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Davis

Davis, California

Monday, July 26, 2021

Column: Class warfare

While proceeding through my daily mission to ride my bike over as many crunchy leaves as possible on the way to class, I often think about what to discuss in my column. What more can Davis students have to relate to aside from our bicycles, our Facebooks and our need to stay focused in the classroom? Then I remembered perhaps the greatest theme of all to accompany our college experience, something that divides our time at school into separate eras. I am speaking, of course, of our academic standing, or our “year,” as we like to call it.

So what better way to get a fresh start on a new column than fresh talk about freshmen? Obviously, these high schoolers are the easiest target to make fun of. They can’t ride their bikes properly, they don’t know how to feed themselves and they have about a 0 percent chance of making it into the bars. You know how I know you’re a freshman? You think the Tercero dorms are the coolest place to live.

I remember back in my heyday in the Malcolm high-rise before the buildings were remodelled. Sure, the dorms looked slightly like upscale mental asylums, but there was no doubt that my roommate and our peers thought we ruled the school. Teasing freshmen can be easy fun — that is, until you remember they have more time left in college than the rest of us. I’m pretty sure there’s only, like, three hours left until I graduate.

Not to be sophomoric, but second-year students are a bunch of bird-brained air heads. Their egos are fully inflated after a year of coming home to no parents or curfew, and there is a high probability that the responsibilities of college haven’t quite caught up with them. They are likely to insist they don’t have to declare a major and can continue taking 12 units of GEs every quarter to get by.

You’ll have to travel great distances to find most sophomores, hidden in their cookie cutter apartment complexes they seem so fond of. I’m not sure what makes “Farlington” seem so appealing to them, but apparently they don’t mind having to ford a river and cross a snowy tundra each day to get to class. This is dissimilar to their distant cousin, the not-so-aptly-named juniors.

Third-year students here have figured out how to handle themselves in school. They have traded in their spacious apartments for a shared garage at twice the cost, but inside the heart of downtown. Many juniors have started to take on extra responsibilities, such as an on-campus job or resume-building internship. I, for one, know that after I started working at the CoHo last year, I was severely confused about what I used to do during the 16 hours a week I now spend at my job.

The difference between a third and fourth-year student is probably the least among all the classes. Members of both years avoid frat parties and instead take in Davis’ ever-fashionable bar scene. But, perhaps the thing my fellow seniors and I share most is the sense of urgency regarding our lack of time left here. I know I’m trying to savor every last socially acceptable moment with a beer bong I have left.

This column may have highlighted the differences between the ranks of our fellow students here, but we have a lot to learn from one another. In my fraternity I’ve had the chance to take a “little bro” and attempt to show him the ropes in college. Unfortunately, not all of us will have this opportunity. If you’re an upperclassmen, be sure to take some time to help a freshman avoid a bike accident or share a beer with a sloppy sophomore. You know how much you would’ve appreciated it if someone had done that for you.

You know how I know you’re a senior? Tell AARON WEISS at atweiss@ucdavis.edu.

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