It’s that time of year again. New freshmen have arrived on campus, and once again they have brought with them an array of habits and quirks that make it pretty obvious they’re new in town. Although the class of 2020 has definitely shown some of the old classic freshman indicators (cough cough, lanyards), they have also brought some of their own, unique habits this fall. If you want to avoid falling into those typical frosh behaviors, here’s a few tips and tricks to help you seem like a ~with it~ upperclassman.
We all know it–the classic frosh indicator. Since the invention of the lanyard, chances are that if you see someone wearing one, they are a freshman. “But wait,” you say, “How am I supposed to keep track of my keys AND my i.d.? Most women’s clothing doesn’t have real pockets to hold these things!” My advice: don’t worry about it. Just focus on how much cooler and non-froshy you’ll look as you wait for Yale Facilities to make you another key for the millionth time.
Sidenote: Seriously though, someone please tell me how you do things without a lanyard. What is the magical secret to keeping track of your keys? Asking for a friend.
2. Dressing Nicely
One of the classic frosh indicators is caring about appearances (looking at you, guy in my discussion section that wears a tie every day. Unnecessary). “But wait, “ you say, “What’s wrong with putting in a little effort?” It shows that your soul hasn’t yet been leached out of you by the crushing pressures of academics, extracurriculars, and trying to have a social life. To attain that defeated upperclassman vibe, ditch the blazer for a sweatshirt. Better yet, just wear your pajamas everywhere.
3. Being unable to open doors
There’s no surer sign of a freshman than someone who doesn’t know how to open a door. “But wait,” you say, “opening doors is not difficult. I got into Yale, so I can figure it out.” That’s what you think, dear, innocent freshman, until you spend five minutes trying to figure out if a gate is a push or pull, which side actually opens, and if your key is even working, as a crowd of impatient upperclassmen gathers behind you (not that that’s ever happened to me. I can definitely open doors…). To avoid that humiliation, wake up early to go to every door on campus, so you can figure out how to open it without an audience present. Then, when you see a fellow freshman struggling with one of Yale’s many enigmatic doors, you can smile sympathetically at them, say, “Here, let me help you,” and effortlessly open the door as a throng of seniors applaud you.
4. Calling Gheav “Good Nature Market”
“But wait,” you say, “It’s literally called Good Nature Market. How is calling it by its name a problem?” I’ve had multiple conversations where upperclassmen literally have not understood what I was talking about when I said “Good Nature Market.” Never mind the fact that you haven’t even set foot in the store when it was called Gourmet Heaven, JUST CALL IT GHEAV (full disclosure, I had to google the full name). You’ll effortlessly fool the upperclassmen into thinking you are one of them, and didn’t just spend the past twenty minutes asking what gheav is.
Bonus points if you begin every story with, “So I was at Gheav after a crazy night, and…”. That way you not only seem like an upperclassman, but a cool upperclassman.
5. Being on Old Campus
Old Campus is the hub of freshman activity, so being seen there is as good as wearing a billboard that says “I AM A FRESHMAN. “But wait,” you say, “I live there” (unless you’re in Silliman or T.D. I guess. Then this doesn’t really apply to you). You can work around that. Simply hang out on Cross Campus/in your residential college until one in the morning, then sneak back every night under the cover of darkness. Be sure to be out of your dorm before sunrise, though, if you want to maintain the illusion.
6. Asking everyone you meet, “Are you a freshman?”
Asking this question, unless you are giving off STRONG upperclassman vibes (such as by asking it with just the slightest hint of pity and condescension), is sure to signal to everyone around you that you are a freshman. “But wait,” you say, “How do I know if whoever I’m talking to is a fellow member of the 2020 class?” Easy: look for any of the indicators mentioned here.