Throughout my adolescence, I accumulated a distinct picture of the “true” college experience. My cousin taught me that college girls were “easy and loose for an ear and a masseuse.” And my best friend’s brother, who attended a state school in the south, told me that he had two girlfriends at the same time. He quickly became my idol.

Seeped in teen angst and sexual frustration, my high school years dragged on. Meanwhile, the prospects of college grew more promising.

“Join a fraternity,” my Junior Varsity basketball coach told me in tenth grade, “and you will never be unpopular again.”

“I disagree,” my Varsity basketball coach told me a year later. “You need to get into a fight with a frat guy in his own house. If you win, you will be a legend.”

Even my dad, who spent a lifetime sporting Austin Powers glasses, became a stud in college.

“It’ll be OK,” he told me sympathetically. “I didn’t have a girlfriend in high school either, but in college I lost my virginity to my English professor.”

Based on my first week at UR, it seemed as though these “expectations” would be fulfilled. During my RA’s introductory speech to my freshman hall, he emphasized the point: “There is to be no sex in the laundry room,” seeming to imply there was a precedent for sex taking place in the laundry room.

Things only got better that weekend during my first ever fraternity Toga party. There, I met a huge fraternity brother named “Jaws” took bites out of unopened beer cans.

But after that magical first week, the faade of uninhibited escapades was brushed aside to reveal a lifestyle of painstaking routine. The closest I ever came to having sex in the laundry room was when I watched “Sex and the City,” as I was doing my laundry. Jaws, the man whom I believed to be the epitome of college debauchery, would soon be accepted into medical school, aided largely by his 3.95 GPA.

And in the years that followed, I never got tangled in a love triangle, nor felt the exhilaration of being in a fight. A crowd of people wouldn’t gather around me to chant my name – I never gave them a reason to. It was this realization that led me to the front steps of a fraternity holding the final big party of the year. It had been three years since I last found myself on the Frat Quad, but while my goal then was to find girls, on this night my purpose was entirely different – to become a legend.

Marching through the hoard of drunk freshmen waiting for entrance into the fraternity, I approached the doorman and shouted, “You gonna open the door or do I have to open it myself?””Steve?” the doorman answered apprehensively. “Is that you?” He squinted his eyes for a moment. Grabbing me by the shoulders and pushing me through the door, he continued, “I can’t believe you came!”

Shocked at the good fortune of my mistaken identity, I could only nod before I turned to face the ongoing party. I scanned the room, looking for the toughest-looking guy. I finally saw him by the keg of beer.

Picking up an empty cup from the floor, I began walking in his direction and upon approaching him, drove my shoulder forcefully into his chest. I let myself drop the cup I was holding and looked up at him.

“See what you made me do?” I began angrily. “Now pour me another beer!” The guy looked down at me for a few moments in disbelief before he finally said, “I’m really sorry about that.” He then held out his own beer. “Here,” he told me, “have mine.”

At that moment, I knew I would never bring myself to start a fight with anyone let alone win it. Crestfallen, I walked toward the exit. Suddenly, two hands grabbed my shoulders and spun me around violently. I oriented myself just in time to see a fist heading for the side of my head. The next thing I knew, I was on the floor and a muscular guy with bleached blond hair was standing over me.

“Steve,” he yelled. “that was for sleeping with my girlfriend.”

“You got it all wrong,” I answered, picking myself up from the floor, “I’m not….” Cutting me off was a large crowd, which had now gathered around us chanting “fight.”

The muscular guy grabbed me by the collar and threw me to the ground. Behind me I noticed a guy who looked similar to myself, trying to sneak out through the front door.

“Hey!” I yelled pointing at him, “it’s you!” Then someone behind me turned toward the guy at the door and yelled,

“Andrew Schwartz? Is that you?” To which someone else responded, “You’re Andrew Schwartz? I stole your student ID freshman year and used 50 dollars of your declining.” At the conclusion of this confession, I heard someone shout, “Andrew tutored me in Math 141 and I got a C+ !” And then a girl yelled; “He folded my laundry when I left it for too long in the dryer!”

And with that, the crowd began to chant, “Andrew” over and over, my heart beamed with pride, for I had finally become a hero.

Schwartz is a Take Five Scholar.



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