How to Stand Out at Whitman


Illustration by Taylor Penner-Ash

Megumi Rierson and writer

Illustration by Taylor Penner-Ash
Illustration by Taylor Penner-Ash

Going to Whitman can sometimes feel like going to school in a fishbowl of millennials that all look like various permutations of the same clean-cut, upper class millennial hive mother. Everywhere you look it seems like more and more Birkenstock-clad intellectuals in over-sized jean jackets and Free People bralettes are plotting their methodical takeover of the campus, and it often feels as though the campus becomes more homogeneous by the minute. Luckily, there are steps you can take to break out of this mold and set yourself apart from your peers.

Shatter stereotypes by purchasing that green and blue flannel, not the same old blue and green flannel that everyone has.

Carry a book around that you’re supposedly reading for pleasure but have never actually opened. Academic superiority shouldn’t be limited to your syllabus.

Openly defy the norm by taking your drunk freshman photos in the bowl of the fish sculpture on Ankeny instead of Stix.

Reappropriate the siren song of fraternity bros, “Wake up, Jewett!” by shrieking soothing lullabies as you walk down Isaacs to lull the first-years into a false sense of security.

Surpass your yoga-mat, climbing gear toting peers by wearing outfits entirely made of yoga mats and carabiners clipped together. This will assure that everyone notices you are the jingliest and sweatiest one to enter the library after your workout.

Break the mold of watering holes for students who are one thesis statement away from a psychotic break by starting the quiet room challenge at the Patisserie (contingent upon not getting kicked out for “loitering” or “taking all the free samples”).

Drink from a Nalgene without stickers. Watch as fellow Whitties wring their hands in confusion and inability to categorize you into a social group based on your sticker selection.

Become the definitive champion of the unspoken campus competition to find the quirkiest mode of transportation by crawling on all-fours to every class. This will serve a dual purpose in helping you win the award for looking the most pathetic as a result of academic stress.

Steal every student’s pair(s) of Birkenstocks and string them up on a telephone line as part of an interactive art installation. Watch social Darwinism unfold in real time as the masses come to reclaim what is rightfully theirs.

Become obsessed with suggestions one through nine until they become too popular. Pray that you will have graduated by that point.