Frosh, this one’s for you

Back in September of my first year, I got crafty. I grabbed sparkles, squeezed out dollops of glue and snipped myriad letters from fashion magazines to construct a garbage-bag sign to post on my res room door.

“Behave! Smart/ Sophisticated/ Sweet/ Sensual/ Sultry/ Sinful/ Sex goddesses inside,” the pink glitter proclaimed.

Yes, I was having sex. Yes, my roommate was being sinful. But that wasn’t what it was about.

For me, the sign represented liberation and creativity. It was about escaping life with my parents and starting school away from home. It was my symbolic entry into university, a new sort of empowerment.

It was a time and place to make myself. But only a few hours after I tacked my work of art to the door, I overheard giggling girls pass by, remarking on the pretension of whomever lived inside.

Slut. Poser. Wannabe.

It made my blood boil.

I’ll admit I wanted a reaction—I suppose I often do. But such shallow criticism almost instantly changed my conceptions of university life. Unfortunately, there was more that irked me.

I got stuck on a res floor with a bunch of snobs and boys who smeared shit on the public telephone when they got trashed. The group seemed to do everything together. But I was never one to conform to others’ schedules, unwilling to file down to the cafeteria en masse. I avoided joining them at their no-ID-required parties held at the now-defunct Larry’s Pit Stop.

So I spent most of the year with my door shut.

Barring entry into my room also helped my sassy, but depressed, roommate keep her

pet guinea pig a secret the entire year.

I admit I despised many of the people with whom I lived, but during my first visit home, I was stunned to discover I had developed my own nauseating qualities.

High school graduation in October tossed me back into the crowd of my old pals—we who had parted ways to seek challenges at different institutions. As we mingled, I turned up my nose a half-dozen times, snipped at friends and unleashed some snide remarks.

Suddenly, my best friend turned to me. She was blunt.

“You’ve changed,” she said. “You’ve become a snoot!”

I reeled before identifying my seducer.

Queen’s—this beloved university—had indoctrinated me. I’d lived in the bubble for less than a month, and already I thought I was a Queen.

Frosh, get off your high horse before it’s too late. This university hypes you up until you feel so good you think it’s the norm to consider yourself a cut above the rest.

My message? There’s more to this school than an arguably homogeneous mess of students getting drunk on the “Queen’s reputation.” There’s much to protest, much to advocate for—in fact, it’s right on your doorstep.

The Administration is not perfect. Neither is your student government. And rest assured, I know this newspaper isn’t either.

So, challenge the world around you, raise your voice and avoid getting brainwashed. Work hard, question decisions and keep up your drive—then you won’t have to rely on the Queen’s name to get respect.

Plus, you’ll be free to get as crafty as you like.

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