My hall-mates and I were meeting friends for lunch at Lower one week early September when our friends texted us, “Have to stop by the Mods. Meet there if you want.”
Naturally, as freshmen, we thought, “Of course we want to meet you in the Mods.” Someone presented an opportunity to see the Holy Grail of BC housing, and we accepted.
Walking through the Mod gates to find our friends, we were sure everyone could tell we were freshmen the way we gawked our way around. People were walking in and out from one Mod to the next. They have sliding doors! They have kitchens! They have grills! By the time we reached the other end of the Mods, we turned to each other with “This is it?” looks.
Staring at the Mods for too long exposes that these highly coveted senior apartments look like neglected summer camp cabins. We laughed and said, “Well, it’s not about what they look like right?” and decided to explore the Mods at night. Clearly, we were missing something, so we endured the drunken weekend Newton bus one Friday to see Mod nightlife.
Seconds after walking into the Mods, we heard people from a group near the entrance call out “Heeeey,” raising their plastic bottles. I recognized some as freshmen from class, so we stopped to talk to them.
One boy in the group grabbed the bottle in his back pocket, sloshed it in our faces, and said, “I don’t drink. This is water.” Then he laughed, took a swig, and said, “That was a lie. Are you drunk?”
When we said no, our new friend, looking disgusted, replied, “I’m sorry.”
At first, my friends and I were offended that this slurring water-bottle boy pitied us when he and his friends were barely forming coherent sentences and speaking in fake French accents to get girls to accompany them into a Mod. We were sorry for them. Then, as the night went on, we started to feel sorry for all the other Mod-crazy freshmen.
There were freshmen everywhere standing in circles chugging mixed drinks, waiting in line for bouncers to let them in, or banging on doors. My friends and I kept running into people from class and laughing at the constant questions, “Have you gotten in yet?” and “Can you help us?” Most of these people never spoke to us Monday through Thursday, but here we were, Friday night, and boys needed us to fulfill the unwritten ratio rule.
Seeing people I knew made me realize how many desperate freshmen the Mods attract on the weekends. I had heard the Mods were a fun time, but clearly not for people like the aforementioned Water-Bottle Boy who walked Mod to Mod emptying his water bottle of courage.
He epitomized the freshman struggle after trying to get past a bouncer. He said he lived off-campus and knew “Joe,” but still had the door shut in his face. His failure showed my friends and me the phenomena of Mod bouncing. What we thought was a free for all on weekend nights was actually a system of made up stories to which bouncers replied “Sorry. No freshmen!”
A friend lives in the Mods and told me bouncing is horrible. She recounted a time she hid from people in her own Mod because they claimed to be invited that night when they had only met her once months before. Mod residents even have sweatshirts with the tagline “Who do you know here?” so it’s clear that the banging-on-doors-I-know-Joe-freshmen are unwanted. I would think that my fellow freshmen would understand their pursuits have been unsuccessful after they’ve witnessed seniors bouncing us, hiding from us, and wearing sweatshirts explicitly saying we are unwelcome.
Freshmen are probably not the only people trying to Mod-hop, but the way I hear my peers talking about their weekend exploits at breakfast makes me think that getting into a Mod is our only goal. For example, two girls showed me a blurry, red-eye picture of them holding drinks one Sunday. “We were in a dance Mod. There are different kinds of Mods. It was so sweaty though, and no one was really dancing,” one girl told me.
Though they were nonchalantly passing their phones around the table, I could see through this pseudo-blasé storytelling. If anyone else saw that picture, they’d have said, “You should’ve turned your flash off,” not “Wow, you look like you’re having a great time”
Breakfast time stories and people like Water-Bottle Boy teach me that, to many people, it doesn’t matter if no one can tell where they are, what they’re drinking, or who they’re with in the Instagram photo, they just need to get into a Mod. They have to appear like the type of people that Mod-hop, the people that always have a good time. It’s all in the red-eye.
[Editor's Note: Gavel Media reminds you to drink legally and responsibly.]