Who you are at the beginning of the semester versus who you really are

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Mary Zheng/File

The “you” at the beginning of the semester is significantly different from who you actually are the rest of the school year. Finding new friends and adjusting to a new environment can be nerve-wracking. We want to be the best versions of ourselves in college, right? After a few weeks, however, the persona we put up begins to break down, and we revert to the not-so-impressive selves we once were. Here’s how most of us are at the beginning of the year —made-up people with high expectations of ourselves. Though we usually fail to keep up the impression we give off during the first few weeks of school, it doesn’t mean we can’t at least try to uphold these high standards for the rest of the semester.

Being extremely extroverted and overly friendly

As starry-eyed fresh meat during the first week, you long for friendship and companionship more than SpongeBob longs for Krabby Patties. You take the liberty of introducing yourself to everyone you meet, hoping for that special someone with whom you can go to the dining halls. After finding a solid group of friends, however, you no longer care to have random coffee chats with people you have nothing in common with and will probably never see again. You revert to your former self, retreating into your dorm with the select few.

Being excited about school

The thought of starting school is exciting, just like it once was when you were in middle school and had just purchased brand new stationary from Target. Somehow, despite all the new pens and notebooks, those 9 a.m. lectures become way less appealing after the first couple of weeks, or even the first day. You start reaching out to your new friends more for their notes than for their company. Or, even worse, you have to pretend to be outgoing in order to make enough friends in your classes so that somebody can send you the notes after each lecture.

Pretending to like beer

For the first week, you try not to make a disgusted face while chugging beer out of multiple red solo cups. After a while, though, you can no longer keep up the act, and you have to rely on other forms of alcohol to satisfy your needs. You not only tire of the beer, but also the act of meeting strangers you’ll never see again and dancing with them in the dark. The parties that once formed the basis of your social life begin to feel like a chore to attend.

Going to club events

Clubs may seem like a solid way to meet friends of the same interest (and to get free food), but going to multiple club events only happens during the first week. After that, we all just settle for our favorite few and dedicate our time to those clubs. We become the people flyering on Sproul whom we hate, and we’re not even ashamed about it.

Dressing well

After finding out that there is no one to impress in your Computer Science 61A class, you lose your incentive to get ready in the morning. For the rest of the semester, you show up to your classes less than 10 minutes after you wake up. Your sleep gets prioritized over how physically appealing you look, because that extra half hour of sleep is way more important than the perfect outfit for class.

Contact Catherine Straus at [email protected].