How to Seem Intelligent in the Upcoming School Year

With the impending start of the fall semester, many of us are itching to just get back on campus. This also means in-person classes and activities, but with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, we haven’t been able to get to know each other as well as we should. One thing remains true: perception is key. Although that seems superficial, it … Okay, this intro is getting long. Here are a few things you can do to make yourself look smarter.

Know Your Way Around

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Usually, the innocent freshman can expect a sage, experienced upperclassmen to tell them where to go. That becomes a little more difficult when about one-third of them are in the exact same boat, and unfortunately, there isn’t always going to be a helpful junior or senior around to come to the rescue. Before the confused masses start wandering across the lawns and around the halls, consider studying a map. In no time, your peers will depend on you, like boats to a lighthouse. That’s how you make friends: necessity.

Dress for Success

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For the past year or so, we’ve all had the privilege of dressing casually. Now that our peers are finally going to be able to see below our upper torsos, an upgrade is in order. Watch out folks: business casual (or better) has just become the new casual.

Buy a Fountain Pen

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There’s no joke here. Buy a fountain pen. Unless you’re willing to refill cartridges or, God forbid, toss them out when you’re done with them, buying a converter and an ink bottle is highly recommended (mileage depends on usage and nib size). Here are a few recommendations:

Pens:

Pilot Metropolitan: https://www.gouletpens.com/collections/pilot-metropolitan-fountain-pens/products/pilot-metropolitan-fountain-pen-black-plain?variant=11884884426795

Platinum Preppy: https://www.gouletpens.com/products/platinum-preppy-fountain-pen-black

(Tip: You can store ink using the entire body of the pen. To do this, you need an o-ring, silicone grease and a syringe/eyedropper. Here’s a how-to video: https://youtu.be/3qWXqOu3sfc?t=331)

Ink:

Diamine: https://www.gouletpens.com/collections/diamine?offset=24

LAMY: https://www.gouletpens.com/collections/lamy-ink?offset=0

Parker: https://www.penchalet.com/ink_refills/fountain_pen_ink/parker_quink_bottled_fountain_pen_ink.html

Paper:

Caliber Filler Paper: https://www.cvs.com/shop/caliber-filler-paper-college-ruled-prodid-183139

Take Notes on Paper

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Now that you have your nifty new fountain pen, it’s time to put it to good use. Taking physical notes has been known to boost understanding of the subject being written down, which makes it something worth considering. Though carrying around a binder can be a little inconvenient, what better way is there to show off your stationary and/or handwriting? You never know when your word processor is going to erase all your work.*

*based on author’s personal experience from writing this article

Read Your Professors’ Books

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You’re checking your physics professor’s profile on GU360. As you scroll down toward the bottom, reading about all of their greatest accomplishments, something catches your eye. They’ve written a book: “The Doppler Effect and Earthquakes.” Is it something that interests you? No. Should you read it? Yes. Even if you have no interest in the subject, reading your professor’s book can help you establish some credibility. You’re going to need something to gush about to your professor during office hours, after all. 

Familiarize Yourself with the Acronyms

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GUTS, GUSA, and GERMS, oh my! Georgetown does love acronyms, and confusingly enough, many of them begin with “GU.” Similar to memorizing a map of our campus, knowing all of them will help you stand out. People don’t need this information, per se, but it’s just helpful to know. By the way, how do you pronounce GUGS again?

Header Image: THE PEN SHOP