Image Description: A white, office boardroom is filled with five co-workers. Four of them are sitting down at the table, with the centre person standing, looking towards the left. They are all dressed in formal business attire, each with a laptop or iPad in front of them. They appear engaged in discussion with friendly expressions. They are all in front of a large window, which displays an urban city centre behind it.
By Jessica Carbone
Imagine: It’s a chilly winter’s evening in Italy. Your host sister, Bianca Maria, has generously invited you to her friend’s eighteenth birthday party. You go. You have one drink. Then two. Then eight more. At the end of the night, Bianca Maria considerately organises for the father of her best friend, Alberto, to take the three of you home. You have never met Alberto’s father before, so you know this is a very kind act of altruism on his behalf. After being in a moving vehicle for approximately 0.2 seconds, you find yourself wondering what the Italian word is for ‘spew’. Suddenly, you hear tires screeching to a halt as you projectile vomit all over Alberto’s dad’s car.
Fortunately, I just hopped on the plane back to Perth and have not had to confront Alberto’s dad since. But at university, a bad first impression means twelve weeks of awkward tutorials and relived psychological trauma.
So, here are some fresh tips on how to whittle away at that pesky individuality, conform to UWA norms, and make a GREAT first impression!
Boys: Make sure to wear your $50,000 p.a. private school crest embossed sports shorts to your first Marketing tutorial. Not only will this show everyone that you’re just doing this as a complementary unit to your accounting/economics/finance degree, it will make ECOMS’ ‘spidey senses’ tingle like a pash rash from Ave as they sniff out your superior blood amongst the filthy Commerce commoners.
Girls: Here’s the bad news: all the setting spray in the world shan’t protect your sweaty skin from absorbing seven layers of makeup into its pores on the thirty minute hike to the Business School. The good news, is that as you arbitrarily select from your endless closet of tank tops, wrap skirts and sneakers, you can be confident that this “low-key” look is sustainable and will definitely last you all the way to your Week 7 meltdown! While you’re online shopping taking notes, make sure everyone hears those fake nails tapping against your MacBook keyboard.
Boys: Straight off the bat you’re going to want to open with something vague and verbose based off a half-read article from The Guardian, a Jordan Peterson subreddit, or a very specific sub-section of Auspol. This will show everyone that you’re an intellectually superior alpha male, despite the amount of miscellaneous corduroy in your outfit. Don’t worry about letting anyone else have an opinion in the tutorial. As you already know, everybody loves hearing all your clever and unique insights, even if they are loosely based off a Rick and Morty plot line.
Girls: During the awkward icebreakers, make sure you say something cutesy, quiet and a bit clever. But not TOO clever – all of the beta males in the class need to know you aren’t a threat! Let your quirky and sexually ambiguous personality shine, by wearing Doc Martens and occasionally scrawling in the overpriced Typo notebook you carry around in your linen tote bag. When you take out your Frank Green keep cup, make sure you remind people to take care of the environment! If there’s one thing all your classmates want on a Tuesday afternoon, it’s a surprise guilt-trip pertaining to their personal shortcomings in alleviating the effects of climate change.
Look I’m going to level with you, I know absolutely nothing about Engineering. I just see a bunch of sexy UEC nerds walking around and you all seem lovely. Therefore, my blissful ignorance dictates that engineering students transcend the petty social conformities to which all other majors fall victim. You will be judged not off first impressions, but solely on goodness of character and kindness of heart. Go forth and enjoy your hellish number of contact hours without social anxieties.
There you have it. Your one-way ticket to friends, fame and fortune at UWA. If all else fails – just run for a Guild Councillor position, change your DP and wait for the flow of fake comments to flood your feed like it’s the Diva Cup of an environmentally conscious arts girl.
Jessica’s hope is that one day tutorial icebreakers become a criminal offence.