Upperclass Eye for the (Straight) Freshman Guy

Freshman males. Even the name sounds ridiculous: one part naïve plus two parts masculine is just like a recipe for ...
By Alexander J.B. Wells

Freshman males. Even the name sounds ridiculous: one part naïve plus two parts masculine is just like a recipe for intolerable, and generally it is. But never fear, assorted bros: the upperclassmen are here for you. And for those of you that haven’t got a teammate, FOP leader, or high school acquaintance to take you under his avuncular wing, FM has assembled its own special team to give the freshman male the make-over he desperately needs.

At ’em, boys.


Between scenesters and prepsters and philosophy doctorates, there’s no single Harvard look—so don’t try and fit in. Even still, it’s important to keep in mind the underlying principles of Ivy style, which are hard to decode when you’re new around here.

If there’s one thing people love, it’s privilege. If there are two things people love, they’re privilege and watersports. A real winner learns to combine the two: put some whales on your bowtie, some sailing boats on your short-shorts, and a harpoon gun on the front of your bicycle. Go hard for your habitus, bro.

There’s one other fashion item which is yours to rock and yours alone, and that’s the lanyard. In a place like this you’ve got to be in control. Oh shit, where are your keys? You know exactly where they are. Wait, have you got your ID on you? Fuck yeah, you do. So, uh, what school do you go to? You don’t even have to tell them. It’s dangling from your neck.

Because you’re in control, man.

A wide range of coastal-chic clothing is available at J. Press and The Andover Shop, and if you hunt well for bargains you can usually pick up a sock or two for below the $200 mark. You’ve already received a Harvard lanyard for free.


Sometimes it seems like all the guys drink here is cheap beer in red cups. You get a chance to stand out from the crowd if you follow our advice and keep a few bottles of cheap red wine sitting around your room. Not only is it actually quite tasty—though tasty in a balsamic-vinegar-and-battery-acid kind of way—its presence in your room will lend your pad a sense of otherwordly sophistication that underage Americans just love.

If you end up actually having to serve this wine to other freshmen, then try to keep things modest. Just stab out the cork with your buddy’s Swiss Army knife, fill up those Solo cups, and continually draw attention to the fact that you’re drinking wine, and wine is really sophisticated. Just like you.

Don’t bother with Two Buck Chuck—that’s just passé. You can get a dry Pinot Noir [PEE-nott NOI-ah] at Trader Joe’s for $2.99 plus tax, which you should vindicate as “not a bad drop” in your best Queen’s English.


College is the time for experimenting, and that goes for facial hair as well. There are too many guys out there wasting their best years on baby-bum chins and bald upper lips. Rookie error, chicos. Freshman year is the time to redefine yourself—sure, you like to work hard, but you’re a chill guy as well, and what better way to show you’re laid-back and interesting than a scraggly patch of man-shrub on your face?

A beardy fuzz works great with the ladies, but all insiders know that the moustache is the key to the city. When every square in the room is exposing his soft, pasty philtrum for the world to see, you’re the boss in the corner exuding rugged mystery behind your Charlie Chaplin toothbrush. And who cares if it’s still a little whispy? Swag it off, little brother.

Facial hair won’t cost you a cent, but “Free Moustache Ride” T-shirts are available on zazzle.com for under $20.


A man’s home is his castle, they say, so make sure that yours shows you really are a king. Posters are a great start. To show that your heart’s in the right place—and to really flip the bird to the man—grab an edgy looking stencil of Che Guevara or a Bob Marley with a marijuana leaf. Twinkly Christmas lights will showcase your sensitivity, and a giant tower of red cups functions both as a vague symbol of virility and as a tangible expression of your wild side.

If you really want to do something special for the freshman ladies, then your best bet is getting yourself a pet. Animals are illegal, hence a rebellious kind of sexy, but they also show you’ve got a well-developed capacity for nurturing. And to cap it all off, if your animal’s species is the same as a final club’s name, people will think you’re all up in the upperclass party scene every time you’re talking about your pet. I couldn’t tell you how much ass I got as a frosh because my roomies and I owned a fox called “The Pudding.”

Posters at Newbury Comics start at around $10; red foxes tend to be prohibitively expensive but there are easy-to-follow instructions for home-made fox traps on about.com.


Freshman girls will tell you that they really just love nice guys. Don’t believe them. Freshman girls really love guys with accomplishments—and I mean all kinds of accomplishments. Take every opportunity to bring up your SAT scores, your high school extracurriculars, and how much you and your buddies drank over the summer. A good collection of conquest underwear displayed in your room can certainly help in this regard; wearing a Wellesley lanyard around can kill two birds with one stone.

At the end of the day, though, the key to your romantic success here is culture. Dance floor wooing is all about mouthing the words to the song that’s on—and nothing is quite so touching as when two beautiful young people stare into each other’s eyes across a party, two pairs of lips moving in perfect unison as they spell out the chorus of “Bitches Ain’t Shit” together. So brush up on your lyrics, bro.

Fake conquest underwear can be purchased from Tokyo vending machines for a few hundred yen.

In The Meantime