Prince of UM-Flint

Alexis Harvey

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While we know them, love them and have been in their shoes, it is important to realize that freshmen students are still trying to get the hang of the college scene, but it doesn’t mean they’re all the same.
Here are just a few of the freshmen archetypes:
The Slacker
There are two categories when it comes to being a slacker: the first is the “Straight A’s in High School” slacker. This student did very well in grade school and was at the top of his class and never needed to study for a test, instead memorizing pointless facts and making things up as they went along when writing essays. This student has never been challenged intellectually so he expects university to be a breeze. The Straight A’s slacker does not realize that the complexity of courses in college differs greatly from that of homeroom. So he registers for 16 credit hours in his first semester expecting to come out with a 4.0 GPA and ends up with a 2.5 GPA.
The second slacker category is rarer on our campus, but keep an eye out. The “Do You Know Who My Father Is?” or the “Entitled” slacker. This student comes from the Huggies diaper dynasty or their father is a daytime television judge. Their whole life is a bowl of frosted privilege-flakes and the only big decisions they will ever have to make is which of her father’s Bentleys they’ll be driving this week. This student may be able to skate through the first few semesters, but professors tend to care very little about money or influence. The first time this student can’t pay her way out of the D- on an exam will be a sobering experience.
The Student of Many Organizations
The Student of Many Orgs is the freshman that wants to be involved in every single thing on campus; you see this student literally everywhere. One minute, you might see them helping set up an event with the Campus Activities Board, and the next, you’ll probably see them playing Ultimate Frisbee. This student gets involved not only because they want to be well-liked, but because they’re taking advantage of the diverse clubs and activities culture on campus.

But being an involved student can be tricky; this person might be susceptible to overloading their schedule with extracurricular activities, causing their academic life to suffer. While college is the place to find yourself, have fun, make mistakes and get as messy as Mrs. Frizzle from “The Magic School Bus,” it doesn’t mean that a student’s GPA should suffer because of this.
School Spirit
This freshman is in love with everything related to the University of Michigan. They own at least 20 “Go Blue” t-shirts, which doesn’t sound bad because students receive a plethora of free t-shirts, but they purchased this paraphernalia with their own money. They have season tickets to the football, basketball and underwater basket weaving games. This student spends more time in Ann Arbor than the actual players on the teams do. Their conversation consists of three things: sports, who’s playing sports and who’s going to play sports. You can’t have a discussion with them that isn’t “Go Blue” related. This student needs to chill; you have your whole life ahead of you to become insanely obsessed with a college team.
Bonus: Upperclassmen
I’m Not Really Your Friend I just want Your Meal Plan
You know who you are. Preying on those innocent freshmen and their swipes. Move in day excites you. You wait on the third floor UCEN for the perfect chance to pounce. This student has the tendency to swoop in and say, “Oh hey a few of us are going to the dining hall, want to go?” thus ensnaring the helpless freshman in your trap. However, once the freshmen wise up, upperclassmen are going to need new freshmen to mooch off of. It’s the circle of college life.

Slacker 2.0
So, you’re entering into your fifth year of college and you really hate your Introduction to the History Medieval Finger Painting class. (Seriously, you’re going to be a psychologist, why do you need to know about old finger paintings? Why does anybody need to know about old finger paintings?) You’re allowed three missed days, then your grade goes down by 10 percent. You’ve calculated that you only need 70 percent for a C and the teacher doesn’t take attendance. What do you do? Show up on the first day of class and are never heard of again until test day.
You sir or madam are a Slacker 2.0, the new and improved slacker. You slack with ease and confidence. There is a certain kind of finesse to your style of slacking that can only come from three to four years of practice. Freshmen awe at your ability to never attend a single class and by the end of the semester you walk away with a 3.0 GPA or higher. One can only hope that when they are on the fast track to graduation n that they can slack half as well as the Slacker 2.0
Last Chance
The Last Chance Senior is someone who focused too closely on academia for the majority of their college career, and in their final year realize that they’ve forgotten to have a “real college experience” along the way. Last Chance is attending every party there is to attend. They can be spotted at every major club event. Essentially they’re having a midlife crisis at the beginning of senior year. Last chance can be heard uttering such phrases as “This is the last time I can do …..” or “I have a 3.85 I can get wasted if I want to.” If you spot the Last Chance Senior do not stand in the way of their fun. You will get hurt physically and mentally.
Angry Grandma/Grandpa
This upperclassman does not have to wait for the age of social security eligibility to become a crotchety old person. Be it freshmen, sophomore, junior, or fellow senior the Angry Grandma/Grandpa is not here for your shenanigans today. They’ve been at university for far too long and have seen far too much in life to have to put up with people throwing things in the student loft, and not cleaning up after themselves on the second floor of the UCEN. Just because they’re an Angry Grandma/Grandpa doesn’t mean they have to pick up after you. Seriously, clean up after yourself this is college, not a pigsty.
In a fraternity? They hate you. Recruiting for a new student org? They hate you. Met your soulmate in your freshman year? They definitely hate you. Bring your ps4 to campus and play it loudly while people are trying to have meetings? You already know the answer to that. The Angry Grandma/Grandpa simply wants to finish their collegiate years in peace without dealing with the daily tomfooleries of pretty much any other human on campus. Unfortunately these miserable old folks are so blinded by rage that they tend to forget that they too were once young, messy and fun.
My Tuition Paid for This So I’m Gonna Do Whatever I Want
Once you devote a few years to spending all your money at one establishment you begin to realize that you should pretty much run the place. You pay the teachers, so the teachers need to do what you want. You pay for these on campus events, so they need to start hosting things you want to attend. You even pay for student government to fund things that you don’t even know exist. It’s all about you. If it weren’t for your tens of thousands of dollars spent on this place there wouldn’t even be a UM-Flint.
There are many upperclassmen out there with this mindset, and you can’t tell them otherwise. As far as they’re concerned, they laid the first brick on French Hall, so this university owes them something. Unfortunately, the only thing that the university feels that they owe is a degree. As far as this type of senior is concerned, a degree is a receipt for all the money they have spent on an education that will be obsolete in 20 years.
Alexis Harvey may be reached at [email protected]

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Fresh Prince of UM-Flint