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Why should any man need advice on getting along with girls? Well...when you mix them with books, football games and chem labs, things might begin to get a little complicated.

"Getting Along With Co-eds"

by Force Kennett



Vol. 1 No. 7 1957

    GOING to a co-educational school can be glorious fun. But it can also be a traumatic experience to an innocent young boy who isn't used to having girls around constantly.
     Before we discuss specifics, it would be wise to consider the general. Exactly what is a co-ed?
     Leave us analyze the word. The first syllable, "co," is the accepted abbreviation for the word "company." The "ed" comes from "educational," meaning smart. So a co-ed is a girl who is smart company, or a hep chick. In other words, when you first get to a co-ed school, be sure you get in with a fast-moving, hep, smart crowd.
     Picture yourself as a green freshman. You move into your dormitory and very probably meet a roommate who is new to you. Unfortunately, co-ed colleges do not extend the co-educational feature to dormitories, so your roommate will be a practicing male. (One hopes the future will see a more liberal interpretation of this custom.) Look him over care fully. If he seems bookish--wears glasses, has a dictionary, eagerly looks forward to the first day of classes--ignore him. He'll be no help, except possibly during exam week.
     But if he seems like a decent sort--has a car, loud ties, ample supply of bourbon and money, eagerly looks forward to the first college dance--why then get buddy-buddy. You and he can have a delightful higher education.
     When your first class comes, look the dames over with extreme care. You'll find all sorts--looking for-husband kinds, looking-for-fun types and an occasional stray looking-for-learning girl. Stick to the fun-seekers. Park yourself in an adjoining seat and begin with a little sly thigh-pinching. Nothing like a good, introductory pinch to let you know how the land lies.
     If she says, "Get lost," get lost. If she says, "Boy, high school was never like this," you two can make beautiful music, even in introductory sociology.
     You've got to be very careful about your quarry, however. There is a tendency among college girls to wear big, bulky, sloppy sweaters. These can be most deceptive. You may find you've gotten attached to nothing more substantial than a handful of heavy yarn. If you are somewhat taken with of these bulky sweater girls, hold your fire. Wait until you see her in some other garb. Maybe you can find out where the seniors have their gym-peeking lockout station, or where the juniors maintain their dormitory window telescope. If those secrets are too closely guarded, wait until the first formal dance, then take a good long scientific look.
     Other co-eds are fairer about their costumes. They wear tight sweaters. (Even here, of course, there's a possible avenue of deceit, but we won't go into that, became even high school boys know all about that nowadays.) The chances are that a tight sweater girl will be on the up and up. If she had something to hide--or, rather, nothing to show--she'd be in a bulky sweater.
     So you'll be wise to stick to the tight sweater co-eds. They are the honest, sincere, straight forward kind of person. You might not like to take home to mother, but you can he sure that father would approve.
     Almost every college will have some special nook for lovers. Sometimes it's a secluded walk. Some times it's a deserted stadium. Sometimes it's the dark recesses of the library. You will soon learn where it is on your campus. It is a wise precaution--almost as important as paying your tuition--to scout this spot carefully in broad daylight. Get to know it as well as you know the inside of your empty little wallet. Then, when it comes dark and you're squiring a willing little sophomore around, you won't be stumbling over rocks or book shelves, as the case may be. And you'll know which are the best corners, where you'll stand less chance of being disturbed.
     You have to be extra-careful where you walk in the lovers' hangout during the big dance week-ends. There'll be bodies all over the joint.. You'll be walking along, looking for a place to rest your weary bones (both sets) and you'll stumble over an outstretched leg.
     "I'm terribly sorry, sir," you'll say.
     "I'm not a sir, I'm a girl," the voice will answer.
     "Say, your voice sounds familiar...Aren't you Jeannie Pflueger, from the nice legs in English Lit 41?"
     "Yeah, that's me."
     "Gee it's nice to bump into you like this. What a jerk that Prof. Beowulf is."
     "Ssssh. These other legs. His."
     So you flunk English Lit 41. Wait'll next year.
     But you've learned a lesson that is even more valuable than anything you can learn from Chaucer. You've learned to be careful about opening your big fat mouth. You never can tell who'll be right next to you, or even underneath you. The best thing to do is keep your lips buttoned, except on business.
