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The Daily Cardinal Est. 1892
Tuesday, June 28, 2022
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Freshman year essentials

You don’t have to learn the hard way.

All articles featured in The Beet are creative, satirical and/or entirely fictional pieces. They are fully intended as such and should not be taken seriously as news.

As a freshman, it can be difficult to adjust to living without your parents. Being new to independence means there will almost certainly be a few missteps along the way. While those blunders are often the catalyst for growth, we here at The Beet are not about that.

In the interest of not having to learn the hard way, here’s what you absolutely need to have either in your dorm or on you at all times during your first year at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

  1. Letters and Science t-shirt. You’ve gotta start with a classic. The great thing about this item is that it can get a few points across. First off, “I’m a freshman and haven’t had the chance to buy a different shirt yet.” Second, “I’m not really into sports, so I settled for this.” Lastly, “I don’t care what you think about this shirt — I like it and we won’t have sex unless you let me wear it the whole time.” Choose your character. 
  2. Sketchbook. If you go out to bars, you could be waiting in line for a long time — pull out a sketchbook and start drawing those around you. Strangers love to be stared at. If you make eye contact with one of your subjects and they look angry, scrunch up your face as if to say “Woof, my bad — I didn’t see how ugly you are until just now” and make it look like you’re erasing the drawing. However, don’t — you may become friends with that person later on in the night and they might want to hang it on the wall when you become roommates next year.
  3. High school letterman jacket. Nothing says “My life peaked when I was the #2 running back on a high school football team” like this item. Worst case scenario, you’ll get sympathy points, and you’ll be glammed up “Clueless” style. No matter your sexuality, a scenario that ends with kissing Paul Rudd is a good one. 
  4. Pocket Bible. Campus Ministry is a college staple. Stand outside of the Buffalo Wild Wings on East Campus Mall (bonus points if you bring your own soapbox to stand on) and start reading from the Old Testament — the far trippier half of the Good Book. You might not make friends doing this, but people will talk about you often.
  5. Five pound block of cheddar cheese. You have no idea how much cheese you’ll be eating and, trust me, you don’t want to be the person that runs out. Other people will have to pull their personal cheese blocks out of their backpacks to give you a fix and it really disrupts the class. Add this to your weekly shopping list. 
  6. Baggie full of glitter. The time to make your mark is now. Sprinkle a little glitter wherever you go. If you want it to be your thing, use a specific color. If you want it to be more of a Superman secret identity thing, opt for rainbow glitter. That way, people may think there are multiple offenders.
  7. Gallon of egg yolks. This is for the apocalyptic scenario where campus grocery stores run out of cheese. There will be some long days away from your dorm, and snacks can get expensive. Go easy on yourself and swig down some warm egg gloops when the hunger pangs start. Refrigerate never. 
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