Mastering the Freshman Year Humblebrag

n-LEGALLY-BLONDE-LAWM-large570Congratulations to all first years on getting this far in your journey to the Hilltop! Trust me, I know it hasn’t been an easy road. Tackling the various questions of your incoming summer is always painful. These questions tend to take a toll on you as summer progresses.

Questions like: “If I do poorly on the summer reading assignment, can I still graduate Magna Cum Laude?” “Georgetown has given me no guidance, but I have to submit my preregistration in three hours; what do I do?” “Where is the Qatar building? Is it by Leo’s?” “Was what Becky S. said in the Facebook group mildly racist?”

We’ve dealt with them all, and I can assure you, you’ll get through it. However, this isn’t even remotely the most difficult part of making the transition to Georgetown’s campus. The most difficult task you have in your first two months on campus is to master your Freshman Year Humblebrag. It’s something you won’t hear on your campus tour and there won’t be an infographic about it in your Welcome Packet, but The Fourth Edition is here to teach you how to perfectly craft your unwarrantedly braggadocios sound bites that will propel you from “irrelevant first semester freshman” to “somewhat-irrelevant first semester freshman!”

On a campus where 33% of students are fluent in more than one language, acceptance rates average out to about 16% and some clubs receive hundreds of applications only to admit a class of 3 or 4 lucky allstars, it’s not always easy to stand out among the excellence that is around you. I will always remember hobbling into class my first day with an overfilled backpack, an inappropriately-large bag of half-eaten Baked Lays and a misguided idea that I was going to take over campus in a matter of weeks with the most inflated and undeserved confidence there ever was. Fifteen minutes into my first class, after I had taken 3 pages of notes on my professor’s introduction, I thought I had this in the bag… that was until we went through a circle of introductions and I realized how deep at the bottom of the heap I was.

The girl sitting next to me wasn’t halfway into her story of starting her own environmentally-conscious company before I quickly had to hold down the Baked Lay regurgitation, as I became sickened by my overall inadequacy. Everyone has one of these moments and I’m here now to help you so that you respond promptly with an effective humblebrag to deflect as much as possible.

Here are four prime opportunities to develop your inflated backstory through a series of humblebrags:

1. The Facebook Group Humblebrag: Now, I’m not one to encourage participation in the Facebook group due to the fact that everything you post is read by all members of your incoming class and they will use it as kindling to ignite awkward conversations during New Student Orientation, but if done correctly, the Facebook Group Humblebrag could be extremely effective. With such a captive audience, there’s no better way to get the word out about your accomplishments than a quick brag hidden in language that looks to be sincere.

Examples:

  • “My graduation video came in today and my valedictorian speech was so unfunny! Maybe I should join improv to work on my jokes haha!”
  • I just got back from my extensive volunteer trip in Africa and all of the people I met asked me what a ‘Hoya’ was? LOL I didn’t know how to explain it!”
  • “Did anyone else get an invitation to this exclusive program during NSO that clearly states on the front for ‘exceptionally engaged students’? Or was that just me XD?”
  • “Does anyone know how they evaluated admissions for pre-orientation programs? Seems so hard because we’re all so accomplished! WELL ANYWAY I GOT INTO FOCI!!!
  • “Here is a picture of my schedule. So hard to pick classes when I was still waiting on all of my AP credits to be confirmed. Is 400 level hard?

2. The Admissions Story Humblebrag: This is one of the most effective humblebrag tactics in the game, especially during your first week on campus. Irresponsibly rewriting your admissions story can gain you instant credibility among your peers. There’s nothing more impactful than making someone feel unreasonably inferior to you for getting into the same elite institution that you did.

Examples:

  • “Honestly, my college counselor told me I could really pick from any school I wanted based on my grades and scores. I was like so upset he couldn’t narrow it down!”
  • “I decided to pick a school based on fit. Screw rankings am I right!?”
  • “Telling my parents that I was going to choose Georgetown over a top 10 school was like really hard.” 

3. The College Class Humblebrag: College is hard. You will do well in some classes, but you will also hopelessly struggle in others, especially if you are heavily involved. That’s why people here take academics pretty seriously. There’s no better way to hit someone at their core than by throwing in some creative tales of classroom interactions that are so over-exaggerated that they might just be believable.

Examples:

  • “Could you believe that the class average on our Macro midterm was a 64!? So glad I scraped by with that 85. Do you think that’s curved to an A? A-?
  • “OMG in my Intro to Ethics class, my professor singled my work in front of all 200 kids in the class!? I was so embarrassed.” (Still effective even if he woke you up from your deep slumber in the front row and commented about how detailed your doodles of Aristotle were.)
  • *After you find a stray syllabus of Madeleine Albright’s class on the ground* “Weirdest thing, Madeleine Albright practically BEGGED ME to take her class today.”
  • “He got a 1.4 on RateMyProfessor, but he grades me like so easily. I didn’t even study for the final and got an A!”

4. The Social Humblebrag: There’s more to college than grades and an effective social humblebrag can be quite the boost to your standing in the absolutely meaningless freshman pecking order. This is where you can get really creative. You can literally say the most ridiculously irrelevant statements to add to your credibility.

Examples:

  • “Dude, I don’t even mind the taste of Burnett’s. Like what’s all the hang up about?”
  • *Throws up after 1 Natty Light* Boot and Rally is my life motto. Seriously, it is. Check my Twitter bio.”
  • “It’s so weird. I got into this party of all seniors last night and I didn’t even have a sick ratio! It was just me and the boys.”
  • I made it into (insert prominent Georgetown student’s name here) Insta last night. It was no big deal, but you can see the side of my head right there back on the Vil A rooftop.

