Since coming to Vanguard, I have quickly learned the ropes and I wanted to share my experiences and words of advice with my peers. The following facts are based on real-life events.
1. Get to know Laurel:
There is nothing more welcoming than Laurel’s face as you enter the Caf. She is the grandma you always wanted and she has a smile for every student on campus. She also does what she can to help you out when you are particularly hungry one week and are running short on meals.
2. Sit on the Lion:
Do not laugh. This is one of the most satisfying activities on campus. If you have not yet had the opportunity to sit on the lion by the Scott building, you are missing out. It is a very liberating experience that requires its participants to be self-confident and self-assured (not just anyone has the inner courage to perform the task). If you do have the courage, it is nothing to be ashamed of because many people wish they did. So next time you see someone sitting on the lion don’t make fun of them, but ask politely whether or not there is room for two on our proud VU lion.
3. Be aware of wildlife on campus:
The most important thing to remember is that they are probably just as scared of you as you are of them. When you find yourself chasing the wildlife on campus, such as squirrels, bunnies, raccoons, mice, and the occasional hawk, just think about how you would feel if a scary college student were chasing you.
4. Don’t be afraid to ask for help:
It may seem embarrassing when you ask someone to help you get your mailbox open, but in the long run it is much less embarrassing than standing there for roughly ten minutes fiddling with the lock while other people come and go in seconds. It is also a great way to meet new people.
5. Midnight Doughnut Runs:
There is nothing like bonding over a 4-inch circle of fried dough. Midnight doughnut runs were one of my first experiences at Vanguard and I now realize just how important they are. These little outings are sometimes what get you through the week.
6. Elevator Hassle:
There are so many tricks to the VU elevators it would be impossible to cover them all. The most important thing to remember is that these steel boxes will sometimes make you late to class, so practice taking the stairs. In the event of an emergency, you will be speedy.
7. Avoid long lines:
Get to Outtakes BEFORE chapel gets out. You have missed breakfast and you think that you should head to Outtakes, but as you saunter to that freshly-made meal replacement you see a giant crowd headed that same way. Yes, by the time you have reached your destination all the bagels are gone and the line is out the door. Easy way to avoid this: set an alarm.
8. Be barefoot:
There is something about being barefoot on a warm autumn day. Maybe this trend is so popular because we all secretly want to be Native Americans and we release this pent-up desire through the wearing of no shoes. (This is not for everyone, especially germaphobes, and shoes are required in the Caf).
9. Don’t make jokes with campus safety:
“Hey, I’m gonna go throw some water balloons at people who pass by!”
This is an example of what NOT to say to a campus safety officer. They will most likely not find humor in your joke and they will probably keep a close eye on you for the next few days. They are not always busy, but they are always ready.
10. Know when to eat:
You may be starving and your insides may be killing you because of the hunger, but if the Caf food looks questionable, stay away. Something to think about, send in a scout. Everyone has that one friend that they secretly wish would get food poisoning, so just suggest that they go to dinner early and let you know how the food was. Be wise though, because the same trick could be used on you.