How to avoid contact with first-years

"Raise your voice and mimic the sounds of a garbage disposal because that noise is scary and you will scare them away." Illustration Aiken Lao / The Ubyssey

Encounters with first-years are a common occurrence across campus. They are especially frequent during the first two weeks after Imagine Day and during Clubs Days. The UBC residence lanyards they have around their necks, the lost expression on their face and the size of their backpacks is a good indicator of which year they are in. However, they learn quickly that it is not necessary to lug their textbooks around classes.  

If you encounter a first-year on campus or in your class, stop what you are doing and evaluate the situation carefully. Identify yourself — you are a fourth-year and this is an elective you are taking. Speak in a calm and confident manner to give them the impression that you know what you’re doing. First-years are usually nice and mean you no harm — there is no need to back away slowly. Instead, tell the ever ambitious first-year that you are in your third year and have recently switched majors — keep an eye on the first-year so you can see how they will react to this.

First-years and their geographic range

  • The UBC Bookstore on the first day of school, buying books for classes they will most likely drop
  • The Tim Horton’s line at Sauder because that's the only place on campus to grab a coffee
  • Frat parties (99 per cent chance you will pick up a first-year’s student card here)
  • The “which residence is better?”, “just got accepted into UBC today!” and “do I need to buy an optional textbook?” threads on Reddit because the existing answers to these questions are not reassuring
  • At faculty advising, trying to get into an ECON, CPSC, COMM, POLI, BIOL or MATH class. Here at UBC, it's very common for students to decide that they are no longer interested in what they came to UBC for
  • Wreck Beach at night for a leisurely stroll and nothing more
  • The Rose Garden to get that photo — you know the one — for social media.
  • The Fresh Slice in the village on Tuesday nights because cheap pizza

Further suggestions for avoiding contact with first-years

  • Maintain eye contact with them as you lick your elbows
  • Wave your hands about, raise your voice and mimic the sounds of a garbage disposal because that noise is scary and you will scare them away
  • Have a friend walk behind you and scream, “She doesn’t even go here!” a la Mean Girls every 20 seconds
  • Adopt a skunk and walk it around campus
  • Hang a sign that reads “ghost” around your neck and walk around campus. That way, everyone will think you are a ghost and leave you alone