Eloise Libre | Frankly Candid
Talk the talk
Published: Tuesday, October 22, 2013
Updated: Tuesday, October 22, 2013 08:10
Despite distinct differences among various college social circles, I have noticed one particular strand of commonality — a few select conversation items repeat from clique to clique. These same chats seem to arise in any and every social context. Whether you are a boisterous jock, quiet writer, Pro Row legend or something in between, I can confidently guarantee that these standard topics will come up among your friend groups at some point during the undergraduate experience.
Deciding on Tufts. Again and again, throughout the college social scene, you will discuss the moment you received your acceptance letter, how you reacted and what it meant for you. This comprehensive description usually touches upon feelings, parents, the application process, waiting, more waiting and untimely email server crashes. And, of course the big question: Were you ED?
Pronunciation of certain words and choice phrases, especially within a regional context. Among every group of friends, individuals tend to discuss “accents” and various colloquialisms: Room? Aunt? Caramel? Either? Mad cool, yo? Hella rad, brah? No matter what, though, we have too much hometown pride to relinquish our own styles in favor of assimilating to the Tufts Twang.
Vegetarianism (and other interesting food regiments). Considering the “Tufts chic” label of vegetarians and general hype these days around Paleo, vegan and gluten-free-for-various-reasons diets, many college students have tried, if not, have heard of and are willing to discuss these habits. Motives behind trying a diet, how long it lasted and whether it was worth the effort are all hot topics in this domain.
Kids’ television, specifically Nickelodeon shows and Disney Channel Original Movies. Everyone had their favorites growing up and no one is afraid to tell you what they were. “Rugrats,” “Spongebob” and “The Luck of the Irish” are classics, but the conversation will likely transition to “Rocket Power,” “SmartHouse” and “Brink!” thereby fueling arguments over the best and worst of our time. This discussion reflects our eternal fascination with childhood throwbacks.
Pictures on ID cards. This one is a given; ultimately, one friend will pull out a wallet to reveal some horrifyingly pre-pubescent driver’s license photo. This inevitably prompts an exchange of ID cards and reveling in each other’s embarrassing sixteen-year-old hairstyles and acne.
A discussion of the differences and overlaps between the terms “cute,” “hot,” “beautiful” and “pretty” — and possibly others that fit into this category. This topic spurs from media overload, where celebrities receive tireless judgment via these labels. But in analyzing the various connotations of these terms, we often just want people to tell us which one(s) we fit, a reliable ego-booster.
High school pranks. This inevitable exchange capitalizes on the eccentric deeds of everyone’s (not-so) rebellious past. His senior class zip-tied the lockers. Hers Saran-wrapped the principal’s car. Mine was pretty lame, but I still tell everyone about it anyway, just to contribute to the conversation.
Age of first cell phone/smartphone. Somehow, this conversation turns into a competition to determine which friend suffered from the most technology-deficient childhood. We ultimately address the modern disgrace that is fourth-graders glued to their iPhones, mostly because it makes us feel mature and wholesome to associate with an older, superior generation; we are proud to have grown up independent of 3G convenience.
Singing “Wagon Wheel.” At some point in college, every friend group shares in this amateur musical moment, either around a campfire, while driving down the highway with the windows down or over a late-night snack. Of course, the tune never sounds great (every social circle has a token tone-deaf friend) and yet sharing in this classic melody unifies groups like nothing else.
Eloise Libre is a senior majoring in history. She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org