The Ultimate Ranking of Freshman Behavior

Of Stuyvesant’s freshman class’s crimes, which are the worst? Refer to this definitive ranking for answers.

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By Nada Hameed

Freshmen are ragged on by upperclassmen for all sorts of reasons. After all, they’re new to the school and, as such, have not properly developed an acute sense of shame. Everyone has seen a younger student do something lame and thought, “Ugh, freshmen.” But of their multitude of unconscious embarrassments, which are the most terrible? Which are even somewhat forgivable? Here, I’ve organized a definitive ranking of the worst sins of Stuyvesant’s freshman class.

1. Running in the hallways

Ah, the most classic example of freshman behavior! Everyone has, at one time or another, witnessed a small student with an oversized backpack racing past them in the hallway. The worst part about it is that it involves you, too. They’ve probably tried to push you out of their oh-so-important path, down the stairs, or around the corner, while rushing to… the cafeteria? This specific phenomenon of freshmen rushing to go basically nowhere is so common and annoying that it automatically warrants first place; it’s the first thing that comes to everyone’s mind when they think of characteristically-freshman behavior. Freshmen, why are you in such a hurry? Where are you going? Clearly never anywhere important. Calm down. Showing complete and total respect to your upperclassmen at all times is significantly more important than being punctual for your so-called “geometry final.”

2. Spamming the Facebook groups with redundant questions

Whenever schedules are released, freshies always want to know what their teachers are like and how to successfully kiss up to them. Of course, instead of using the search function at the top of every Facebook group to see what other upperclassmen have said on similar previous posts or trying something (extremely advanced) like joining old advice groups and searching surnames on there, freshmen constantly have the great idea to make separate posts asking, “How’s x for y?” despite 15 other people having asked the same question just an hour ago. This one is terrible because of how much it clogs up everyone’s feed, but it isn’t too vile because it’s only a problem right around the beginning of a new semester. While there are upperclassmen who do this too, most have long since upped their game by choosing to stalk teachers online instead.

3. Wearing their gym uniforms under their clothes

This one is not as common as freshmen running in the hallways, but it warrants a third place ranking nonetheless. It’s a little gross, especially when you have gym two to three times a week and you’ve been wearing the same sweaty gray shirt under your hoodie for half of the school day. Tons of upperclassmen do this too, but it doesn’t change the fact that it’s total freshman behavior. Dr. Markova definitely had a point about gym uniforms—don’t wear them all day! You know her, so honor her otherwise questionable legacy and just change. Leave the Stuyvesant Physical Education department-repping fashion choices to the freshmen. Except for MAYBE wearing the sweatpants as pajamas—that is kind of okay.

4. Being able to open their lockers

Honestly, struggling with lockers at the beginning of the school year is pretty understandable. Everyone who isn’t a freshman spends at least three minutes fiddling with their locker, opening Talos, making sure they’ve tried the correct combination, and then trying again. Frankly, it’s embarrassing to get your locker open without asking for help—you’re just spending too much time and energy when you could just get someone else to do it for you. But this is also a bit less embarrassing than the other sins mentioned, because there’s no one except other freshies who might judge you on the uber-isolated 10th floor. If you figured out how to open a locker as early as the second day of school, though, something might be seriously wrong with you. Everyone else only figures it out at least weeks into the school year. I would be completely ashamed to admit that I got the hang of it before October.

5. Still having an optimistic, uncrushed soul

Unfortunately, most freshmen still have the childlike, middle school-based eagerness and enthusiasm that is entirely unbecoming of a jaded Stuyvesant student. If our school’s students weren’t always visibly overworked, exhausted, and totally dead inside, we might as well lose our super impressive reputation as one of America’s most stressful high schools. Dewy-eyed freshmen are putting all of that at stake, and it’s incredibly selfish of them. However, this annoying characteristic of the freshman class is ranked last because of how wonderfully temporary it is: the light will fade from their eyes before the end of their first semester of high school. They’ll finally stop bringing total shame on our school and become true Stuyvesant students.

While making this ranking, I’ve come to the conclusion that freshmen are indeed as terrible as everyone says they are. Their sins will hopefully dull in extremity by sophomore year, and then we’ll finally be able to look them in the eyes and see them as valued members of the Stuyvesant community. To all the freshmen, remember to never just be yourselves: be better.