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7 Types of People You’ll Meet at the Beginning of the Year

1. The Person Whose Summer/Year Abroad Was Too Amazing

This girl is the world-traveler extraordinaire who has returned from a foreign country and no longer has that much in common with you, the clearly sheltered former friend who has no idea what it means to get tanned at obscure latitudes. Said traveler may return to campus with an altered appearance, be it a small tattoo of some pseudo-meaningful phrase in a foreign language or a collection of exotic bracelets. Either way, no one “gets it”, and any approach can lead to serious consequences. Innocent like those interesting earrings? Better prepare yourself for an hour-long monologue about marriage rituals in northeastern Thailand. Travel stories rounded off with new profound perspectives on life are rampant now.

2. The Sophomore Who Knows Everything

Merely 13 months ago this girl was all up in the WashU Class of 2016 page, trying to remember fellow students’ favorite bands (hint: Coldplay) and looking at dorm room pictures. By now she could casually rattle off hometowns, plus interesting facts of classmates she hasn’t said so much as three words to. She can be found on social media making comments about clueless freshman (“6 freshies sitting at BD behind me, nervous and concerned about GenChem…#toocute”).

3. The Checked-Out Upperclassman

Between classes, homework, the MCAT, the ever-exhausting internship search, and more homework, this person spends as little time interacting with the campus community as possible. College now consists of five close friends, spontaneous road trips and occasional drunk Skype nights with a transcontinental buddy.

4. The I’m-Getting-Serious-This-Semester Person

Your once-fun friend decided to hit the books hard and/or take that stressful internship. It’s hard to remember that a person with such prospects for a bright future and serious opinions about offshore drilling could, three months ago, be your party friend who ate 15 Taco Bell soft tacos to win $30. This is a phase we must all endure. Best of luck, friend.

5. The Senior Washed Up Girl (SWUG)

A subgroup of The Checked-Out Upperclassman, #Swugnation consists of girls who have been through the meat grinder, seasoned veterans who know the ropes and are tired of the free-wheeling frat hookup culture. This is the girl who’s on a nickname basis with all the hottest guys at WashU and knows the blueprint of any frat house like the back of her hand; she’s hot, she’s wise, but doesn’t bother to dress up for fancy formals or seek out meaningful (even sexual) relationships anymore.

6. The Dramatic Hair Transformation

Maybe she just dumped her pre-med career and found new liberating exhilaration in business classes. Maybe she just had a summer breakup. This specimen consists of Miley Cyrus and the punks who smoked outside your high school’s parking lot, but at Wash U a.k.a. the most stressful school, people are still in some sort of identity-searching phase (actually, show me a college student who isn’t). Welcome back to campus, friend who has turned over 10 new leaves, but sorry Miley, we will never forget Hannah Montana #tryharder.

Lace Nguyen is in her third year studying Comparative Literature at Washington University in St. Louis. While not entertaining college women with her wit and charm, she reads German novels and apologizes for how pretentious that sounds.
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