Trendspotter: Freshmen

BY DI ARTS STAFF | JULY 17, 2009 7:15 AM

Summer in Iowa City is arguably the most enjoyable and relaxing of any other season around here. Most students have fled the town, which means parking is no longer a battle of the fittest. The Sun is close and the Res, while donning a peculiar stench, offers sufficient cooling and gives permanent Iowa City residents a sense of beachdom.

But with the summer also comes the hordes of incoming freshmen. They line the downtown sidewalks holding those yellow folders like the scarlet letter. The days the parents are in town are the days Iowa City has forgotten how to drive. Dodging the groups on the Pentacrest makes getting to your summer class more a game of Frogger than a leisurely stroll.

When watching the nearly 10,000 new members of the university scamper around the makeshift IMU greeting area on Hubbard Park, the rest of the UI students have the opportunity to scope the fresh meat.

Their thoughts are undoubtedly “Gosh, I’m finally in college,” while their onlookers gasp, “My god, they look like high-schoolers.” Both sexes do their part to don the appropriate attire to attract the opposite sex — short skirts and heavy makeup or flat-billed Cubs’ hat — or to show they’d much rather be listening to My Chemical Romance in the comfort of their parents’ basement.

Wal-Mart and Target display brightly colored dormitory furniture for the 18-year-olds to choose among. Miniature refrigerators and extra-long sheet sets come in bright orange and pink and Iowa Hawkeye gold and black. Apartments Downtown has filled its available apartments for August ’09 to June ’10 for the students who have opted to skip the overwhelmingly imminent temporary housing.

Yes, with the summer heat comes the bountiful and impressionable young folk. So hey, class of 2013, welcome to the University of Iowa. And hey, there’s no cover for under 21 at the Summit on Monday nights.

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