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High Life / A WEEKLY FORUM FOR HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS : Seniors Still Look Down on Freshmen, Who Defiantly Retort, 'Eat My Shorts!' : The Class Struggle Rages On

January 03, 1991|UCILIA WANG | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES; Ucilia Wang is a senior at University High School, where she writes for Sword and Shield, the student news magazine

Have you noticed that the war between seniors and freshmen is still raging, even as the school year nears the halfway mark?

The degree to which each class loathes the other is surprising . . . or is it?

"They're big, ugly, mean, rude, obnoxious, dress weird, are ugly, stupid and ugly," said an anonymous (smart move) freshman from University High School in Irvine.

Given her chance to reply, an anonymous senior said: "You can tell them (freshmen) apart by the clothes they wear to try to look old. But it's not working.

"You can tell how old they are by how short their skirts are."

The shorter, the younger.

But what's inside those clothes is also of concern to students at the top and bottom of the high school social ladder.

"They're too big," said a freshman of the seniors. "They're very scary, loud . . . some are crazy drivers . . . immature at times."

Said another freshman: "The senior class is amazingly slow. The seniors have no spirit or humor."

So all seniors are overgrown and underdeveloped?

In response, a senior said, "The (freshmen) girls all look the same and the guys get smaller every year."

Maybe so, but don't forget the seniors are a few years older .

But then there's the restroom, and senior girls want very badly to offer their freshman counterparts a few beauty tips.

"The freshman girls go to the bathroom in herds of 10," senior Leigh-Anne Jones said. "They are always checking their makeup."

Her beauty tip: "Go easy on the hair spray."

Some say proximity breeds contempt.

Advises senior Robert Bui: "They (freshmen) are usually all right as long as they stay away."

Said another anonymous freshman: "Seniors are OK as long as you don't talk to them."

For some freshmen, however, even recognizing a senior can prove difficult.

"Where are all the seniors?" one said. "Is there like an underground place where they hide? I only see juniors on campus."

A freshman with a more up-close-and-personal relationship said: "Since I'm a freshman, I don't know much about them (seniors) except that they try to rip you off, steal things, act tough, ditch class, push you around, think they know it all and look at you in a funny way. . . . Other than that, I have no problems with them."

While some freshmen have a genuine dislike for seniors, others, it appears, try to emulate them.

"I think the freshmen are acting 'too cool,' " said an anonymous senior. "They try to act like seniors."

Advises senior Ben Eastman: "They try to be too cool. So did we. They will learn that school image isn't so important in a few years."

Just relax, be yourself and have a good time. You'll regret it if you don't."

And, believe it or not, there was a freshman with a sympathetic view toward seniors: "I feel sorry for seniors because I know how hard it would be for me to have people four years younger in my classes."

It may, in fact, be intimidating to seniors to have a freshman sitting in their Advanced Placement Calculus class, but senior Ryan Le apparently doesn't have this problem.

"They (freshmen) are nothing!" Le said. "They are just pebbles in the universe!"

Despite this worldly view, it may be just this type of thinking that leads freshmen to complain that they are shown no respect.

"Seniors are too stuck up and too proud of themselves," an anonymous freshman said. "They think they are special kings. They can eat my shorts!"

Do most freshmen hate seniors as much as seniors are supposed to hate freshmen? The answer is somewhere in between.

To some degree, both recognize the humanity in the other.

"Most of the seniors are nice and haven't done anything to me . . . yet," an anonymous freshman said. "But sometimes I feel pressured because when I walk by or do something, they look at me weird."

Said another freshman: "I think the seniors have pretty much been cool, except for the fact that it is their duty to kinda pick on us 'cause they got picked on before."

And the seniors' side?

"I always thought freshmen were just little kids," senior Dirk Lewin said. "But I think I'm changing that opinion."

Hmmmm, wonder why.

Finally, some friendly advice from an anonymous senior:

"They (freshmen) should relax and not stress out so much. It (the freshman year) should be a kick-back year because it doesn't really count. Just have fun and get used to high school."

After all, as any senior can tell you, it can take as long as four years to get it right.

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