5. The Hoya Relative Humblebrag: Please don’t ask me why, but mentioning that you had an older relative that went to Georgetown immediately catapults you to celebrity status amongst your first-year peers. It’s as if that relationship means you are the social sage of your class. Try to leverage that as much as possible. And if you don’t have any family members that went to Georgetown, just say your distant cousin went to school with Bill Clinton like I did!

Example:

  • “When I visited my older sister, we went out to the Rhino, the Cuates and also the Tombs. I’ve been over the bar scene ever since.”
  • “My cousin basically ran this school, but like I want to forge my own path you know? Hypothetically, do you think our relationship will help me get into the Credit Union though?!”
  • “When my dad went here, there was a pub under Healy. I bet he definitely DFMOed with Maria Shriver.”
  • “My brother said that dorm parties are a thing of the past. I hear Brown House is the new spot. Maybe I can get some of you in?

I hope you take this advice to heart and good luck on weaving that one obscure Leadership Conference you attended during your sophomore year of high school into your NSO introduction!

Gifs: tumblr.com; huffingtonpost.com; mtv.com

Translation: I’m Getting Desperate!

stepWith the deadline to find a roommate via our famous CHARMS matching service less than a week away, many freshmen have turned to the second-most effective vehicle to nail down that match made in heaven: the desperate Facebook post in the Class of 2019 GAAP group.

Usually littered with meaningless questions about laptop preferences and summer reading, toward the end of June, the GAAP group becomes somewhat of a black market for people to post page-long descriptions of themselves hoping some other desperate loner will send them the following via Facebook message: “OMG I’m like really into Harry Potter too! And I also am undecided in the College. We should like room together or something!”

It all sounds great until you really take a look at everyone’s descriptions of themselves; they’re all perfect! Each person posts the most appealing profile of a roommate there ever was. How could every single hopeful be a “super neat, varsity athlete that plans to get a 4.0 but rage on the weekends?” It’s my job to provide a detailed translation of what incoming freshman really mean when they post a bio in hopes of finding a roommate.

What they say: “Hi, my name is Zack. I’m from the New York area. CHARMS is going really well, but I thought I’d just put my bio out there to see if anyone else wants to match and be roommates!”

What they mean: “My mom has called me Zachary my entire life, but now is the time to reinvent myself right? I’m from New Jersey, but not the Jersey Shore kind I promise!!! CHARMS couldn’t be going worse. The only person I matched with plans on having a pet ferret in the room and is unironically into anime. Please room with me I’m desperate.”

What they say: “So, I’m a pretty big athlete and I’m really looking to room with a dude who is into sports.”

What they mean: “I ran the mile once a semester in high school and have severe asthma, but I need at least one person to go to Georgetown basketball games with.”

What they say: “I’m into my studies, but obviously I love to go out and have fun. I’m planning on raging a lot on the weekends and studying mad hard during the week.”

What they mean: “At my senior prom, my math team buddies and I each had a beer and I threw up everywhere. But, like, I’m willing to give drinking another shot I think.”

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What they say: “I’m into music, art, football, dodgeball, writing, reading, rollerblading, underwater basket weaving, friendship bracelet making, biology and a bunch of other stuff! Any questions, just ask me!”

What they mean: “I’m about to list every single subject possible hoping to hook at least one person. In reality, I like Blink 182 and napping eight hours a day.”

What they say: “I’m studying at the College looking to major in Government and minor in Econ.”

What they mean: “In grade school, my second grade teacher gave me the class superlative of ‘Most Likely to be President’, but if that doesn’t work out, I’m really trying to make some money.”

What they say: “Lol, looking for someone neat! (It’s ok if you aren’t a neat freak though. A little clutter is fine.)”

What they mean: “I am one of the messiest people on the planet. Frank Ocean actually wrote ‘Thinking Bout You’ when he saw my room at home because it looks like a tornado flew around my room before you came, so please excuse the mess it made. With that said, I irrationally expect your side of the room to be spotless and will throw a fit if I find one of your socks as I dig through my piles of clothes on my floor to get to  my hidden backpack.”

What they say: “I’m not too picky about sleeping hours or room temperature. I’m just really laid back and go with the flow.” 

What they mean: “I plan on making my room an arctic tundra and you are going to have to deal with it…I have severe night sweats. Oh also, I plan on being up until around 3am watching Netflix, so really hoping the glare from my screen won’t affect the necessary sleep you need to survive your 8am class!”

What they say: “I’m definitely into politics, but I would consider myself a firm moderate. I find equal value in both parties.” 

What they mean: “If you’re not #Ready4Hillary, I’m not #Ready2Speak2You.”

What they say: “I’m honestly down to share anything. I am looking to room with someone who will become a great friend, so sharing is caring am i right? Haha!”

What they mean: “I will be seriously offended if you touch any of the Go-Gurt tubes my mom sent me.”

What they say: “Haha sorry for the long post. If you read this far, please reach out. Although I have a lot of people I matched with on CHARMS, I would love to get to know some people before we get to campus. Alright well, I’ll see you guys on the hilltop. And as they say, ‘Hoya Saxa!'”

What they mean: “I really hope more people read this than the number of people that read our summer reading book, because I’m really getting desperate here. If this doesn’t work, I might have to get a doctor’s note claiming that I am allergic to humans and live in a single in the Southwest Quad. I’m really hoping no one unearths this around Christmas time to show how embarrassing I was. And what does ‘Hoya Saxa’ even mean? It sounds like the hole-in-the wall Chinese restaurant by my house. Well whatever it seems like everyone says it so I might as well!

Good luck with the roommate hunt freshmen! I hope this will help you on your journey to find your perfect mate. Trust me, this is not as bad as it gets. Just wait for first semester finals when that girl who sits next to you in Problem of God finds your embarrassing post and you get to relive this horror all over again!

Photos/Gifs: tumblr.com, collegenext.org