It’s a new year–new books, new roommates, new classes, a new start. It’s also a year of new incoming freshmen. They’re extremely easy to spot with their fresh, young faces devoid of any indication of stress, fatigue or general experience. You see the confusion in their eyes as they learn to navigate the ways of University life, out of their comfort zone and away from the convenience of home cooked meals, worry free laundry days, and the people they’ve known since Kindergarden. It is inevitable they will make mistakes, we’ve all been there. The key is to never, ever repeat the Freshman mistakes you made one, two, or, for the seniors, three years ago. It is an upperclassmen’s goal to distinguish themselves from the Freshmen in every way possible. Here are some surefire ways to start your year off right and avoid looking like the underclassmen everyone loves to hate.
First, decrease your association with your high school as much as possible. If you show up to your first day of classes in college wearing a “Seniors Rock!” t-shirt, you are most likely a Freshman. College is the time where you stop talking about how awesome Mr. so and so’s AP Calc class was and how much you miss it. It’s about time to start branching out of your comfort zone and stop getting seating groups at football games with only people from your high school. Join a club, meet new people! You’ll be glad you did.
Secondly, and probably the easiest way to spot a Freshman, is the confused fumbling with directions. The kid with turning the map around in circles on State St. and asking people where “Shapiro Library” is is probably a freshman. Get to know the campus before classes start, you’ll be thankful when classes start picking up and your schedule gets hectic.
Thirdly, freshmen are notorious for their lack of understanding of “Michigan Time.” They are the ones who show up at 9:45 for a 10 am class, sitting in the front row of an empty lecture hall in their new “back to school” outfit, clutching their 3-ring binder. It takes time for freshmen to realize that the bulk of your course grade isn’t held in lecture and wisely budgeting your time outside of class for hardcore studying is really where your A lies.
Fourthly, it is only okay for students to wear a lanyard (buy lanyards for visitors here) around their necks for ID convenience either at the football games or if they have a research job at the hospital. Wear it anywhere else and you’re a freshman, especially when pulling out your Mcard to swipe in at the MoJo dining hall.
Lastly, and probably the most common, the Freshmen are the ones who can’t wait to go to parties and unwillingly make fools out of themselves. Stumbling around drunk on Thursday night in high heels and short dresses, desperately trying to catch the last bus running at 2 am back to North Campus. Don’t be that kid, there are PLENTY of exciting things to do in Ann Arbor and making a drunken fool of yourself doesn’t have to be one of them, trust me.
These rookie moves can be spotted a mile away as we upperclassmen smile and nod, wishing we could go back and correct our Freshman mistakes.