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Welcoming Celebration for the Fresh Men (รับน้อง)

This is 2 years after those days, I believe that all my friends who stood with me in that darkness can remember as same as me. Really, it was just a kind of celebration for the fresh men in University, but the seniors did it in negative way. They were just older than us, the fresh men, only 2 years. They said that what they did, are important and beneficial for us, and we all had to do the same thing, but until now, I have never found any benefit that they gave us.

The seniors faked and betrayed the fresh men. Because the university was in country where was far from Bangkok city around 2 hours on high way, whose parents did not have car or did not have time, had to rent apartments or rooms for their children. For my house, it was just 1 hours to get the university, so I did not need any room for staying there. For the students who lived in that province, they should not rent any room, too. When the first day at university came, the senior tried to pretend us that everybody all had to rent a room because the first year Architecture students had a lot of homework and a lot of group work, and many time, we had to stay at studio till midnight. Most of my friends believed them, and that was possible for us who were not the sophisticate. I believed them, too, so I asked my parent to rent a room for me, and that was pretty expensive because I did nothing on it after I know the realistic of the savage seniors. The first year student did not have any hard homework or a lot of group work. We had never stayed at studio till midnight, but we had to stay at lower level from 6 pm till midnight on Monday to Friday. The savage seniors always called every fresh man to be there and began roar around us who had to close the eyes and bow the head down. They called this act, “the repair”, it meant the repair of our behavior because they thought that our behavior was wrong, anyway it was right. I was one of the fresh men who could not escape from this rule, but when I could not endure with the seniors’ jeering roaring anymore, I swore with myself that I would never come to “the repair” again. After that, I was in the dilemma between I hated to go to “the repair”, and all my friends who could not bring me to “the repair” had to get the punishments from seniors. Most punishments were push-up for the boys and sit on the air for the girls.

Once in that semester, we had a lot of individual homework and had to finish it within one day, but we had to go to “the repair”, too. That was not my problem because I would not go there, but it was my friends’ problem. There was a group of pretending seniors who seemed like kind women, they advise some of my friends to copy the homework for other students and let other students go to “the repair” without doing any homework, so my friends did. When the deadline of that homework came, The professor knew that my friends was the copiers for all students in the class, that was evidently from that pretending seniors who told the professor. The professor deducted every student’s grade and deduct my grade, too although my homework was not from that copier friends. I grasped that we were just the foolish of the betraying senior who could not have any pretext.

All he seniors’ rules were so absurd to do. They always told the first year students in “the repair” that 1) Who were here before are older, and who were here after were younger: 2) The olders were greater than younger: 3) If the olders did something wrong, went back to see 1) and 2). That was the reason why the fresh men had to do everything by the seniors’ orders. There was an order which I thought that was a little right, but it was still absurd, the girls could not be in any place without the boy. Really, it kept us to stay secure, but in university was already secure because there were only students from other major who walked around as same as book store or library in a regular university. Here also meant I could not go somewhere with only the female friends, too. In my opinion, if I went as a group of girls, I did not need the have a boy in the group all the time. Each girl had to have a male buddy to follow every time. If the seniors saw a girl or many girls go somewhere without the boy, they would remember and punished the buddies of those girls to push-up. The senior also wanted us to remember all friends’ student ID. I thought this was the most stupid thing to do. There were more than 90 students in my major, and each student had 7 numbers in student ID. If they found that I could not remember, they would blame me in front of all my friends that I did not care them.

A year later when my friends were not the fresh men anymore, there was no rule and “the repair” (ซ่อมน้อง) so we was able to do whatever we wanted, but many things that the seniors left were still stick to us. Most of us hated the senior. Some of us hated each other who let them get the punishment. There were 2 students had gasp disease, they were easy to have convulsion when they were tired. One of the two was a girl. The tall seniors crowd around her and blamed that she was not endure. For the boy, the seniors pushed him down and let him wallow on the floor, then he convulsed, but the seniors did not have any drug for him. Our parents also hated the seniors especially the boys’ parents. The male seniors required 200 baths from each first year students to buy alcohol for their party, but some students did not have enough money, they had to ask from their parents. Another thing that they did for celebration of the welcoming us was the boys who wore their new uniform (because they are 1 year student, they had new uniform.) had to wallow in soggy mud. The seniors did not think about the parents who just brought new uniforms for their child. After that, those uniforms could not be washed so the students had to throw them away. More than the bad things that the seniors left for us, they also left the bad health. Most of the male fresh men had never smoked before, but the seniors forced them to smoke till they became addicts. These were just some bad things that we could not left then behind.

This smack was so strong, hard and bitter. I did not want to keep it for my juniors when I became the senior. I said solely to my friends who wanted to do this to our juniors as same as what we got together. They just ignored and said that was the tradition of Architecture in this university. For the professors, they did not care, and some of they also support because those professor had been the senior before. Now, I do not understand how they can be happy on other pain, or it was just for revenge to the next juniors.

Words and Photos : Sw Eden (สว อิเฎล)

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