Packed discussion rooms in the library and the smell of freshly photocopied finals reviewers in the air during the past few weeks could have only meant one thing: the term was finally ending. For batch 115, more commonly known as this year’s resident frosh, this marks the end of not just any term, but their first term as DLSU students. Allow us be the first to congratulate you, dear freshmen, on surviving thus far.
With your first term finally at a close, you may want to lose the “awkward freshman” thing you have going on, and start blending in with the rest of the University. As an early Christmas gift, we have listed below a few things that make it glaringly obvious to the rest of the student body that you are, in fact, freshmen. Whether you embrace these and the “college newbie” label they bring, or choose to avoid them so as to fit in, is entirely up to you.
The “Frosh Lanyard”
Along with getting your school ID, which goes on to serve as your daily ticket into campus, a new enrollee also receives the standard green-and-white De La Salle University lanyard. With the University logo and name stitched in five times along the length of the lanyard, it labels you to all the world as a bona fide student of DLSU. On campus, however, it carries the stereotypical frosh label. Most upperclassmen have long since moved on to lanyards marking what course they’re from or organizations they’re a part of. Your lanyard is, in some ways, a measure of how involved you are in the University. It’s a status symbol—and if there’s a chance you’d prefer to not let that status read “obvious freshman” next term, it’d probably be best to put your trusty old “Frosh Lanyard” to rest, and invest in one with a more personal touch.
Admit it: during the days preceding your first week of college, you had absolutely no idea what to pack in your suddenly-not-high-school bag. You’d probably already heard rumors of college being a foreign land void of school bag staples, such as intermediate pads and coloring materials, and started asking yourself, What am I supposed to bring then? To compensate for this, you might have slightly over-packed your bag, making it look like you’d be leaving for a four-day trip, as opposed to a four-class school day. If so, don’t feel too bad—generations of freshmen before you went through the same thing.
While lugging around heavy bags on campus isn’t exactly a trait solely attributed to DLSU’s infamous frosh, it’s something they have a tendency of doing. Limiting what you bring to school to the bare essentials is something almost every veteran college student does—a lesson freshmen should consider taking up as soon as possible. So before you pick up your backpack, laptop bag, file case, water bottle, and all the other things you were planning on bringing to class tomorrow morning, really think about whether or not you need it.
A hoard of blockmates in the background
How often do you really go around campus on your own? More often than not, frosh tend to travel in packs, clinging to each other in a way that’s almost impossible to miss. It’s understandable that your first instinct is to stick together, seeing as practically all of you have just parted ways with your high school friends, and are suddenly starting from scratch in the college scene’s social hierarchy. Unfortunately, it’s also a dead giveaway that you are, in fact, freshmen.
Your blockmates can only stay with you for so long—two terms, to be precise. Everyone past their first year has to make their own individual class schedules, leaving no question as to what year those groups trekking from one class to another are actually in. We’re not saying you should isolate yourself from your blockmates to look less frosh, but maybe try taking a leisurely stroll around campus by yourself during your free time. You’ll not only blend in with all the other batches above you, but also get a glimpse at what it’ll be like in another term’s time.
A not-so-college-level vocabulary
We don’t mean this in the academic sense. We mean freshmen have the tendency of saying they’re going to “P.E.” instead of FITWELL, or calling their professors “teachers” while everyone else refers to them as profs. Just like every other university, DLSU has its own culture on campus. With this culture comes practically its own language, containing slang words that may sound foreign to frosh ears, but are integrated in most upperclassmen’s vocabularies. Master these college terms, however, and you too could start talking like a veteran Lasallian student.
Like it or not, college means retiring those high school uniforms you’ve worn everyday for a good four years, and trading them in for a whole new wardrobe of clothes to choose from. Given DLSU’s almost socialite image, it’s understandable that most freshmen try to constantly look their best, donning outfits they’d already meticulously paired the night before. In reality, however, wearing beat up sneakers and loose joggers to school is not completely unheard of, and is in fact almost common. Any upperclassman can tell you that, with all the major exams and org activities University life throws at you, your #OOTD should be the least of your concerns.
If you’re guilty of any of these, don’t worry. You have a good number of terms ahead of you, and plenty of time to learn the ropes of properly navigating through DLSU life. People don’t stay newbies forever, and eventually, a new batch of freshmen will swoop in to take your place. For now, just keep to your priorities and stay focused. The rest will come naturally.