Freshman Survival Guide: On Looking Like a Freshman

By reading this post, you will automatically rocket to sophomore status you will learn some basic tips that might be advantageous to you. I initially titled this post How to Not Look Like a Freshman because I got several requests for such an article. But I don’t like the idea of telling incoming freshmen that they need to disguise themselves. The truth is that no one really cares if you’re a freshman or not. Even your professors often won’t know what year you are unless you tell them. For example, my Spanish professor assumed I had taken previous Spanish classes at WashU, when in reality I had placed into my 307 class and couldn’t possibly have taken a prior class since it was my first semester at WashU.

Looking like a freshman is really not something you should stress over. I mean, what does it even mean to “look like a freshman”? It’s not like there is some generic freshman model, and you’re the 2013 release. (Wow, how weird would that be?) Some people equate “looking like a freshman” with looking silly and lost. Well, that’s not unique to freshmen—no one wants to look silly and lost. And speaking of looking lost, here is my first tip:

1. Use the WUSTL Map app

I’m embarrassed to say how long it took me to figure out my way around Danforth campus. I’m bad with directions. Still, I didn’t want to be that kid who had to stop in the middle of the busy walkway to look at the campus map posted on the grass. People would see me, and they’d know right away that I was a n00b! So I was glad to discover the WUSTL Map app. It has GPS and a list of all the buildings. When I got lost, all I had to do was look at my iPod. No one had to know my secret.

While you’re in the app store, check out the WUSTL apps for dining, courses, and the campus circulator as well. They’re all free and very well-designed.

2. Don’t use the lunch trays

I said I wasn’t going to tell you what to do, but…I just can’t let you make this mistake. I once reached for a lunch tray, and an upperclassman stopped me and taught me a very solemn lesson: The only people that use lunch trays are pre-frosh and parents. After that encounter, there was only one time last year when I used a lunch tray. It involved snow and a big hill. But you didn’t hear that from me.

3. Don’t step on the seal

I’m pretty sure you know about this already; tour guides talk about it all the time. But for those who don’t know: if you step on the seal in between North Brookings Hall and South Brookings Hall, it will take you longer than 4 years to graduate. The only way to reverse the curse is to rub the statue of the thinking bunny on the rock by Mallinckrodt.

It’s fun to watch students instinctively avoid the seal when they’re not even paying attention. But sometimes, sadly, people forget. Which is why my friends and I took it upon ourselves to roll a giant snowball on top of it in an attempt to protect our fellow students.

snowball on seal

4. Learn how to spell Mallinckrodt

Can you use it in a sentence?
When the students wanted a break from studying in Olin library, they ordered Domino’s Pizza and had it delivered to the front of Mallinckrodt. 

M-a-l-l-i-n-c-k-r-o-d-t. Mallinckrodt.

5. Pronounce things properly

Forsyth is pronounced FOUR-seyeth, not FOUR-sith.
WUSTL is pronounce WOO-stuhl, not WUH-suhl or WUH-stuhl. We usually just say WashU.

That’s all I have to say for now. I just wanted to let you know that’s it’s okay to enjoy being a freshman. Whether through organizations, classes, or social circles, you’ll makes friends with people of all ages!