Hello friend, don’t be “that guy”

Elisabeth Smith | Assistant News Editor

It is easy to find yourself swept up in college stereotypes the first couple weeks of school. While constantly meeting new people, trying to remember at least half of their names, and simultaneously trying not to look weird doing the never-ending ice-breakers, many new students find themselves acting too cool for school like Zac Efron in “Neighbors.”

Even though becoming Zac Efron seems like a good idea, it is frankly unattainable and should be avoided on a campus such as the University of San Diego’s. Luckily, current students are available to offer some helpful advice for navigating the first few weeks of school and avoiding becoming “that guy” on campus.

First off, it is very important to put yourself out there. Starting college is intimidating, and you may not know anyone.

It may be awkward at first, but USD sophomore Rola Ade suggested that it pays off to introduce yourself to a lot of people instead of sticking with just your roommate.

“My advice to freshmen would be to just be yourself and introduce yourself to as many people as possible,” Ade said.

After breaking the ice, it is crucial to remember to be yourself when you meet new friends. Through his three years on campus, USD senior Tyler Banks found that overconfidence is not inviting to new friends.

“I think the most common thing for freshman males to do is try to exaggerate the truth,” Banks said. “They try and play like they were the most interesting man in the world while in high school. It’s hard to fit in the first couple of weeks, but the best advice I can give is to be completely real with who you are. People are more drawn to the guy who is real versus the guy who acts like he is the realest.”

Sophomore Luna LaBelle also cautioned new students to remember that, after the first day of orientation, your new friends are not quite your best friends.

“Probably the most frequent annoyance [I] come across is seeing freshmen say ‘OMG let’s take a pic for insta’ and then posting it as if you’ve been best friends forever,” LaBelle said.

There is no need to embellish: just enjoy all the new experiences as they come. Social media is a great way to connect with new and old friends alike, but looking like “the realest” or the most popular freshman will not help you climb any social ladders.

When you do find yourself at Mission Beach, the pressure to be “that guy” is strong. But remember that, just because you go to USD, it does not mean that you are guaranteed admittance to upperclassmen houses.

Sophomore Katelyn Pascucci advised new students about exploring the beach after dark from her own first year experience.

“While always having a buddy to go to a party is very important, don’t show up to Mission Beach with your 25 new best friends,” Pascucci said.

There is safety in numbers, but bringing your entire floor to a house will make the owners uncomfortable and less likely to invite you inside.

Lastly, remember that wherever you are there are many people available to help the transition to USD be as smooth as possible. As an RA, junior Lina Wallace expressed the importance of using the resources around you.

“The people around you, like your mentors and your RA, are the real examples of what it means to be a college student, and you should use them as a resource,” Wallace said. “Ask them to share their experience of college with you and learn more about the reality of college students. Try to look beyond [the stereotypes] and always bring a critical perspective. Be mindful of your community and your surrounding.”

Follow these tips and the beginning of school will be a rewarding experience. If not, you may feel like you are right back in high school, and no one really wants that.

So, freshmen, now is your chance. Choose wisely. Do not become “that guy,” the one who infamously tries too hard. Do follow this advice and start college off right. You do not want to spend Christmas break cringing at your memories from September.