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Freshman 101: How To Not Look Like A Freshman

Freshman year is a magical ride. From stepping foot on campus for the first time as a student to taking Whoop rides down to frat row to make bad decisions, there’s a lot to love.

All of that freedom, however, comes with a spot at the bottom of the Penn State food chain. As you adjust to life away from home, upperclassmen are applying for jobs, sending in graduate school applications, or even writing theses. All of that work means some anger is ripe to be taken out on freshmen — if you’re not careful.

But, our beloved first-year students, we’d like to impart some wisdom in the arena of not being completely terrible. Here are six tips to help you look like you know what you’re doing.

No Convocation Shirts

Convocation shirts are meant to be worn one singular time. Resist the urge to show everyone you walk past that you’re in the College of Engineering. I promise you, no one cares.

Lanyard Visibility Is No Longer Acceptable

Having a room key is probably new to most of you, which makes lanyards a helpful tool. They’re even nice when you’re at the gym with pocketless shorts. The most freshman move possible, though, is wearing a lanyard around your neck or having it hang out of your pocket. You know how last year you couldn’t stand the freshmen in high school for no reason at all? That’s you now if you wear a visible lanyard.

Don’t Yell “SEND IT” Every Time You Do Literally Anything 

We all know and enjoy the Larry Enticer video, but shotgunning a Natty Light in your dorm is not “sending it.” You only earn that right by putting your life in mortal danger with ridiculous snowmobile stunts. Don’t do that.

Casually Practice Your Routes To Class

If you’re coming back from the dining hall, gym, or a club meeting, take the long way back to your room and swing by your classes. Not only will you get a better feel for campus and how to get to class, but you’ll avoid stopping in the middle of the sidewalk and getting shoved by that gigantic guy who apparently doesn’t have any time to waste.

Learn How One-Way Streets Work

On College Ave., traffic flows from east to west. On Beaver Ave., traffic flows from west to east. Looking both ways before crossing those streets is a dead giveaway that you really don’t know what you’re doing.

The Gym Is Not For Bro Time

The gyms are definitely too crowded, so the last thing anybody wants to do is wait for a bench, machine, or rack to open up. That’s especially true if you and your floormates are broing it up talking about your wild weekend. Do that somewhere else, please.

Congratulations on completing your crash course on how not to look like a freshman. If you follow these steps, you’ll surely blend right into the crowd — which, I promise, is a good thing.

Keep these tips in mind throughout your time here because you’re never too old to look like a freshman.

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About the Author

Derek Bannister

Derek is a senior majoring in Economics and History. He is legally required to tell you that he's from right outside of Philly. Email Derek compliments and dad-jokes at [email protected].

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