This article is designed for the incoming Freshman V-12er who is now unpacking his trunk in Cambridge, secure in the ascetic belief that his next two or three years will be spent with his nose deep in books. It is intended for the Freshman who thinks Harvard is all hard work, who is going to give up going with women and stick to the intellectual discipline of the University. It is for the man who thinks that he will, perforce, be faithful to his home-town love and will never have a chance to relax with the belies of Greater Boston.
As far as women are concerned there are two types--Genus Coed and Phylum Bostoniensis. Boston and New England are chock full of women's colleges. While trends of thought in recent years have been along the line that most of these homes of happy hunting were accessible only by way of automobile, delving and dredging since the recent rationing program have revealed that the railroad companies have laid branch lines from South Station even to Northampton, Norton, and South Hadley.
The cycle of Harvard excursions has traditionally been from near to far. No matter how much warned, practically every denizen of the Yard hovels has investigated Radcliffe before branching out to Wellesley, Smith, and finally to Vassar. Recent developments, however, have made it a doubtful proposition whether the heaven that has been Poughkeepsie will still be within range of the Harvardian. Even the 14 miles to Wellesley now looks like a long trip. Radcliffe, it is certain, will come to play a larger part in the life of Harvard as time goes on.
What is the truth about 'Cliffe girls? Well, nobody will deny that they're intelligent. A good many of them have fine senses of humor. But when it comes to beauty, there's a minority that George White wouldn't be ashamed of mixed in among a vast majority of twisted-seamed, straight haired, bespectacled young women who are, aesthetically speaking, nonenties. The trick is to pick the sheep from the goats.
Wellesley Hard to Find
Wellesley is a half hour away by auto, an hour by subway and train. A complicated system of transfers will get you back starting as late as 10 o'clock (that's late for Wellesley freshmen during the week). A still better possibility is to command, the young lady to appear in town and meet her at the Back Bay station, which is fairly convenient to the places to go and things to do. She can catch one of a number of trains back. When you go to visit her without means of automotive transport, there is a limited number of prospects before you. Two, in fact. Visiting the corner drug store for a soda and walking around the dimly lit and grassy shores of Lake Waban. The latter type of entertainment is recommended for them as can.
If your interest turns to Bradford, Wheaton, Connecticut, or Colby, make her come to Boston; you'll waste your time visiting her and it'll be worth paying her hotel bill. Probably she'll stop at a Y. W. C. A. have known as the Pioneer anyway, for chaperonage reasons, and there, she pays her own bill. Smith and Vassar are 'good places to visit; go if you can.
Erskine is another handy institution. The physical attractiveness of the girls runs high, but they rarely turn up with enough brains to know what you're talking about if you leave the subject of football. Most of them seem to be lassies from west of the Hudson who didn't make one of the good colleges and who want the advantages of an "Eastern education"; the ratio of snobs is, if anything, higher than that of empty-heads.
Debs, Raymor, etc.
All Boston femininity is divided into three parts--debs, Raymor girls, and others.
Debs are almost uniformly dull, but they do give parties. If you get invited to the Brattle Hall dances or the Eliot Hall dances, go; if the war hasn't put a halt to parties by next year, you'll get to know "the right girls" and be eligible for the stag lines.
The Raymor is as much an unofficial part of Harvard as its next-door neighbor on Huntington Avenue, Symphony Hall. It is inhabited by lonely girls who are just aching for a dancing partner. You pay $.50 to get in and then you ask whom you will to dance. There are no more charges, and you may escort the young lady to her home if you wish, and if she's willing.