Get to know the UM not shown on tours

Sometimes, I wish I would have known more about the U before coming here. I’m not talking about the kind of information given on campus tours, like the fact that laundry is free or that the gym seems to be such a big selling point (I don’t really understand this considering I’ve only used it, like, once in my two years here. Also, I hate exercising.) I’m talking about the day-to-day matters that, though minor, have a pretty sizable impact on your life here.

In light of it being college application season for high school seniors, I’ve taken the very cliché approach of writing my younger self a letter telling her all the things she needs to know before coming to UM. Though naïve Dana probably would have scoffed at these nuggets of wisdom, they still would have been useful.

Dear high school senior Dana,

Budget your time appropriately. By this I mean make sure you leave for class five minutes earlier than you have to so you have time to run to the bathroom and make yourself look less like you just endured an odyssey through the Sahara. People will ask you if you’re crying. Just say yes, even though the tears are actually sweat.

Invest in sunglasses and rain boots. Sunglasses are necessary for ignoring people on your walk back from class so you can focus on making it back to your dorm before dying of a heat stroke. Even though you are from Miami and deal with the daily rain, this campus floods. So you’ll need either rain boots or an ark. Go for the rain boots.

There are three types of people on this campus: those who put effort into their appearances and look great, those who put little to no effort into their appearances and also look great, and the select few who don’t try to look good and, as a result, don’t look good.

There is very limited social mobility here. Some people are just blessed with an innate sense of style. Others just have that whole effortless beauty thing going on. You either have it or you don’t.

The final group, the one you’ll be part of, are the ones who just don’t. Maybe it’s because you wore a uniform for 12 years so you’re literally incapable of making clothes match. Just don’t waste your time. Cropped yoga pants and baggy T-shirts are a way of life. Embrace it.

Stay for the whole football game. There is a small proportion of students who actually make it into the stadium from the tailgate. There is an even smaller proportion of students who stay past half time. Show your pride and don’t be the reason other fan bases make fun of our (lack of) attendance.

Also recognize that other people may not be as dedicated to Hurricanes sports as you are, but that doesn’t mean you can’t give them a hard time about it. When someone says they didn’t go to the football game, hit them with that “do you even go here?”

You’ve got a lot of figuring out ahead of you. Just try to enjoy the journey for what it’s worth and know that you can’t appreciate the good times without going through the bad ones. Eventually, you’ll realize that coming to the U was one of the best choices you could have ever made, regardless of the ungodly amount of duck feces on every walkway on campus.

Dana McGeehan is junior majoring in history and media management.