What I Did Freshman Year at College [1968]

If heartaches were alcoholic I’d be drunk all the time.

I should start with how I picked Hamline University.  Back before there was an internet, there was Lovejoy’s College Catalogue which listed every college in the United States.  Every high school kid needs to come up with their own criteria to narrow down the possibilities.  For me it went like this:

  1. I wanted to play hockey in college so it had to be a northern school.
  2. Because I was a lousy hockey player, it had to be a small school so I could make the team.
  3. If it was going to be a small school, it had to be in a big city (as I believed I still had a few wild oats to sow).
  4. It had to be co-ed.
  5. The first school in the alphabet that met all of the above was Hamline in St.Paul/Minneapolis, and when I checked the hockey standings I saw that Hamline’s team usually came in last or near to last – good!

    These years turned me around - and made me who I am

    These years turned me around – and made me who I am

  6.  Like I said, I went to college to turn over a new leaf.  This included picking a school that no one else from my very large (4,000 kids) suburban Chicago high school was going to go to.  When no one else in my high school signed up to meet with the admissions counselor from Hamline, it looked like Hamline was it . . . but I had to see it for myself first.
  7. Hitchhiked up Spring Break high school senior year to check it out.  Got my best ride from some Univ. of Wisconsin students heading back to college in Eau Claire, who, after a tour of the Eau Claire pubs, dared me to walk into Old Main, take the portrait of the President of the University off the wall, and bring it back to them in their car waiting out front.  When they saw I actually was coming out the door with it, they threw my duffle bag out the window and sped off.  I leaned the portrait against a tree, picked up my duffle bag, and continued hitchhiking to Minnesota.
  8.  My last ride dropped me at Snelling & University saying this was the busiest intersection in the Twin Cities, not quite State & Madison in Chicago I thought.  I bought a six-pack at Art’s Bar and got a motel room a half block from the campus.  I did not sign up for the regular college sponsored tour of the campus because I needed to see for myself if this was really where I wanted to go for the next four years.  Found out that Minnesota hadn’t invented pop-tops yet, so knocked on the door of the first fraternity house to see if they could spare a can opener, but was told “We don’t drink here.”  The next frat house not only had a can opener, but the guy who answered the door invited me to go get my six-pack and bring it back.  That’s how I picked Hamline and started turning over a new leaf.

Tomorrow:  College Roommates


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