Advice to Freshman: What NOT to do.

In the first week of the semester I read with interest an article in the student newspaper aimed at incoming freshman. The purpose of the article was to tell the freshman ways to avoid looking like a freshman. Apparently being ‘new’ is something to be ashamed of.

The list of advice included:

  1. Leave  your varsity jacket and high school yearbook at home.
  2. Likewise your stuffed animal toys.
  3. Do not attach your room key to a lanyard. And if you absolutely must, use a lanyard DO NOT wear it around your neck.
  4. Never look at the large campus maps displayed around campus. Use your phone to check the online map, or better still, memorise where you have to go before walking out the door.
  5. Do not wear a backpack.

Now items 1 and 2 I endorse 100%. Item 3 kind of makes sense if you are into presenting a certain carefree image. But I definitely did not understand items 4 and 5. Using maps to orient yourself to a new place and carrying a backpack seems pretty harmless to me.

Anyway, I have since found out why this advice was offered.

Drive-by hazing.

People in passing cars, typically 20-year-old boys, yell at pedestrians doing any of these things on campus. They are so brave and clever in their moving vehicles. I have been struck twice now by this phenomenon.

While wearing a backpack…  ‘Freeeesssshhhhmaaaannn!!!!!!!!!!!!!‘.

I actually found this one a compliment – if only they knew how old I was.

While looking at a campus map… ‘You’re at UConn you idiot. U  –  Conn.’

Yes. I sure am.

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