How to Avoid Looking Like a Freshman

How to Avoid Looking Like a Freshman

By Contributor

Courtney Guth was a freshman just last year, so she knows what's she's talking about! —Sparkitors

Just when you thought you'd reached the top of the social food chain as a high school senior, you’ve once again been demoted to the bottom. Welcome to your freshman year of college.


While it is true that we were all freshman once, it’s also true that we all become upperclassmen and then become annoyed with our newbie replacements. Think back to last year in high school; when you were a senior, those kiddies going down the up only staircase or loitering by the lockers probably annoyed you. Well, you are now those kids.

You probably want to avoid broadcasting your frosh status as you make your way through campus during your first few weeks of school. Here are the freshman don'ts; follow our rules, and you won't find yourself surrounded by upperclassmen chanting “FRESHMAN! FRESHMAN!”

Don't wear a lanyard: Several schools generously give out lanyards and other free swag to new students. During your first week, you’ll be like a kid on Halloween, picking up pens, t-shirts, cups, and water bottles in addition to candy. The majority of these free gifts are useful. There’s no denying that a lanyard is an optimal tool for keeping your campus ID, keys, key chains, and other various memorabilia together, but it’s probably best left floating around in your purse or pockets. I equate lanyards with fannypacks; they’re helpful, but not the most stylish or awesome. Do you want to look like this guy? Hopefully, the answer is no.

Don't ask to go to the bathroom: Obviously you are no longer in high school, and you pretty much don’t need permission for anything. You can swim in the fountains, you can frolic through the mall, and you don’t need a hall pass to do any of it. You are free to go whenever and wherever you want. OK, maybe not wherever, but point is you are free to pee, so spare yourself the embarrassment, and don’t raise your hand and request permission in the middle of a 200-person lecture. You should only raise your hand to ask a question or bring up a great discussion point.

Don't try to wing it on the first day of classes: Most schools let freshmen move in early so that they have time to adjust to campus. Use this time wisely. If you have a huge campus, explore it. You don’t want to be that kid wandering around with a dazed look on his face and a map in his hand. If you locate buildings and classes ahead of time, you avoid the risk of someone giving you the wrong directions. However, if you absolutely do need that map, try looking up the campus one on your smartphone!

Don’t travel in herds: I see it all the time: packs of freshman aimlessly walking around campus together. It’s great to make new friends, but please don’t crowd the walkway as I am making my way to that class for which I am probably already late. If you’re going out at night, there may be safety in numbers, but it’s best to limit that number to three or five. You don’t want to overwhelm a frat house or crowd up a bus. Upperclassmen will not be happy with you.

If you don’t appreciate the annoyance, just you wait. One day you’ll finally pass freshman status, and you too will be fully entitled to complain. Until then, please quickly grab your food in the dining line and keep on moving.

How do you know someone's a freshmen?

Related post: An Open Letter to College Freshmen

Topics: guides, freshman year, how to, college life, the daily trials of an english major, college freshmen

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