How To Avoid Being ‘That’ Freshman

We all remember “that” freshman from high school. They would get lost in the hallways or violate some rule, all while behaving in a way that screams “FRESHMAN!” What you may not realize is that “that” freshmen are not relegated to high school; they appear on college campuses, too.

Of course, being an obvious freshman is inevitable. The denizens of your 2023 class, like the classes before, come from a wide variety of backgrounds and regions of the globe. It makes perfect sense that you stick out like sore thumbs. Everyone has a “that” freshman moment, and it’s not a big deal. Most upperclassman find it cute and endearing.

However, we at the Old Gold & Black understand that fitting in is paramount, so we’ve decided to provide some helpful tips to quell your inner frosh. We shall begin by examining the most egregious examples of “that” freshman behavior.

“That” freshman gives off a distinct aura of unfamiliarity and uncertainty. To combat this, they oftentimes dress in ways that powerfully indicate their newness: excessive Wake Forest gear is an example. Unless you’re an athlete, you can probably leave your Demon Deacon visor and matching polo at home, or at least alternate the two between days (or weeks). While we’re on the subject, you shouldn’t leave your key lanyard dangling out of your pocket for all to see. For God’s sake, put that thing away.

The uncertain atmosphere that ensconces “that” freshman is also immediately apparent by the constant presence of their parents, or in some cases, their entire family. It is understandable, of course, that you would want to spend some time with your family to show them your new home. However, your time at college is meant, in part, to teach you how to live away from home. Baby Bird must eventually leave the nest and won’t learn independence if Mama and Papa Bird are hovering and pecking at them weeks after all the other parent birds have gone home. Also, for your parents’ sake, please don’t bring them in for a meal at the Pit. They deserve better food than that.

Moving into college for the first time is stressful. You’ll find that many of your peers relieve a bit of that stress by unwinding with their friends, perhaps by staying up late or indulging in alcohol. These are all typical and reasonable (if perhaps not university-endorsed) methods of relaxing, but they can be dangerous if taken to extremes. Don’t be “that” freshman that goes to the hospital their first week because they overindulged. “Everything in moderation” is the key to success.

It’s important to consider that your first year will be far from perfect. You’re new at this and in a strange living situation with a plethora of new people to meet and new experiences to have. It’s going to be a bumpy ride. The best way to navigate the troubled waters is to accept them while striving to persevere and be the best possible version of yourself. If you happen to occasionally cross into “that” freshman territory, so be it.

Also, make sure to pick up a copy of this paper. To not read the OGB is such a “that freshman” move.