Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 79.djvu/80

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They are about the planning of courses in athletics, in dramatics, in rushing, in tubbing, in college traditions generally. They have their own uses for the incoming freshman class, and their own elaborate and trying admission requirements. They condescend to notice the faculty's college when it becomes necessary to take their protégés in tow and make a dead set against some assumed weak spot in the college's entrance defenses. Mostly, to the freshman's eye, there is a whir of automobiles, a rushing to and fro with excited conferences over innumerable projects which bear little relation to the ideals with which he set out from home. The conversation he hears is not of studies or ideals of study. The standards of conduct, of appreciation of priceless opportunity, are what might be expected of a generation brought up on the modern daily newspaper, with town and city environment, whose fathers will set them up in business when college days are over, and who will take with ill-grace and much contempt of regulations the little learning they can not avoid without risking the pleasures and excitements which chiefly mark their progress toward a learned degree. If the freshman is put wise early he learns to submit with as much composure as possible to whatever rough treatment of his own person the college world decrees as appropriate to his crude state of development: the college authorities not being in this game, either. If above the hubbub his ear catches the announcement of an address to the entering class by the president of the college on Thursday evening, he knows that is a signal for special activity on the part of his sophomore friends. Consequently he stays in his room—unless, perchance, constrained to come flying forth in unceremonious fashion. But if the meeting be advertised for midday he may hear, for a moment, an echo of those ideals and principles which had beckoned and fortified him as he made his decision for a college course. This impression, however, is quickly swallowed up in the whoop-er-up speeches and cheers in behalf of college activities, in which the faculty seemingly participates with equal abandon. On registration day, for a brief space the college once more seems to hold sway; then it and its ideals fade into dim distance, while the real, absorbing college of student life resumes the scepter. When classes begin he follows instinctively a habit not yet outgrown, and essays to enroll with his instructors. But the freshman who had been something of a leader in his home school, who was thought to have learned a measure of self-reliance, who had even filled a position of responsibility in a very real experiment in self-government, now finds that he has by no means learned his place. While the academic sideshow of lectures and recitations is getting itself started in halting fashion, the freshman is in the fierce struggle and joy of real college life. As free of conventional wrappings as nature made him, he is paraded and tubbed in open daylight around faculty lawns and by campus