Fashionably late — BREAK IT
I will never understand the gray area between late and really late, but those are the guidelines we follow in college when attending social gatherings. Nothing is what it means. Let’s say a party is set to start at 10 p.m. The trick is to err on the late side. I want to arrive around 10:25 or so, which means I probably should show up around 10:45. If I arrive on time, then I’m obscenely early. If I arrive early, then I might as well show up before the hosts do.
Sidewalk/Hallway etiquette — FOLLOW IT
Especially on crowded campuses, everyone is in a hurry. Move fast since there’s nothing more annoying than a backed up passage. Be prepared to yield, but be assertive. Cars will stop for you if you cross with the flow of traffic. Bikes will not. Bicyclists are more like pedestrians than drivers. They dominate the sidewalks, so don’t try to dodge them. If you see bicyclists coming, this is the only occasion that you should stop. Let them go around you.
Seating in class — FOLLOW IT
In the first week of class, everyone settles in to their favorite seat. After two weeks, those seats become law. Friends are sitting by friends, the diligent students are in the front and the latecomers grab their spot in the back. After three weeks, students’ seats become — as a friend of mine used to call them — a vacation home. Nobody wants to find strangers in their vacation home. However, students who attend class on an occasional basis need somewhere to sit when they do show up, so they just plop down wherever’s most convenient. Nothing annoys a regular student more than finding their usual seat taken.
Eating/moving in groups — BREAK IT
Not everything needs to be done with friends, as many freshmen are wont to believe. Arranging large dinners is a hassle for students with busy schedules. There shouldn’t be any reservations about eating by yourself. If you’re by the dining hall, and you’re hungry, eat! It opens your life to so many new opportunities. Moving is a little different, because it’s obviously safer to walk in groups at night. But don’t feel obligated to stay with a certain group if you’re ready to leave a party. Find one other person to leave with you if you don’t feel comfortable walking alone. Many schools offer free night-time services to escort you home safely.
No talking in the library/class — FOLLOW IT
Just because the library is a haven for studying does not necessarily mean it’s for group studying. All too often, large flocks of students will take up a table for a common project, much to the chagrin of individual students as the group’s clamor slices through the silence. Do try group studying in a dorm or apartment, where the environment is more private and more suited to the group’s needs. In classes, even a whispered conversation will be heard by your neighbors in a confined lecture hall. Texting on silent is one thing, but hold the extended dialogue until after the class.
What are some ‘unspoken rules’ you’ve discovered in college?
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