Things You Learn at Tulane, But Not From the Classroom

When someone asks me what I've learned in college, rarely do I respond with "how to discount cash flows" or "Wallerstein's world-system theory". As important as that all is, it's no secret that college teaches you just as much about who you are as an individual as it does whatever area you decide to major. All deep, self-reflection aside, I'm sharing 20 things you learn from being a student at Tulane– none of which come from a textbook. 


  1. How to keep your head down and dodge twelve different flyers being shoved at you on any given day walking down McAlister. If you make eye contact, your fate is sealed. 

  2. You've learned that you could probably clean up a massive crime scene in no time with how quickly you move into action when you hear "RA on duty" knocking on your door. 

  3. Most, if not all the songs that they sing at Shabbat. Even if you've never heard of challah bread before, after four years at Tulane you'll be clapping along like you wouldn't believe. Oh, also– summer camp. You're an expert. I also didn't attend, but I can tell you who went where with someone else's best friend's cousin that goes to the University of Michigan. 

  4. When summer comes around, you don't need to bother saying "sorry, I'm sweaty". Everyone knows. They probably are too. Air hugs only. 

  5. That the Panera in the LBC isn't really Panera. 

  6. You learn to pause, take a deep breath, and be truly grateful for the fact that you're tanning on Bruff Quad while staring at your friend's Snapchat of four inches of snow in April. 

  7. There can be a full category 3 hurricane that starts and finishes by the time your burrito gets made at Al Fuego.

  8. You learn that you still do have your high school lab partner's phone number when suddenly she's texting you asking for a place to stay during Mardi Gras.

  9. How to master the art of having five different people hold five different courses for you in an attempt to cope with your late registration time and your major offering one section of required classes. 

  10. That Miss Sharlene is untouchable when it comes to the perfect morning omelet. 

  11. You learn that frat boys really do act like that. 

  12. All undergraduate schools were not created equally. Some are built on charitable donations, and others are built on... black mold. 

  13. How to pinpoint exactly who peaked in their brief, yet totally legit high school athletic program. No, seriously, they could've played in college, okay? You know this because they've told you. At least three times. 

  14. That Drew Brees is a "family man". 

  15. Being a little in a Tulane sorority is more profitable than half of the majors in the School of Liberal Arts. 

  16. To ask if someone is really from the city or if they're from a suburb that's an hour outside. 

  17. You train your eye to find the hot sauce (Crystal only) in Bruff, scanning every table with a fine eye to spot someone that's finished with the precious Louisiana nectar. 

  18. People may fight and argue and disagree about pretty much everything, but that we can all come together and agree that having classes the Friday after Muses is just... mean. 

  19. Eating crawfish with people from the Northeast is pretty much just fifteen minutes of pure, uninterrupted silence while they break a sweat concentrating so hard on salvaging the meat they can get out of the tail. 

  20. That the business school lobby is a trap, and if you go there with any intention of doing work you are absolutely fooling yourself beyond all belief. ​

Despite this list, the most important thing that I've learned at Tulane– inside and outside of the classroom– is that I couldn't imagine going to school anywhere else. New Orleans really is one of the most charming and fascinating places in the world, and living here gives you something to smile about every single day.