daily californian logo


Year! Review! Read our 2022 Year in Retrospect Issue!

The first morning of the spring semester: freshman vs. senior reactions

article image


We're an independent student-run newspaper, and need your support to maintain our coverage.

JANUARY 21, 2015


“New year, new me,” you whisper into the darkness of your room, just softly enough so you don’t awaken your slumbering roommate. Sure, it’s cheesy, but it’s your new secret mantra now. You have graduated from a high school senior masquerading as a “real” adult to a veritable hill-hiking college drone. Yes, you’re still a freshman, but at least now you know the proper way to pronounce “Campanile.” Now you’ve accomplished all of your firsts: your first bus ride, your first frat party, your first time asking a random student for directions (and then cringing at their pity-laced smile).

This time, you know where your classes are. This time, you’re joining more clubs. Eating healthier. Waking up on time.

“New year, new me,” you repeat as you slip into your clothes, which you had already laid out the night before, knowing you had an 8 a.m. today. The new you can totally wake up at 7 a.m. every morning. No sweat.

“Is it naïve that I think this semester I can get a 4.0? LOL,” you write on YikYak. Then you erase it and replace it with, “This semester I will not be determined by my YikYak score. #freshstart.”


Your alarm goes off for the fifth time. You roll over groggily. “We’re all just dust in the wind anyway,” you grumble into your pillow.

You fumble for the light and wince at its brightness. Should you bother changing underwear? No, of course not. No one’s going to see it anyway. “Our bodies are just artifices,” you reason out loud. “No point in gussying it up. Color is an illusion constructed in our brains. There is no objective reality.”

You clumsily pull on a pair of worn jeans and your reliable, oversized Cal sweater. The socks, however, are new. Good ol’ Christmas-present socks. So plush…so warm…

You have five minutes to get to class, but decide you’ll take the risk and buy some coffee beforehand. How else are you supposed to power your weak, hollow-boned shell of a body? Certainly not with sheer will. You lost that when you became a senior.

“New year, new me,” you whisper hoarsely at your reflection in the mirror, gazing deeply into your haunted eye sockets. The words taste like sand in your mouth. You try again: “One semester until the end,” you murmur. It’s an oddly comforting mantra. A little ominous, but somehow motivational.

Images sources: woodleywonderworksGif 1, Gif 2

Contact Lilia Vega at [email protected].

JANUARY 20, 2015