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Published: Thursday, August 22, 2013
Updated: Friday, August 23, 2013 16:08
The long months of summer are finally over, and the fall semester has finally arrived. Returning students are coming back to delightful familiarity, eager to meet up with distant friends and confident in their ability to deal with whatever the year throws at them. But for the incoming freshman, the first year of college can be daunting and problems can be far-ranging in intensity. I’m here to talk about the lower end of that spectrum: physical appearance. Frankly, as a frequently not-so-snappy dresser, I don’t think anybody is likely to be judged or shunned for their fashion choice. Also, the number of people that wander around campus in sweats or pajamas doesn’t set the bar very high. Still, there are a few things that incoming freshmen can do to avoid that which marks them instantly as newbies.
First and foremost, wearing your varsity jacket from high school is going to make you stand out. I can’t think of a more obvious indication of freshman status. It also makes it seem like you’ve still got a foot in your old high school, and aren’t ready to give your all to where you are now. You should embrace your life at UConn as fully as you can – I guarantee it will be a better experience than anything you have done in high school.
Another rookie mistake is the freshman backpack. At first glance, many of your classes will seem too far apart to allow for time to retrieve books in between them, and the natural solution is to carry all your day’s books with you. Luckily, that’s largely unnecessary and most classes don’t require you to bring your textbook to class.
UConn boasts a large campus, and it can be difficult at first to know your way around campus. There’s also no surer sign of a new student than looking at one of the many maps scattered all over campus. The best way to avoid this is to familiarize yourself with the routes you’ll likely take to your classes before the first day of classes. If all else fails, it certainly doesn’t hurt to ask someone who looks like they know where they’re going.
For male freshmen, if you’re capable of growing a luscious and luxurious beard, doing so can effectively hide your youth, and in so doing your freshman class standing. Unfortunately, as an Asian man, I am quite incapable of growing any respectable facial hair, and was thus unable to try the college bearded look. I imagine that if I had it would have made me look rather distinguished, but I wholeheartedly encourage any incoming freshman to give the beard a shot – especially if you have a weak chin. It worked wonders for Abraham Lincoln.
Most of all, I’d recommend to any incoming freshman that you not ownly make friends with the people on your floor, but also with upperclassmen that are in your classes or whom you meet in the dining halls or wherever. Cliché as it may be to say it, your college years are among the best of your life, and it’s here that you’ll meet some of the best people. It’s definitely worth your while to put your best foot forward.