The Top 3 Things That Have Changed Since I Was a Freshman (and How They’ve Stayed the Same)

  1. Glar

Everybody remembers their first trip to Englar Dining Hall.  It’s Orientation, there are upperclassmen everywhere wearing yellow shirts, and they’re telling you that it’s called “Glar,” not Englar.  For some, it is a moment of supreme disappointment.  It’s crowded, it’s dirty, and the food is less than palatable.  For me, it was like entering some sort of beautiful paradise on Earth.  My house growing up was an “every man fends for himself” sort of place.  In Glar, I could choose from a wide variety of selections of passable merit, and I could eat as much as I wanted.  I did.  I ate all of the food.  Everywhere.  Then I gained all of the weight.  Everywhere.


Remember when there weren’t any TVs?  What about when all of the silverware was all in one place?  Everything was that dingy brown color that reminded you of old wax paper and dirty bathwater?  Remember how there used to be hand dipped ice cream?  HAND DIPPED.  How about those trays?  Remember those.  Those were awesome.  You could get ten times the amount of food you were actually going to eat in any given meal and carry it all in one trip.  Then, in the winter you could steal those very same trays and use them as sleds.


Now it’s all gone.  They made beautiful renovations, put in televisions everywhere, and scattered the utensils to the four winds.  They took away our hand dipped ice cream and replaced them with a confusing array of vegetables.  (Who eats vegetables really?  They’re food for food.)  But most tragically, they took away our trays.  Granted, that happened way before the renovations were even a twinkle in some architect’s eye, but it still hurts even to this day.  What am I supposed to sled on?


How things have stayed the same:  Everyone still complains about the food.  To be honest, I do too, except for chicken tender Thursday.  You’d have to be dead inside to not like that.


  1. The administration

By the end of freshman year I had managed to figure out one thing for certain:  you went to College Activities for everything.  Want to reserve a space?  College Activities.  Plan an event?  College Activities.  Fundraiser?  College Activities.  Soothing back rub?  Stop being creepy.


If you couldn’t get something done there (doubtful), there was always the Office of Multicultural Services or Capboard.  But regardless of where I had to go, I had all of it figured out.  I knew every office I would ever need to go to, and I knew how to fill out every form I would need once I was there.  I had this college thing figured out pretty well.


Then they changed everything on me.  Not cool.


We got a new President, Capboard disappeared, College Activities became the Office of Student Engagement, and OMS became the Office of Diversity and Multicultural Affairs.  (I had to text a friend who graduated a couple of years ago just to remember some of those names).


Even worse, all of the forms went online.  This school is paperless now.  Remember when it wasn’t?  Remember when we got our class catalogs every semester before registration?  Remember when we got that big thick book with everything academic that we would ever have to know ever to graduate?  Remember when we got planners for free?  FREE.  Not five dollars at the bookstore.  Free.


How things have stayed the same: Everybody complains about the administration.  Always.  Regardless of the changes or rearranges.


  1. The BLAR Plan

I still remember hearing upperclassmen moan about the BLARs and how awful they were.  They always said we were so lucky to be on the McDaniel Plan because it was so much easier to understand.  Now no one exists besides the professors who know what a BLAR is.  I’m pretty sure some people just think I’m mispronouncing Glar when I say it.


How things have stayed the same: Everybody complains about the McDaniel Plan just like they did about the BLARs.  They’re confusing and hard to complete, and I’m seriously still not sure whether my year was one of the ones where we had to take an SIS.  I took one so regardless I’m in the clear, but if I didn’t have to I kind of retroactively regret the wasted effort.


I guess what I’m trying to say here is that students complain a lot.  Stop it.