The Collective, is perfect. I fear I will never be able to adequately describe my feelings towards it. But I shall try.
The way you've captured what it's like to be a first-year at my college is astounding. I am shocked by how, even twenty years later, certain ideas and practices still permeate the campus culture. Sure, a few things are antiquated, like the chalkboards on everyone's door, but otherwise it is on the nose. Dupre is still prison-like and the bell tradition runs strong. I definitely chuckled when you had to explain what a progressive was ("a series of parties that moved from one off-campus house to another") and what the ringing-the-bell tradition means ("it's when you lose your on-campus virginity"). Too good.
I highly recommend it to my friends, particularly fellow Mac students.
"How well do we really know anyone? We only know what people are willing to reveal. It's not that people change. People don't change. They merely hide things from you, and lie."
Thanks for bringing this story to life.