You freshmen need to chillax (1).
After a long, hard day of FAC-ing, I started thinking about all the things I wish I had known when I was a freshman, aka last year. I'm not talking about "don't bring a printer," "the C-2 goes to Central," "buy fans," "watch out for the freshman 15" and all that business. I mean the really crazy stuff freshmen do that I wish I had known is ridiculous and not what actual college students do. Yeah, it was only a year ago that I was a newbie from Actionville (Jacksonville), Fla., but I feel like after a year at Duke and a long week of being a FAC, I have some mad street cred (2) and totes (3) know what's up. So freshmen, listen up, I'm about to call you kooks (4) out.
First of all, what is the deal with arriving at Duke with 300 Facebook friends from your freshman class? Ok, I'll admit that I added some friends from the class of 2012 that I didn't actually know, but to my credit, they were people assigned to live with me in Epworth Residence Hall (holla!) or that were my older sister's friends. I won't pretend I wasn't desperate for a connection to people, but I knew that friend-ing randos  was just plain sad. I don't think you--the freshmen--get this enough: Purge your Facebook friends now. I admire the really nice people that are afraid of offending one of their new classmates by rejecting their Facebook request (and let's be honest, some people do keep tabs on those things) or closing the door on a potential life-long best friend, but seriously dudes (obvi , "dudes" is back in), the majority of the peeps (8) you un-friend will never notice. Some of y'all (9) might say that being able to start a conversation with someone by saying "Hey, I think we're Facebook friends" is a good way to break the ice. To those of you I say, no. Stop that. That is sketchy (10). There are 10 gajillion (11) other things to say to start those types of conversations. And they are destined to be ridic-awkers (12, 13) anyway.
Secondly, there's a fine line between having school pride and going absolutely FLEX-crazy (14) in the Duke store. Don't get me wrong, I know the ID card that magically turns into money is very tempting, and I def (15) love school spirit. I mean, in high school I won the most spirited award in every sport I ever played (note: I never received an award for actual athletic ability), but it is not considered spirited when you buy one of every single article of clothing that says Duke on it in multiple scripts. That's just poor financial planning. However, owning some Duke gear for different types of weather is acceptable. For instance, I own Duke sweatpants and a Duke sweatshirt for cold weather and Duke athletic shorts and a Duke T-shirt for warm weather. It's that simple. What I really don't understand is the completely random team gear people purchase. If you go to the games that's one thing, but I honestly think that at some point freshmen in the Duke University Store must say to themselves, "I've seen rugby on TV before, I should get a Duke rugby cap." So with respect to Duke store shopping sprees, again I say, no. Stop that.
Lastly, I would advise (actually, more like beg) you, dear, dear freshmen, not to Frat-Hard (16) or Frat-Often until you are actually in a frat. Although girls cannot join fraternities (gosh wouldn't that be fun?), it seems to me that the Fratting-Hard mentality is becoming all too common in both male and female first-semester freshmen. Diversify your scene, people. Gee wiz. Getting to know and experiencing all the social resources Duke has to offer is not as un-cool as it sounds (p.s., it doesn't sound un-cool). I'll tell you that I have been known to Frat-Hard and like it. True story. A dude once asked me "How can one girl be so fratty?" I can only assume that was his way of trying to get my digits, but there were def kids out there that section-stalked (17) much more diligently than I did last year. That is so not cool.
Of course I encourage you first-years to use e-Print, take the C-1, find air conditioning wherever possible and not eat pizza after midnight, but the advice I'm giving you is to ensure maximum coolness. Trust me, follow my advice, and you, the Class of 2013, will also have mad street cred.
1. chillax-(verb) combination of "chill" and "relax"
2. street cred-(noun) short for street credit; knowledge and respect from people living in or around the hood where you roll
3. totes-(adverb) short for totally
4. kook-(noun) someone who is ridiculous and induces excessive eye rolling from his or her companions; occasionally pathetic
5. holla-(exclamation) an exclamation used to show excitement or enthusiasm
6. randos-(noun) people you know very little about that usually come into your life awkwardly
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7. obvi-(adverb) short for obviously
8. peeps-(noun) short for people
9. y'all-(pronoun) contraction formed by combining "you" and "all"; usage indicates a fun-loving, Southern person
10. sketchy-(adjective) iffy, questionable
11. 10 gajillion-(noun) a number I made up, larger than any real number
12. ridic-(adjective) short for ridiculous
13. awkers-(adjective) short for awkward
14 FLEX-crazy-(noun) the phenomenon of overspending when first encountering a DukeCard
15. def-(adverb) short for definitely
16. frat-(noun) short for fraternity; a group of boys who enjoy collecting cans of inexpensive beer
17. section-stalk-(verb) to frequent many fraternity sections with the goal of being able to say hello to and high five as many people as possible.
Anna Sadler is a Trinity sophomore. Her column runs every other Tuesday.