Freshman Friday: the infamous hazing ritual at Berkeley High School (BHS). Every September, the upperclassmen humiliate and egg the incoming freshmen.
As a tradition based on hate, it was bound to end eventually; that’s where we’ve found ourselves now.
For the past few years, participation in Freshman Friday has been steadily declining, and it seems that more students are coming to the realization that hazing is a nasty ritual.
The general consensus among BHS students is that we should be happy to see Freshman Friday go. One ninth grader stated, “We should be accepting the freshmen; it’s a big school and I have gotten lost, so just show us our way and don’t egg us!”
The change from middle school to high school is a big one, and what freshmen really need is help adjusting, not guilt from getting egged.
Additionally, ninth graders have the lowest grades and worst behavior out of all the high school grade levels, according to the journal Education. Ergo, it’s honestly great that hazing at BHS is winding down, since freshmen need so much support.
According to a tenth grader at BHS, the tradition just isn’t decent. “I wouldn’t egg anyone,” they stated. “I don’t think it’s fair. Also, you’re going off of the assumption of someone’s age.” They make a good point, which is that on a basic level the tradition is mean, but it also offers a lot of opportunity for error. For example, if you egged someone you thought was a freshman, but they turned out to be an upperclassman, you would have humiliated someone who you didn’t even mean to hurt. In the end, the only thing Freshman Friday is good for is making people sad, and that includes returning students.
The reason that Freshman Friday is disappearing is an elusive one. On the one hand, it could simply be because we are getting lazier. Students might be of the mindset that they won’t waste their money on eggs, but they’ll laugh along with those who do, and the happy consequence is that there are only a few people left to actually do the egging. On the other hand, the more promising possiblity is that participation may be decreasing because we are realizing that it’s a disgusting tradition.
Current seniors may be choosing to not participate because they were subject to hazing as freshmen, and refuse to put other people through what they experienced. Other students may just have witnessed the hazing, and consequently come to the conclusion that it’s traumatic. Most likely, Freshman Friday is disappearing because of a combination of the two possibilities; but in the end, it doesn’t really matter why it’s disappearing, it just matters that it is.
There will always be students at BHS that want to maintain Freshman Friday. As our tenth grade interviewee said, “I think there’s always going to be people who want to just egg others.”
Hazing is a sort of game for those doing the hazing, so there will indefinitely be people who find it fun. However, it is by no means a game for those getting hazed, and as more people come to understand this, Freshman Friday will slowly flicker out. A revival is possible if the tradition becomes extinct and those who did not experience it decide to bring it back, ignorant of its consequences; but for now, it is safe to say that Freshman Friday is on its deathbed. An era of social acceptance may very well be ahead of us.