Dear Freshman

Dear Freshman,

Welcome to the first year of the best four years of your life (or more if your parents have the money and you still haven’t declared). You’re really excited, we get it, we’ve all been through it! Unfortunately you’re still a freshman and may not understand the many unspoken rules of College Park. And yes, they do matter.

Lucky enough for you, two upperclassmen were kind enough to volunteer to tell you the many things to know about your first year. That way it’s a little less obvious that it’s your first trip down Route One. Make sure to read and follow these rules or you’ll stick out more than that kid riding to class on the Razor scooter.

1) Going Out

Girl: For the love of God will you PLEASE not travel in packs of 20?  Groups that big just scream, “I’m going to my first frat party.”

Guy:  Don’t go to parties in groups of 20, especially when 19 are dudes and the one girl’s face looks like Miley Cyrus’s ass in that skin tight spandex from the VMAs. We all know you’re excited about your first shot but you won’t be getting in anywhere better than Ledo’s Pizza with that group (I hear they have a great local presence?).

2) Your Schedule

Girl: Figure out where your classes are BEFORE they start.  We don’t want to be accosted when you ask where Hornbake Plaza is while you’re standing right in it (Campus Maps app on your iphone will work wonders).

Guy: Do you see your schedule? Do you see those numbers and letters next to your classes? Yeah, those are your class locations. FIND THEM BEFORE DAY ONE. Nobody wants to be that kid on the first day looking for HJP 1101 behind the parking lot of the Enclave. P.S. There’s an app for that.

3) High heels and skirts

Girl: Ladies, save the heels and skirt for a DC club or dated. You’ll stand out like a Duke fan at a home game.

Guy: Girls, now I know all you want to do is turn heads on your first real night out, but please leave the high heels and short skirts at home. This isn’t a rooftop club in Miami.  This is College Park.  On second hand, keep doing it. It’s so much fun watching you try to walk home after those two “big” shots you took, tripping on every crack, looking like you’re about to break your leg worse than Kevin Ware.

4) Roommates 

Girl: You just met your first roommate ever.  But you don’t have to be attached at the hip.  They are your roommate not your blood sister/brother.  Go make some friends down the hall.

Guy: Oh you met your roommate? You guys have all the same interests and are so much alike? You like your roommate, we get it. There are 20,000 more people on campus. Make some other friends. I’m sick of hearing how every night is like a sleepover.

5) Class Etiquette

Girl: Please, please, please we beg of you to not ask a million questions in class. Also, for the love of God, the first row of class is not a place where you sit. If you have questions, or feel you need to sit that close to your professor, go to office hours.

Guy: You see the front of the class? Don’t sit there. I swear the next freshman I see playing 20 questions with the professor I’m going to roundhouse kick in the throat. They have something called office hours for that. The rest of us don’t want to be held over six minutes because you couldn’t understand why the dollar sign has two lines through it. P.S. professors don’t care, you’re better off googling it.

6) Testudo

Girl: Yes, Testudo is the Maryland based God.  YES, you should leave him offerings for finals, or you’re going to fail.

Guy: Testudo is a God. Enough said. You don’t offer to him, he’ll personally end your chance of getting a 4.0 no matter how much you study.

7) McKeldin

Girl: If you don’t pull at least one all-nighter in McKeldin, you’re doing it wrong.

Guy: If you go to McKeldin to study, please don’t sit on the 2nd floor. That place gets more action than Barking Dog on a Tuesday (which hasn’t been much lately, whoops bad analogy. Forget that.) Point being you’re better off studying at a pre-game. “Hey can you help me with number seven?” “Nah man but can you pass me a beer?”

8) Duke

Girl:  If you’re a sports fan you will quickly learn there is a special place in hell for Duke fans.

Guy: If you go to UMD, you better hate Duke. I don’t care if your girlfriend goes there. She probably sucks.

9) Squirrels

Girl: Never trust a UMD squirrel.

Guy: Don’t ever trust a UMD squirrel. Set my phone down on the mall the other day and next thing I know my friends are getting snapchats of squirrel…well you know…parts.

10) The Buses

Girl: If the blue bus is about to leave stamp and you aren’t on it you should probably just turn around and go back to your dorm.

Guy: Despite what UMD wants you to believe, the buses are not your friends. Chances are you’ll get off at the wrong stop, get on the wrong bus, and somehow end up across from Ikea. Make sure to know which bus to ride and which stop to get off. Just track it on your phone and please no bus flips. This isn’t beach week.

11) Elevetor Etiquette

Girl: If you take the elevator to the second floor of any building, just know everyone hates you.

Guy: Why would you take the elevator to the second floor? The only reasons you would need to is if you are handicapped or moving in.

12) Syllabus Week: Classes

Girl: Don’t think your classes will be as small as they are during syllabus week.

Guy: Don’t get use to small classes like those during syllabus week. But wait are they actually small? Hell I wouldn’t know, I never went.

13) Gym Etiquette

Girl: If you’re going to the gym to look good, don’t.  Some of us actually care about our fitness, not just what hot guys on the treadmill in front of us are thinking.

Guy: Don’t go to the gym on a Friday between three and seven. I know you just got off of class and just want to get all swole before that big party your buddy’s throwing in the view, but I’m sick of waiting behind you weekend warriors as six of you alternate doing 55 on the bench. Get a regular workout schedule, it does a lot more.

14) Cars

Girl: Is a car really needed in College Park? Do you really want to be the 24/7 taxi for your friends? Where do you need to go that the UMD bus system can’t take you?

Guy: Don’t bring your car to school. Yes you will park somewhere you’re not supposed to. Yes you will get a ticket. No you will never use it or need it. By bringing a car you’re basically volunteering yourself to be ‘hey (insert your name here)’s got a car we can use to go buy alcohol’. Only thing freshman need a car for anyways. #theU21struggle

15) Your First Party

Girl: We get it, the thought of free alcohol for all you under-agers without need a fake id must sound really cool.  But come on, at least get to know your limits before you puke all over the satellite house you’ll be sure to not be welcome back in.

Guy: If you end up somehow getting into a greek life party, don’t be that guy or girl. Guy’s yeah we know this is your first real college party, but don’t go too hard. Unlimited alcohol at the party doesn’t mean drink til you puke all over the president’s girlfriend. And please i’m begging you don’t fight a brother, they already don’t like you. And girls, this should go without saying but don’t make this experience one you won’t remember but soon want to forget as you relive it through your friend’s iphone. A bad reputation won’t earn you a spot back.

By reading our thoughts you’ll have the freshman 15 you’ll want to gain. Just remember to have fun, be smart, and above all don’t try too hard. You’re still at the bottom of the barrel. Sophomore year will be better, maybe.


  1. this is funny and there’s some solid advice in here, but the blatant grammar mistakes and slut-shaming occurrences make for a generally poor article and will build a not-so-great reputation for this website.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.