I spy a newbie...

There are the ones that are easy to spot (lanyards around their necks, campus maps in hand).

There are the ones that would blend right in but are still easy to spot because of their parents (running around Bed Bath & Beyond with the actual checklist the store offers online, pen in hand, wondering out loud if the outlet strip or the outlet with flexi-arms is really better...and in which color?).

And finally there are the ones who think they blend in, but are actually act so apathetic (oh too cool) that they stand out. Really, it's OK to care about your bedding, you are going to sleep on it most nights. And it doesn't make you cooler if you mock your parents when they ask you if you want a minifridge or a microfridge.

Without a doubt, they're the freshmen.

Because I remember my first day on campus (someone pointed me about a mile in the opposite direction of the most well-known class building...), I have a lot of sympathy for them. It's hard being alone in a new place, especially living in the dorms. And while the pictures of friends and family cover the walls and the rug on the floor covers the stains on the (kind of) carpet, you still remember the depressing image of the tiny cream colored room when you first unlocked the door. It's that sinking feeling of: I'm living here? Where do I put my stuff? Is that the closet?

We've all been there. We've all been a freshman. As classes start, I'm definitely going to keep my eyes peeled for any lost-looking little soul. I'll certainly help him out, by pointing him in the correct direction. I might even drop him a hint about wearing the lanyard around his neck. I mean if someone would have told me that lanyards were not OK a little sooner, I would have appreciated it. But I guess sometimes you just have to learn the hard way.