On Oct. 16, Stony Brook University hosted its annual Commons Day seminar for first-year students with guest speaker, writer and transgender rights activist, Janet Mock. Commons Day is a yearly event in which the author of the first-year reading requirement comes and speaks to students and staff.
The term “freshman year” has the tendency to elicit the response of a sort of pained laugh. This occurs not only for current university students, but also for anyone who attended their first year of college. The phrase has become a subject of suppressed memory, and apparently, even hysteria. Because of this expression’s association with crippling discomfiture and inexperience, an entire year’s worth of recollection eventually becomes horrendously funny. If there were any appropriate motto to subscribe to when entering University, it would be to just laugh through the grief- nervous, restrained laughter.