Any processed college grad will explain that the last three years of higher education are devoted to changing majors, reading Voltaire and learning calculus.
The freshman learns how to bum rides, how to break up with a lover through the mail, how to wash permanent press in warm, how to swallow food that wiggles on the tray and how to run up a phone bill larger than grand total of his allowances over 18 years.
Football freshmen are lucky, however, because they learn all this and even more.
At Maryland, they learn that a 6-0, sixth-ranked team doesn't need him to play unless he is one of the lucky handfuls on special teams or unless he is tailback Charlie D. Wysocki, who gets in a few plays about every other game.
They learn that even though college had always flashed the word "freedom" on the marquee in their minds, they will have stricter curfew and will not be allowed the customary beer with dinner.
They grow accustomed to not seeing their face in the paper. And they learn that, unlike the high school coaches who coddled them, college coaches don't have time to listen to them talk about all the above problems.
Of Maryland's remaining 21 freshmen on scholarship (one quit before the first game), one would imagine Wysocki to be the happiest.
Never before has a player earned such popularity before playing a down. Wysocki did this by outgaining the super senior Steve Atkins in preseason scrimmages, and Coach Jerry Claiborne even said at a press conference before the opener that he probably would start Wysocki.
Maryland fans had drunk in stories of Wysocki's enthusiam, along with the heart-warming tale of the black player's adoption as a young teen by a white family. So when Wysocki ran on the field to run his first college play (he didn't start) he got a stirring round of applause. He then carried the ball for four yards and left to more applause.
As it turns out, that is approximately the extent of Wysocki's usual playing time, even though he grabbed the first-string spot and held onto it during summer workouts. He used to return kickoffs but he fumbled one against Loulsville in the second game and didn't see any more action until two games later.
So Wysocki, who will be back on the special team this week and who still plays more than any other freshman, is unhappy.
"I've been feeling just really bad for a while," said Wysocki. "I've gotten upset and I've wanted to go home. It's a really bad feeling. Everybody feels that way - all the freshmen."
There is an army of people from various walks of life whose task it is to encourage the freshman not to quit.
Maryland starting safety Ralph Lary, who sat next to Wysocki on the bus back to the Louisville airport, read Wysocki's mind and replied, "Don't leave. Everybody knows you. Everybody likes you. Even my mother asks about you. Don't do anything stupid."
Freshman quarterback Brent Dewitz, who was driven by his family for a visit to Ohio and back last weekend, said he didn't quit, "mainly because my parents would kill me." Death threats are effective with disconsolate freshman.
Freshman tight end Jay Lomac said he "thought about quitting three times in one day - the morning practice, and the team meeting." But a conversation with a coach convinced him to stay, since it involved the decision to remove him from Maryland's complicated defense.
"I know I made a couple mistakes," said Wysocki. "But the most we've ever had at our football games in high school was 8,000 people. It's tough when you first start off, in front of so many people, trying not to make mistakes.
"Steve (Atkins) fumbled twice in the Syracuse game and he went back in, but he's a senior and I'm a freshman.
"If I could at least carry the ball 10 times a game (he's carried 19 times in five games), I'd be happy. Sometimes coach (Tom Groom, in charge of running backs) will tell me, 'your's going to play this game," and then I don't. He shouldn't do that."
While they wait their turns, freshmen must get their licks in during the "Alamo" and "Zingo" scrimmages Monday and Thursday after the other players have finished practice.This purpose used to be served by junior varsity games, but they were cut out this year, due to a change in the rules that allowed freshman to be redshirted.
"I like to hit. I love to hit We don't get to hit enough," said Brown, the most talkative freshman. "I'm happy here because sometimes. I get to beat on offensive linemen. I love to hit the quarterback, you know?"
"I hit (backup Mike) Tice one day and he got hot. He gets up mad. I say, 'are you all right?' He says, 'if you don't get away from me I'm gonna beat your behind,' - except he doesn't say behind. I said, 'I'll beat yours.'
"Oh, yeah, I've been in fights. You get tired of standing there. Practice is what you make it.
"We're all good friends. I like Tice a lot. I call him 'Lurch' and 'Frankenstein.' You don't think he looks like a monster? Look at Frankenstein and look at him. Make your own opinion."
Wysocki has a car but his parents would not let him bring it to school his freshman year, "because I might get into trouble." So Wysocki has been off campus once, to Georgetown, discoing with senior Charlie Johnson after a game.
"If somebody hadn't been there to lead me home," said Wysocki, "I wouldn't have known how to get back. I haven't been anywhere except to the airport, and that was the campus airport."
Like Brown, Wysocki has been known to let out his frustrations on the field. In scrimmage, battle lines are clearly drawn between offense and defense, and Wysocki's main partner in distress is the 6-foot-7 Tice. Tice is white, a sophomore and seven inches taller than Wysocki, but they are spirtual twins, full of the same energy and impatience.
In one scrimmage, Tice felt Wysocki "was getting cheap-shooted" and when fists started flying after a tackle of Wysocki, Tice, who was heading toward the play as a trailing blocker, flew to Wysocki's rescue.
"They're not fights. They're just frustrations being let out," said Wysocki.
"It's the only time we get to play, you know? Mike and I talk a lot. He wanted to quit, too. He talked to his parents the same day I talkd to mine."
Tice's telephone bill is always among the Top 10, because like many freshmen he is (a) unhappy that he's not starting, (b) close to his family and (c) still dates the girl back home.
Wysocki's phone bill hit three digits recently because of a conversation he had with an old friend named Derrick Harvey, a freshman defensive back at the University of Washington.
"He's really discouraged," said Wysocki sympathetically. "He wants to transfer here."