If you’re not a first year, odds are, you’ve been asked if you were. Being mistaken for a Trinity University first-year, in all their absent-minded and self-indulgent greatness, is not the end of the world. Though at the moment, you may feel like turning to the creature (odds are it was a first year) misguidedly misconstruing your identity and telling them why they should [insert obscene language here], I’d like to calmly call to your attention to the fact that perhaps you were … well, asking for it. I’m sorry but it had to be said, and who better to hear it from than me, right?

This is not to say that that particular offender should not have known better than to assume you were younger than you were (major first-year faux pas on their part), but there are means by which you can avert a disastrous social infraction like this one. The concept is easy: avoid looking like a first-year. It’s a crazy epiphany I know, but I totally think you can do it champ. Your ability to achieve the ultimate goal, however, will be a testament to your commitment and unparalleled competence to “walk the walk,” as they say. Now pay attention, because this is no easy lesson. Take notes if you need to, but avoid looking like a first year while doing it.

To avoid having to defend your sanctity on Trinity soil or being completely obliterated off of the social map, I would generously advise you to not succumb to any of the following:

Fumbling with your mailbox

We all know its an impossibility. Turn left, turn right…then left again? Is that even right? Or left? The point is, you look unmistakably first-yearian (yup, just made that up) when you spend more than 10 seconds at that box. God knows as a junior I still can’t figure it out, but you’d best believe when others are around, I look like I know what I’m doing. Get some practice time in when no one is around and memorize that combination.

Sitting alone in Mabee without homework

The act alone is very valiant of you, as I’m sure you’re indisputably in touch with your independence and solitude, but if you aren’t looking busy, you’re looking mighty lon ly. Careful, an equally solo first-year might accidently mistake you for his/her next best friend!

Wandering around Mabee

We all know you’re just desperately walking all over the dining area trying to find something edible but the problem is that it looks more like you’re lost. In times like these (desperate ones where you’re atte pting not to look like a first-year) it’s best to simply take a route and commit to it. Once you’re there, put your game face on. You’ve totally done this before, even when Mabee wasn’t a fat kid’s dream. Aren’t we all missing that sushi line right about now?

Getting your books from the Trinity Bookstore

Sometimes, this infringement is near impossible to avoid. Your nut-job professor dropped a cement load of reading on you straight from the textbook on syllabus day and for that, I am dreadfully sorry. The only advice I can offer is to come fully prepared to slap the seemingly naïve newbie worker behind the counter who strikes up conversation by saying, “So like, are you new here?” No and I hate you.

Running/Speed walking to class

Okay, so you’re a little late. Maybe you’re even more than a little bit late. How very non-first-year of you! Keep up the good work and do saunter at your own personal preference of speed all the way to the halls of Chapman. Your professor will understand. You were only trying to save your microscopic reputation here at Trinity University as a long time savvy and experienced upperclassmen.