Freshman Herd (n): A group of 15-25 first year students who probably won’t end up liking each other, but band together solely because they’re terrified of what would happen if they didn’t. They’re most notorious for dining hall blockages, wondering aloud whether or not they’re drunk, and standing enthusiastically outside parties they were not let into.
While all upperclassmen duly scoff at the Herds rumbling by, the sneer-fest is more out of embarrassment that they once went through the same process of University-wide Pledgeship. The times and mediums for awkward social interactions may perpetually be subject to change, but the cast of characters remain the same:
Jack Shephard: Maybe it was because I was really into L O S T back in ‘08, but every Herd has a leader whose leadership is the most leadershippy leadership you will ever come across. It is for this reason (namely, trying a bit too hard), that Jack will likely peak during first semester Freshman year. Enamored by his position as the “Floor Captain,” he will be reluctant to join a frat and/or any student group that is based on something other than contrived charisma, and will be slowly but surely be abandoned by all those who once unwaveringly followed him to floor toga parties that only served soda. The tragedy of Jack is that while everyone was biding their time to actually start college, this is the guy who thought he was living the dream.
(The transition here is almost always to RA, but nothing will be like the glory days of September/October freshman year. There is also a decent chance Jack is actually a female.)
Catch Phrase: "Man the paper chains! We have a pumpkin patch to build!!"
The Sistaz: Insta-pics with funny faces (look, a friend whose as attractive as me!), telekinetic laughing, and thinly disguised gossip about who and who isn’t a virgin. They’re gone without a trace when second semester pledging starts (when they tragically get into different sororities and never speak again), but for the time being, they’ve found common ground amongst the fact that there are no cute boys here who are simultaneously a douchebag and a nice guy. Their all-time favorite hobby is making jokes about what slightly overweight members of the floor eat at the dining hall.
Catch Phrase: "#cawledge #(insertfloornickname) #SISTAZ!!"
Mr. 2011-2012 Los Angeles Kings: He’s a male in college who wears plaid shirts, the occasional snapback, and enjoys alcohol. Though despite having all the tools, he doesn’t really stand out--he’s not the son of a big shot CEO, his athletic skills are fair, and he went to a modest public school somewhere around Boston.
His underrated-ness will cede to an impressive night out, which will cede to a string of impressive nights out, which will cede to him being the crown jewel of the Herd. It won’t be long until he’ll move on to bigger and better things, but his time in the Herd will be one filled with being a nice guy who also takes down girls faster than people scramble to comment "first" on anonymous commenting forums.
Catch Phrase: "I mean I can't really explain it...I've just always been pretty good at drinking Tequila."
Effy Stonem: Effy Stonem is a character from the British Television Series "Skins." Her elusiveness is only outdone by her unorthodox sexiness, and her viciously aggressive hobbies include pills, more pills, and truly not giving a f*ck. Every male will fall instantly in love, while every girl will hate her with a passion, mostly out of jealousy. She’s ironically the most insecure of the bunch (daddy issues, seriously f*cked up childhood), but those surprising delights are saved for the senior who will steal her heart.
There’s an 80% chance that three weeks into school, she’ll be caught having sex in the University President’s Office, simultaneously doing lines of coke on the school charter. Unsurprisingly, she will get in zero trouble while some smitten lamefest will take the fall.
Catch Phrase: "I just...like why wouldn't you just go live and live doing sh*t?! Come on, let's get out here. No, not you"
The Quiet Person That No One Ever Knows: What he lacks in having a personality, he more than makes up for in you desperately figuring out ways to try to include him. He’ll nod, laugh, and straight up kill it when it comes to one word answers. Nobody really has any clue how the enigma spends his time, though that’s probably a good thing.
Two semesters tops, then this person has either transferred/gone on a mission trip that involves goats.
Catch Phrase: "Yea...No...I'm okay...Not really"
The Admin: This is person who made for a name for him or herself back in April or May, dominating the school’s Facebook 'Class of' page with unprecedented wall to wall charisma. There’s a decent chance the Admin may have already peaked, as living up the legendary narrative previously created will be quite a difficult task. Luckily however, most people will pretend not to know him, essentially cancelling out what is suddenly a “holy sh*t what was I thinking?” past
Catch Phrase: "Please don't say you recognize me from 'Wildcats Interested in Parkour??"
Prince → Symbol: She will reinvent her identity, mostly because she believes that in order to have any collegiate social relevancy, she must transform into a total slootfest. The leader of her own cult, she will slowly convince herself that grinding hard on dudes who only take her home when they’ve reached stage 5 beer goggle status is the right way to go. Likely a victim of the ever-sniggering sistaz, there’s a strong likelihood she’ll garner an unfortunate nickname, find out about it, have a medium sized breakdown, decide to not give a f*ck, be much cooler as a result, and join the school newspaper as a snarky blogger who subtly rips on “how f*cked up everything is”
Catch Phrase: (Quietly leaving a Sophomore dorm room as Bro snores loudly)
Skype With My Boyfriend: “He’s coming for Columbus Day weekend, which is 29 days from now. Before we left, I got him a necklace with our names and HEARTS. I would be crushed if I knew he only wore it when we skyped. We only skyped 4 hours today, though hopefully we can get in at least 6 tomorrow. It would be really good for him, I think. He misses me so much, I just need to be there for him, you know?”
Catch Phrase: That
Nerdy Jack Kerouac: When he’s not lamenting at the demise of post-modernistic humanism at the expense of an increasingly uninformed proletariat, he’s critiquing the absurdity of hookup culture. He actively chooses not to fit in, because that would require not being a tortured genius. There will be a girl who takes a deep liking to him, slowly tries to wheedle him out of his shell, only to lash out and rip him to shreds when he takes the sexist and demeaning commentary too far. Of course, she now, and always had, the upper hand.
Catch Phrase: "Like Kant has any bearing on the matter..."
The Boyfriend Who Is Skyped With: If every herd has a “skype with my boyfriend,” then by some mathematical property that seems like the transitive one, every herd must also have said boyfriend.
He "loves" his girlfriend and puts in the time, but he’s also knows the difference between what is rational and what is bathsh*t crazy. Increasingly worried about “what she will think,” he’ll begin a slow stream of white lies, that turn into more colored lies, that turn into him unleashing his frustration on some sweet understanding girl who has a better head on her shoulders, which ultimately results in him smangin' unfaithfully. (GASP) He’ll at first hate himself for the error of his ways, but slowly realize that a-la Good Will Hunting, it’s not his fault. And the transformation from flawless-but slightly whipped nice guy to battle-tested, f*ck relationships cynic, is complete.
Catch Phrase: F*ck girls, man. Seriously. Like yea f*ck them, but f*ck. them.