Tommy: I am so sick of hearing freshmen talk about alcohol. Well, I'll put it this way: I was so sick of hearing freshmen talk about alcohol, but now I'm just resigned to it. I've learned that "fun" to my peers is usually synonymous with "totally fucked up," or as the nerd wearing a shirt that read "Flirt harder, I'm a physics major" (this was a real shirt) put it, "completely inebriated." When I ask freshmen about their weekends, they give me a blow-by-blow of how many drinks they had at which hours, how buzzed they were after half an hour, how they don't remember anything after midnight, and the hangover they had for two days. When I try and ask about what they actually did ("No, no... like, where were you? What were you up to when you were drinking?") no one seems to really remember or care.
The ridiculous thing is, it is totally obvious that the majority of kids here didn't drink in high school. I'm pretty convinced that a lot of them don't know what "drunk" feels like. So when they tell me that they're "so gone right now" after drinking a cup of apple juice that supposedly has some sort of booze in it at a frat party, it's hard for me to take them seriously.
The self-obsessed dialogues aren't what really get to me, though. Or, got to me, because as I said: I'm resigned to it now. What I really hate is the ceaseless talk about alcohol. I'll give an example of five average minutes here:
A group of freshmen and I are sitting in someone's room doing homework on a Wednesday night.
Freshman A: How much tequila did we drink last night?
Freshman B: Dude, we need to save that shit. It cost us some money.
Freshman C: [Opens the mini-fridge and takes out the half-empty bottle of tequila] Dude!
Freshman A: What the fuck? Where did it all go?
Freshman C: We were pretty wasted last night.
Freshman D: How did you do problem seven? I can't find the integral.
Freshman B: Here, like this. [Does the problem in two seconds]
Freshman D: Oh, okay, I get it now... Let's do shots.
Freshman A: Are you kidding?
Freshman D: Just one?
Freshman A: We need to save that, man!
Freshman C: Well... is anyone down to smoke tonight?
Freshman D: I'd be down.
Freshman B: Yeah, I'd totally be down.
Freshman A: Okay, I'm down. Even though I have a shitload of homework to do. Whatever, it's not due for a week.
Freshman C: Sick. Blunt or joint?
Think: this conversation... repeated... over and over... with some "I was so drunk this weekend" stories interjected here and there... this is my life. I am in a room of tequila on an island of vodka in a sea of Natty Ice. I take notes on rolling paper. I don't play sports here; instead, I pre-game.
How have I learned to live with this? I don't really know. I guess my peers have toned it down since actual work began to pile up. Or, maybe I've just adopted a "if you can't beat 'em, join 'em" attitude.