Freshman year is like being the new kid in a school where some students look like they could be your professors and your actual professors don’t know you exist. As a freshman, everything is sparkling, exciting, and confusing all at once, but you can only walk around dewey-eyed and clueless for so long. Here are some habits to break to help you look less like a confused tourist wandering around Old Campus.
1. Wearing your lanyard around your neck
Nothing screams “I’m a freshman” like proudly bestowing your school I.D. around your neck every waking moment of the day. I know it’s probably one of the most convenient ways to make sure you always have it, but it also makes you look like you couldn’t otherwise keep track of it unless it was securely attached to your body. Just ditch the lanyard.
2. Narrowly escaping death on the way to class
Jay walking is a fine art that requires years of practice to hone and craft. It takes discipline, patience, and timing, but in due time you’ll learn the ways. For starters, if there is a car coming towards you, don’t cross the street. Also, get acquainted with which streets that go one-way and which intersections say no turn on red. Getting to lecture on time is not a matter of life and death. This might sound crazy, but some people don’t even go. Also, don’t be that person who runs when the walk signal is on. Chill out.
3. Playing 20 questions with everyone you meet
It’s a great way to get to know people you meet, but at some point the whole thing can be pretty formulaic. And quite honestly, you won’t remember who’s from Delaware and who’s in Trumbull and what classes they’re taking. How about switching it and coming up with some actual questions that are bound to get interesting answers you will remember.Like, “What was the name of your first pet?”, “What was the make of the first car you owned?”, “What’s your mother’s maiden name?”, “What’s your social security number… hahah same!”
4. Wandering around a dining hall kitchen like a lost puppy
If you’ve spent more than 15 minutes looking for a spoon then you can probably relate. Dining halls, with unique layouts, dish return systems, and garbage disposal systems, can can be quite stressful,especially when navigating a new one. It’s easy to get comfortable and stick to one usual dinner spot, but try to make the rounds at all of the residential colleges as early as possible, before you find yourself completely lost in Berkely dining hall in the middle of second semester
5. Using the “I’m A Freshman” excuse
Actually as much as this sounds like the tagline to the most annoying 90s sitcom ever, milk this one as much as you can. Professors will excuse your utter incompetence and people might offer you a pity smile when it takes you a few tries to open gates around campus. The hardest part about breaking this habit will be beginning of sophomore year when you catching yourself mid-sentence and realize you have nothing to fall back on except your own inadequacies.
6. Going to Woads before 11
Toad’s is one of the hallmark freshman experiences at Yale. Whether you’re ready to kick back on hump day or willing to brave the packed throngs on Saturday night, Toad’s is usually guaranteed to be an interesting night. As eager as you may be though, there is no point in showing up before 11pm. As you’ll soon learn, Toad’s is usually the way to end the night, not start it. Rule of thumb: don’t be the first to mill in on a Wednesday night.
7. Instagramming everything
Yes, Yale is really beautiful, but we a pic of the view from East Rock or Cross campus every other day is quite enough. Harkness tower looks exactly the same as the last time you instagrammed it.