Not that there’s anything wrong with looking like a freshman, but let’s face it, it can be pretty obvious who the first-years are without one even opening their mouth. Try and avoid the added teasing (all in jest of course), by following these eight simple steps.

1. Do not wear a lanyard around your neck with your student ID

We know it can be tempting since you’re worried about losing your student ID card or your residence key card, but please, keep it in your wallet or purse. Wearing a bright, shiny lanyard around your neck embossed with your university’s logo is a dead giveaway.

2. Do not wear your pajamas outside of residence

Again, this can be majorly tempting. Not only are pajamas cozy, but chances are if you live in residence, you pretty much live in your pajamas (especially if your cafeteria is attached to the building). That being said, pajamas are for your bedroom. Try not to wear them in public.

3. Do not wear your orientation t-shirt after orientation week

Orientation gear is for orientation week. No one wears their orientation shirt unless they are still a first year (most likely living in residence). As this list reveals, there are a lot of other ways upper-year students can tell who a freshman is, don’t make the fact that you’re a freshman as obvious as possible.

4. Memorize your campus map

Have you ever seen a student standing in the middle of campus holding a giant foldable map looking very confused? I’m sure you have. Of course we understand you are in a new place so it’s completely normal that you will get a little lost from time to time. However, unfortunately, if you’re holding a map it’s very clear that you are new to the school. Try and get your bearings before school starts or on a weekend, so that way when you’re actually surrounded by students and trying to make your way to class, you can appear confident about where you’re headed.

5. Walk to class on your own

The younger you are, the more you tend to travel in packs (and not just of 2-3, but of 6-7). We understand you may feel safer traveling with others, but it’s pretty clear when you’re in a huge group that you are new to the area (for the most part).

6. Get involved in clubs & societies

Getting involved is a great way to learn more about your university and meet people outside of your residence (a trap that many freshman fall into). This is especially important if you haven’t found any close friends in your halls. In clubs, you can easily meet people that share similar interests to your own. Plus, most first-years are too intimidated to join clubs and don’t choose to join until their second or third year. Be ahead of the curve, learn something about your school, and look more mature than your freshman counterparts while doing it.

7. Venture outside the campus bubble

Whether you’re in a city or a town, there’s a whole world out there! Why remain in the confines of the university bubble? Get to know where you’re living. On occasion, try and take a train or bus outside of your area and explore a new neighbourhood. Simply being knowledgeable about the area in which you live will make you seem older.

8. Stand up straight and be confident!

You’re in first year! As much as we like to tease, you are an integral part of every university and most of us wish we could be that excited about school again. Have a wonderful first year and enjoy every minute.