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Sex + Relationships

7 Ways to Get a Bad Reputation Freshman Year

College is a wonderful time for, ahem, exploration.  What we must remember however, my dear collegiettes, is that you have four (sometimes even five!) years to complete said exploration.  You need not make your way through all the fraternities in the first week of classes.  So which classic “freshman” moves should you avoid this fall?  Read on for HC’s top seven:

1. Posting pictures on Facebook of all your super cool party times. 
This is the easiest way to make yourself look like you are not super cool—after freshman year, no one post pics of that craaazy Wednesday night playing beer pong in a fraternity basement.  You can post photos from going out, but skip the ones with red cups or super-sloppy faces.  It just makes you look like you never drank before college if you have to constantly affirm on the Internet that you do, indeed, party.

2. Spending multiple nights at one fraternity house . . . with multiple members of said fraternity. 
Don’t get me wrong, ladies.  It’s okay to have fun with guys, but having fun with guys who know each other/live together is a one-way ticket to a reputation you don’t want.  Nobody wants to be the Omega Chi Tissue Paper of the semester… just don’t do it!  Especially if you want to be able to hang out with that fraternity/group of guys longer than one semester.  Hook up with too many guys in a group, and it’s too awkward to go back.

Just pick one, OK??

3. Showing up hungover to class.  Yes, class!  It happens about five days a week in college, whether you’re there (physically and mentally) or not.  While skipping is never a good idea, showing up with last night’s eye makeup on and reeking of beer is arguably worse.  If you have an early Friday morning class, make sure to set your alarm before going out so you have time to shower in the morning.  Your MO: wear sunglasses there and take a seat in the back.  Bring coffee!

Not a good look for . . . ever.

4. Making the postage stamp skirt your go-to wardrobe piece. 
We get it.  You still have your hot high-school bod and want to show it off when you go out.  It’s great to look good, but not great to flash Britneys on the reg.  Mix in skinny jeans, slightly longer flowy skirts, and dressy shorts into your going-out wardrobe.  You’ll look hot, different, AND have style—something others will truly envy about you.

5. Talking sh*t about other girls. 
Yes, people still gossip in college. In fact, there are whole websites a la Juicy Campus and College ACB dedicated to spreading dirt about your fellow co-eds.  But most would argue that this petty behavior belongs back in high school, so leave it there.  The last thing you want to do is make enemies early on—no one wants to befriend the Gretchen Weiners of the freshman class!

6. Crying when you get drunk. 
Okay, we all do this sometimes.  But you never want to be the girl who’s like, KNOWN for bawling in a corner at the bars.  Freshman year is most definitely a stressful, emotional time, so try not to drink so much that this comes out in public.  If you do feel tears coming on (because of guy stuff, friend stuff, school stuff, whatever) GO TO THE BATHROOM or have a friend walk you home.

7. Hooking up with a guy who’s attached.
 I’m a firm believer that the guy in this situation is more responsible, but his girlfriend WILL hate you no matter what, so it’s best just not to do it.  Guys with girlfriends/exclusive hookups/what-have-yous PREY on freshman girls because they assume that you don’t know who they’re dating.  You have to find out BEFORE you hook up with a guy if he’s got another girl.  Ask around, Facebook stalk, do what you gotta do.  And if a guy won’t be honest with you about his situation, why do you want to hook up with him in the first place?


Bottom line—many of us make these mistakes freshman year, and many of us (sadly) continue to make them.  They are, however, easily avoided!   And luckily you have HC to warn you about them so you don’t have to learn the hard way.  Now go out and be the classy, savvy collegiettes we know you all are!

Allie Jones is an English and American Studies double major at the College of William and Mary.  She's interned at W magazine and is currently the Senior News Editor at The Virginia Informer.  When she’s not chatting up colonial impersonators in Williamsburg, Allie drinks too much black coffee and thinks about going to the gym. She enjoys singing for her friends and planning parties for her chapter of Kappa Kappa Gamma. Allie looks up to Liz Lemon, Carrie Bradshaw and Jon Stewart; 2 ½ of which, she realizes, are fictional characters. You can find out more about the high-brow television programs she watches over at her Twitter, @allierileyjones. 
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