Breaking all the rules: a guide to skipping out your (hall) orientation

You’re only allowed to wear black and white; no open-toed shoes or jewellery; no cell phones or room keys. Sounds like a night in jail? Nah, that’s just orientation on a hall in Mona.

I’m not going to delve into the details of the highly suspect tradition because it might reveal the identity of my completely anonymous source. Instead, using information gleaned from this top-secret interview I’m going to give you all the tips and tricks for avoiding your orientation process.

Budge over, there. Keep moving!

1. Show up a week and half late for orientation.

By then all the first years would have been known to the hall seniors and you will appear more like a returning student. No one will pay any attention to you (especially if you don’t have a roommate). Don’t have a roommate.

2. Express little to no interest in receiving a hall name.

The hall name is a symbol of your enslavement to the man woman. By this appellation you will be known to all the hall seniors and they will be able to call you by name when they’re rounding up the other victims first years. Not having one is like not having a TRN, you’re essentially off the radar.

3. Spend most of your time off the hall.

Go the library. Hang out with your friends from other halls (breaking a major rule of orientation). Spend your nights elsewhere. This will guarantee you plausible deniability. You weren’t just absent from orientation activities, you didn’t even know about them.

4. When you do go to activities, act dumb.

Put on your most innocent face when you’re caught mumbling the words to the Hall Song. Respond to all their inquiries with “I’m so sorry, I didn’t know that. I’m new here, you see.” You can do this every time they catch you. Since you won’t be around much (see Tip #3), it’s almost guaranteed that you can pull this trick on a different person every time.

5. Ask the first years how it’s going.

Be sympathetic to their complaints, like an older sister. They’ll stop seeing you as one of them (if they ever did) and start seeing you as a special breed of senior. One who doesn’t know as much as the other seniors, but who has to be a senior because you don’t participate in any first year stuff.

6. Talk to the security guards.

They will tell you everything you need to know, and there’s no senior being suspicious because you don’t know the proper procedure for putting a notice up.

7. Realize that you can fool everyone except the seniors.

The third years especially will already know everyone on hall. But as a new face that they haven’t seen in orientation activities, the hall committee members might be a little more likely to cut you some slack. Don’t count on it though.

8. Be nice to everyone, unless you don’t plan to return next year.

If you’re planning to apply for space on hall next year, then skipping out on your orientation will be a big strike against you. You can remedy this by being polite to everyone you talk to. And by participating in (voluntary) hall activities. On a hall which is fairly small you can get noticed pretty easily, though not necessarily in a good way.

Disclaimer: If you’re a first year university student, hall orientation is an excellent way to make friends and get to know the people you’ll be living with. I highly recommend going through with it.

But if you’re knee-deep in a university programme and only living on hall for the first time, then I highly recommend skipping out on it.

Read Robin is a professional bad decision maker, and old hat at doing the wrong thing. Stay tuned for more tips on What Not to Do to Survive your Third Year of Medical School.