Breaking the Official NDA Guide – Old Gold & Black


Follow the advice in this guide on how to navigate the intricacies and secrets of campus

You’ve just moved into your double Babcock, said goodbye to your parents, and now you’re ready to begin that perfect college experience your guide told you about. About that. Let me remind you that we tour guides are salespeople. And just like the real estate agent who doesn’t mention the neighbor with countless loud dogs or the car dealership who conveniently forgets the vehicle’s 11 miles per gallon, we also have a few details that we avoid. But since we made the sale, I guess you may know some of the secrets.

Forest Work

Rule # 1 of the tour guide training package is never to mention “Working Forest”. The second rule? Never mention “Work Forest”. In fact, the first two rules are to be friendly and to show up on time. But we try to avoid this intimidating nickname.

The transition from high school to college is difficult, especially in class. You may feel so overwhelmed living alone and juggling all these new relationships that your humanities division goes by the wayside. While a slide might be okay for a few days, it’s far too easy to continue the descent and even harder to recover. Speaking from experience, trying to make up for a month of class a day before the final isn’t fun, and it doesn’t work either. Here are some tips to make sure you don’t visit “Work Forest” anytime soon.

Find a routine. Whether it’s the ZSR Library, Farrell Hall, a random classroom in Tribble, or that gorgeous desk next to your Twin XL, everyone has their favorite place to study. It may take a while for you to figure out what is best for you. But once you get the hang of it, it’ll be a lot easier to get into productive rhythms and get ahead of the game.

Use your resources. Contrary to popular belief, your teachers don’t want to disappoint you. Make sure to go during office hours. Even if you don’t have any questions, get to know your teachers and ask them to know you. This will come in handy when you need that 0.01% bonus. And if you need extra help that office hours can’t solve, visit the various tutoring centers on campus.

Cleanliness of the dormitory (or lack thereof)

One of the things tour guides like to point out is our brand new freshman dormitory, Angelou Hall. High ceilings, sinks in all rooms, it’s practically a hotel! Well, if Angelou and South are Marriott, then Johnson and Bostwick are that seedy, unnamed, roadside one-story motel with flickering street lights and a perpetually rocking rocking chair. All of the dorms have undergone renovations over the past decade, but don’t worry, that rustic ’60s vibe is still there. While I can’t confirm or deny some rumors from years past, I can tell you my own Johnson story from last year. My pipes were rusty orange, the basement was regularly flooded, cockroaches inhabited the empty single, and I developed such a bad cough in the first two weeks that I was sent to the quarantine hotel.

Now I’m not saying these are guarantees, you may even get the chance of the raffle. But there are a few ways to prevent this from happening. Invest in an air purifier – at the very least, it muffles your neighbor’s loud music at 1 a.m. Put a DampRid in the closet to absorb moisture and prevent mold. Open the window every now and then to let in cool air, so you don’t overload your air conditioning and have to call for service. Keep a Raid bottle nearby. And for god’s sake, wear shower shoes.

My warm, packed Greek basement

Some people may read this and be excited about all the parties they will have to do over the next four years. Others may think that spending weekends in a sauna-like basement isn’t their solo cup of red tea. And both are totally cool. You are going to have friends in these two camps: maybe you will even join them. Don’t rush based on what you hear from these “formal sources” GreekRank, College Confidential, Parents’ Facebook Group, etc. Make sure you talk to people, other students, and get the scoop on what’s really going on from Greek group to Greek group.

And if you find that fraternities and sororities are not for you, there are many other social groups around campus. Sports clubs, service clubs and professional groups are just the tip of the iceberg. Whichever group is right for you, make the most of it.

Don’t let these “secrets” put you off. Remember why you picked Wake Forest in the first place. It might be the super awesome, fun tour guide that threw you over the fence, but it’s the campus, the people, and the community that brought you here and that brings everyone closer together. So take these tips or not, have a good time. And please don’t think you can hide a cat in your dormitory. Please don’t.


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