Seriously: Freshman matches with Ram Welcome leader on Tinder, awkwardness ensues

Ethan Vassar

Editor’s Note: This is a satire piece from The Collegian’s opinion section. Real names may be used in fictitious/semi-fictitious ways. Those who do not read the editor’s notes are subject to being offended.

FORT COLLINS – College often provides many awkward moments that will inevitably keep students up late, replaying the memories in their head and cringing internally while trying to go to sleep. There is something about these four years that is the perfect recipe for awkward situations to arise. For Colorado State University freshman Mackenzie Peterson, her first awkward college experience happened before even attending her first class. Peterson matched with her Ram Welcome leader her first day at CSU.


Peterson recalls going on Tinder after getting settled in her dorm room, completed with a “live, laugh, love” sign placed next to her bed.

“I was swiping just to find new people to hang out with,” Peterson explained. “I’m from out of state, and I don’t know really anyone here.” 

Going on Tinder during the first week of a new semester, especially as a freshman, is always a danger. The experience is usually limited to a bunch of freshman guys thinking they’re “hot af,” hoping to star in their own Van Wilder movie. Half of all messages exchanged include the phrase “What’s the move tonight?” However, as a bright-eyed freshman from Chicago, Peterson really didn’t know better.

She swiped right on “Bradley, 21” in the hopes that if they did match, he could buy her alcohol because after a stressful move-in day, she was ready to become a stereotypical college alcoholic. She found out he was her Ram Welcome leader later that day when he knocked on her door to let her know the whole hall was going down to get dinner together.

“You could have done a record scratch freeze frame thing out of my face,” Peterson said about the shocked look she had on her face when opening the door.

Going on Tinder during the first week of a new semester, especially as a freshman, is always a danger.

They sat as far apart as possible in the dining hall, the closest they would be for the next few days because Peterson would choose to avoid him at all costs to spare herself from the awkwardness. She missed the informational lectures on drugs, alcohol and consent and skipped the campus tour.

Regarding her decision to avoid the Ram Welcome activities, Peterson said, “I might not know where any of my classes are or anything, but at least I won’t have more of an awkward time.”

Bradley, the senior Ram Welcome leader, felt the awkwardness too. However, after finding out Mackenzie was in his group, he decided to remain professional.

“If she was hotter, I might have tried to push it,” he said. “You’re not supposed to mix business with pleasure, and she’s only like a seven. But if she was a nine or 10, I might have risked it all.”

The Collegian hopes Peterson doesn’t make her college experience any more awkward by hooking up with someone on her floor and would like to remind others who may find themselves in similar situations that CSU does have free counseling sessions.


Satirical writer Ethan Vassar can be reached at or online @ethan_vassar.