I am a student, particularly a college freshman. The college freshman group is best defined as a mixed crowd of youngsters who are experiencing new social freedom. First, we are a mixed crowd. The population of college freshman includes students with various academic backgrounds, some from private schools, some from public, and others from home schools. We arise from diverse ethnicities, as freshman appear with Middle Eastern, African, American, European and other nationalities. Also, there are a number of religious beliefs, for I know Christians, Muslims, atheists, Jews, and Buddhists.
But can we not find this sort of diversity elsewhere? Surely, college freshman are not the only “mixed crowd” in our society. In one sense, it is true, variety appears throughout society. Yet, in the college freshman group, we see that diversity heightened to an extent found in few other groups. Thus, the mixed nature of the freshman group becomes one of its defining characteristics. Other aspects of diversity confirm this trait. For college freshman include a host of professional ambitions. While most businesses and organizations include similar jobs and roles, the freshman group typically contains students with interests spanning from English literature to chemical engineering. Again, this confirms the amount of diversity in a college freshman class, constituting a mixed crowd as crucial to the definition.
College freshman are youngsters. By that I mean that freshman are young in age but also in spirit and often in maturity. Most of us are 18 or 19 years old, with the rare exception of someone who is 17 or 20 or older. Such homogenous age is difficult to find in other groups of society. Yet college freshman are also young in spirit. We love to have fun, to see new things, have exciting experiences, and also take risks. The older people become, the less they typically risk; and likewise, the search for stimulation tends to decrease. However, college freshman are younger at heart than most any other group.
For example, we throw more parties than most people. While you might find business parties or formal get-togethers outside of the academic environment, college freshman throw particularly high numbers and high intensity parties. These may include a lot of drinking, where people consume alcohol and become even wilder. It may include dancing, as the music pumps and people let loose. Or it may include a series of games and funny themes that get people laughing and carrying on. In whatever case, college freshman express their youthful spirit through social events like parties. These parties operate at a higher frequency and level than most other forms of parties in the world.
College freshman are also young in maturity. This is not true for all of us, but it is the case for many. Thus we see patterns of mistakes among young college students that mature adults typically avoid. For example, many college freshman perform poorly in school. Grades suffer because of laziness, irresponsibility, or distractions. All of these tend to win out over the discipline and time required to succeed academically. This shows one of the most important aspects of the college freshman, as they prove their immaturity through irresponsibility, spoiling an often great chance to learn and succeed.
Finally, college freshman are experiencing new social freedom. Inside many of the heads of students, they think, “No parents!” My friends often talk about this, the new freedom they have from the home and rules and watching eyes of their mom and dad. College freshman, before they moved to university, lived under the rule of their parents. The parents set the rules, they told their child when to be home, where they could and could not go, what they could and could not do, and so on. Yet in college, freshman no longer have the parental voice. Now they can choose what they want to do, they can come to their dorm when they want, staying out after midnight or not returning at all. Likewise, college freshman can study when they wish, skip class or attend class, and eat as they like.
All of these forms of freedom may vary depending on the student. Some freshman go to bed early and attend every lecture, while some skip most classes and sleep in every day. Yet all of them experience a freedom that they had never before known. We no longer have parents watching us and regulating us, we are free to make more independent choices. This can help or harm the student, and often appears as a freedom with negative consequences. Yet from the sophomores that I have known, the freedom gives way to either poor habits of living or a hard lesson learned. Second year students typically do not revel in their freedom like freshman, but rather exercise more responsibility and self control.
In short, college freshman are a unique group of people, defined as mixed crowd of youngsters who are experiencing new social freedom. While each aspect of this definition varies for the particular student, I contend that when compared to other groups, it as a whole it fits college freshman.