How to spot a freshman

Carrying around a small map can help you navigate campus with ease.

As the saying goes, you are now the small fish in a big pond. With over 6,000 students swarming around, it can be easy to blend in — unless, of course, you showcase these stereotypical freshman traits. If you want to use these tips to identify your peers, that’s great. But if you’d rather not be recognized immediately as a first year student, avoid these red flags:

Wearing a lanyard. Yes, they’re convenient, but using a lanyard is also the equivalent of hanging a sign around your neck that says “freshman.” If you already bought one, at least stick it in your pocket.

Traveling in packs. Bonding with your floor is great since nobody wants to venture into the unknown alone. Still, it’s an obvious sign you’re repping a freshman floor when always trekking around campus in herds.

Asking for directions. Other students will gladly point you in the right direction, but when everyone is in a rush, it can be tough. Avoid getting lost by concealing a small map inside your planner and finding your own way. (Cut ours out and use it!)

Using meal points in the wrong places. Learn the difference between meal points and Get It points. You can’t use your meal plan at the bookstore and you can’t get Meal Equiv outside of 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Mistaking The College of New Jersey for the Jersey Shore. During nicer weather, the lawn outside Travers and Wolfe Halls basically transforms into a beach. Girls tanning on towels and guys throwing Frisbees are common occurrences.

Huddling in parking lots. On the weekends, groups of freshmen tend to congregate in parking lots. Why? They’re most likely headed to a party. Without cars on campus, students rely on designated drivers to pick them up.

In all seriousness, freshman year is super exciting and you should embrace it. It’s also the only time where “I’m a freshman” is an acceptable excuse for almost anything. Enjoy it and know that everyone else wishes they could rewind to that time.