You are, of course, a highly intelligent and unique human being whom any of your fellow incoming freshmen would be lucky to know. And yet, as you meet them for the first time during freshman orientation, you find yourself unable to say anything other than, “So, um, where are you from? That’s cool. What’s your major? That’s cool.”
Many of the people you talk to will be eager to chat about hometowns and classes. There’s something about the novelty of your first few days on a college campus and the desire to make a good first impression that tends to homogenize conversation. Despite the repetitious introductions, however, a few distinct personalities will emerge from the crowd. Her Campus has compiled a list of seven of these archetypes that you’re sure to meet during freshman orientation.
1. The Guy Who Wants to Get Laid
You’ll probably meet many guys with this narrow aspiration at college, not only during freshman orientation, but also throughout your four years. During the first few days of school, the guys on your hall will get together and talk about who’s going to get laid first. Maybe they’ll have some sort of prize picked out for the “winner.” Yeah, we know—it’s sexist and gross. But unless you go to an all-girls school, you’re going to have to deal with it at some point.
In order to entice you, he’ll try to get you alone in his room. Here are some ways he might lure you there:
- Saying he has a fun game. It’s in his room, wanna play?
- Saying he bought cookies and he wants to share them with you. They’re in his room, wanna get some?
- Saying he has a Tempur-Pedic bed. It’s in his room, wanna check it out?
Don’t take these at face value. He’s not talking about Monopoly, it’s your cookies that he wants and who even brings a Tempur-Pedic bed to college?
If you’re into him, feel free to own your sexuality; just make sure to use protection as always! But be aware that he probably won’t fully appreciate your uniquely amazing body and feminine charms. He’s merely looking for something with a pulse to walk out of his room the next morning so he can fist bump the guys and maybe win a few bets about who can hook up with the most girls before classes even start.
2. The Free Stuff Addict
You’ll first see this guy waiting in the free T-shirt line. You’ll then see him at the student activity fair, feigning interest in clubs long enough to grab a handful of free candy from each table.
Hey look, there he is at the academic advising fair, pilfering pens! He’s even at the ice cream sundae social, dumping toppings (chocolate chips and marshmallows and peanuts) into a little bag to bring back to his dorm and snack on later.
You might call him a cheapskate, but this guy is so smart he’s already ready to graduate summa cum laude in our books. Considering the cost of college tuition these days, we don’t blame him at all for trying to get his money’s worth. Colleges like to use orientation to dole out free merchandise that will give students a chance to show their school spirit. Follow his cue and snag that complimentary bumper sticker!
3. The “Class of” Facebook Group Celebrity
You’ll meet many people in the prefrosh Facebook group, but there’ll be one or two people who stick out. These Facebook users post regularly, comment on other people’s posts and friend all the people who “like” something they write, plus all those people’s friends for good measure.
You’re sure to run into these Facebook elite, and it’ll be a bit weird at first. After all, you know their favorite singers, their class schedules and which clubs they’re interested in, but you’ve never even heard their voices. You’ll see one while waiting in line at an orientation event and will think of something friendly to say, like, “Hey, I think we’re friends on Facebook.” Before you can go up to him or her, though, a mob of your peers will cross in front of you shouting, “Hey, you’re (insert first and last name)! We’re friends on Facebook!”
Sometimes Facebook celebrities are loud and attention-seeking, but sometimes they’re the quiet, shy kids who hide behind their profile pictures and online anonymity. If the latter seems to be the case, wait until after freshman orientation to strike up a conversation, and make sure it’s about something you have in common other than just being friends online—maybe mention that you saw she likes Woody Allen and see if she wants to see Magic in the Moonlight with you. You two might become friends IRL!
4. Everyone’s Instant BFF
This effervescent and extroverted girl has befriended the entire freshman class by 10 a.m. She loves to chat with people about anything and everything, and she somehow knows how to keep a conversation going after you’ve told her your major, hometown and class schedule for the fall. She’s also been live-tweeting and Instagramming every orientation welcome speech, safety presentation and meet and greet, so she’s also been accumulating friends through social media.
This girl is great for networking—tell her you’re taking Calc 110 this semester or are looking at joining the Irish dance team, and she can immediately tell you three people she’s met with the same interests.
After orientation, she’ll probably start hanging out with one group of friends, but will still give you (and everyone around) a big smile and wave when she passes you on campus. Shortly after orientation, you’ll probably start seeing her name written on campaign posters and chalked on sidewalks all over campus. Don’t be surprised if she’s elected your class president!
5. The Party Queen
There are several ways to identify The Party Queen. You could look in her dorm closet, where she has more club dresses than actual shirts and pants suitable for wearing to class. You could look at the orientation leaders eating lunch and pick out the one freshman who’s already friends with them. Or, you could start asking people if they’re doing anything fun after the day’s orientation events and wait for The Party Queen to rush to your side and inform you of the locations of all the best upcoming parties.
Many Party Queens don’t like to relinquish their crowns and will continue to be the sources of information on nighttime soirees even after orientation. Then again, there’s always the chance that she’s using freshman orientation to get the raging out of her system, and once classes start, she’ll be spending all her nights at the library. The next time you see her could be when she gives the valedictorian speech at graduation. You never know!
6. The Guy Whose Parents Never Leave
As you look out at the people in the dining hall, you see many nervous but smiling faces. Except for one. The kid at the table next to you looks slightly dismayed. You only wonder why for a few seconds before you see a middle-aged couple set their trays next to him. You had heard about this kid—he’s the one whose parents just won’t leave.
Parents are encouraged to attend some of the orientation events, and indeed, your own parents took the campus tour with you and sat through the info session on financial aid. But this guy’s parents also went to his one-on-one session with his academic adviser and joined in on his residence hall’s game of Apples to Apples. Now they’re at the assembly on safe sex, nodding with approval whenever abstinence is mentioned.
The plus side to this guy’s situation is that as long as his parents are here, so are their wallets. “Hey, Dad, why don’t we go off campus for dinner tonight? Your treat?” And once classes start and they’re forced to leave, this guy will finally learn what it’s like to live away from his family—that is, until Parents Weekend.
7. The Cutie You Keep Bumping Into
You noticed them while wandering around the student activity fair. And look, there they are enjoying the impromptu a cappella concert. When you go up to them and start chatting about how Pitch Perfect this campus is, they look at your face, not your chest, and laugh along agreeably.
But wait! Even though the Lily-and-Marshall-meeting-right-as-college-starts scenario as seen on How I Met Your Mother is highly appealing, it’s also quite unrealistic. Focus on yourself, settling in, making good friends and getting a strong start on your classes. Maybe they’ll end up using the number you wrote on their hand to call you for a date. Or maybe you’ll stop seeing them around and completely forget about it a few months later. Either way, freshman orientation becomes counterproductive when you let some campus cutie disorient your heart.
Are you feeling apprehensive about orientation? Check out these tips on making the most of orientation!