We’ve all been there: The honeymoon period of Welcome Week has ended and a new group of freshman is adjusting to the bitter reality of Actually Going To Classes. And in addition to time-honored rituals like “Oh my god, I’m lost in the East Village” and “I just spent my month’s budget on pizza,” we newcomers are contending with the mystery of “how can we look less like freshmen?” I’m still not sure, but apparently this is how it’s done:
Instagram responsibly: Washington Square Park is beautiful and iconic and perfect for smug Instagram pictures that declare, “my college is cooler than your college” to those kids you didn’t like in high school. But endlessly photographing the arch on your phone is a clear mark of an NYU freshman. The solution? Channel your inner Tisch student and act like your phone isn’t working. Hold it in the air as though trying to regain cellular reception. Resume taking pictures.
See? Completely inconspicuous this way.
T-shirt time: Wow. So they weren’t kidding when they said NYU wasn’t big on school spirit. But come on; is it such a crime to wear an NYU t-shirt now and then? Of course not, provided you wear it ironically! Pick up an “NYU Football” or “NYU Grandparent” shirt next time you visit the bookstore. Bonus points if you’re male and wear an NYU Grandma shirt.
Hide the lanyard: Hide it in your pocket! Hide it in your bag! Hide it in your ironic NYU Football shirt! Let no one see!
Know your dive bars: Or at least know of a dive bar. Know enough to be able to talk about dive bars. Hang out with friends in said dive bar, even if it cards and you can only buy French fries and Diet Coke. It looks trendy.
Know your pronunciation: In a perfect world, all words would be spelled phonetically and “Houston Street” would share its pronunciation with “Houston, Texas”. Unfortunately, as last week’s shortage of Hayden cookies has taught me, this is not a perfect world. “Houston Street” is pronounced “HOW-stuhn” and, when referring to the College of Arts and Sciences, one pronounces the entire acronym “C.A.S.”, rather than combining all the letters into a made-up word that rhymes with “gas”.
Don’t search for Dakota Fanning: She’s a real person going to school, just like you. But if you do see her, tell her I loved her in Charlotte’s Web. Also in all the Twilight movies I pretend I haven’t seen.
Relax: At the end of the day, no one wants to eat you. There’s room for mistakes and rooms in Bobst for silent meltdowns. Ask for help if you need it; NYU has a greater community spirit than many people give it credit for. Make friends, be yourself, and realize that being a freshman isn’t that terrible after all.