     Another pitfall for every freshman is the student nurse. If she's halfway decent looking, every boy in school will fall in love with her. There may be co-eds of all shapes and sizes, ready, willing and able, but there's something about a shapely nurse in a crisp white uniform that excites any man, even freshmen.
     You will find yourself sick at the slightest provocation, You will go to the infirmary with anything from a small hangnail to a large head.
     "Good morning, nurse," you'll say.
     "Oh, call me Bubbles," she'll answer. It's an old game to her.
     "Gee, Bubbles, I'm having trouble with my liver again."
     "Just what seems to be the matter?"
     "Pains, bad pains. Right here." And you take her hand and guide it to your liver, which gets lower with each visit. She'll hold it there a second, then bring it smartly across your cheek. That's OK, because the next day you can come back with a broken jaw.
     The chances are mighty slim that you'll make any progress with her. The competition is too stiff--doctors, professors, seniors, juniors, sophomores and janitors rank higher than you. But it's good experience to try and you never can tell.
     There is one case on record of a freshman who made some remarkable time with the student nurse in a southern college. Of course, it was right after the war and he was the only male student in an all-female college. But at least it's a precedent.
     But we are getting away from the subject of co-eds..
     You must realize one very important thing about these girls. They are young and they're going through a severe emotional trial. It is their first time, in all probability, away from the security of their homes. They may be like little birds, on their first flight away from the nest. They may be shy, easily-frightened, hard to understand.
     Like the following case, which is famous in the annals of educational psychology. A sweet little 16-year-old named Maybelle Jung, an only child who had been sheltered and protected all her life, entered one of the big midwestern state universities. She was a pretty little thing, with a figure that was just ripening into adult womanhood. The first night at college, she cried with homesickness. The second night, she cried. The third night, she was drunk and laughed herself to sleep. Within a week, she'd become notorious on the campus and the dean of women had to call her in for a conference.
     "Miss Jung," she said. "What seems to be the trouble? I hear very bad reports about you."
     "Bad reports about me? Why, I thought I was getting along fine. The boys all say I'm very good."
     "That's just what I mean. You aren't here to have love affairs, you're bear to learn."
     "I'm learning. Why just last night, in the agricultural research farm, one of the football men showed me--."
     "Exactly. You're learning sex. I mean you should be learning something that will help you in your later life."
     "I think sex will be a big help to me in my later life."
     "Yes, but--."
     Before the conversation ended, Maybelle Jung convinced the dean of women that she was, indeed, learning a great deal from college. The upshot of the interview was that the dean asked Maybelle to get her a date for the Freshman Frolics. And the dean became one of the wildest girls on the campus. Maybelle adjusted nicely.
     It is often harder for a boy to adjust than for a girl. It has something to do with hormones, probably. It is at the age of a college freshman--around 16 or 17--that there is the widest difference between boys and girls. A 16-year-old girl is considerably more mature than a 16-year-old boy. She is interested in men of 20 or 21; he is interested in girls of his own age. So there isn't anybody who is particularly interested in a 16-year-old boy, except maybe his mother and a few precocious 13-year-old girls.
     It leaves the college freshman with an inferiority complex. The girls he craves often think of him as a child. He often sits home while his female classmates are stepping out with juniors and seniors and other old men. He feels unloved, unwanted, unhappy.
     This is a problem, of course, that time will solve. But, for a few weeks or months, while a young boy is adjusting to college life, it can be a major one in his mind.
     The best thing for the boy to do, if it is geographically possible, is to go back home for a weekend. He'll find the high school girls now find him irresistible. He's a college man (even if he is only a freshman) and, to a high school girl, a college man is something super. So a weekend back amid the adoring high school girls will build up his ego to the point where he can take the icy cold slights of his fellow freshman females.
     If he can't afford to go home, or if it is too far, he might investigate the high schools in the college town. A lot of college men go through an entire four-year-education without once dating a college girl. They find the local girls (townies, they're often called) are less complicated and less expensive than the college girls.
     Enjoy college. It only happens once. Don't worry about learning--you can always learn later. Just have fun.

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