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Top 10 U.Va. red flags

I love dear old U.Va — but there are some red flags too difficult to ignore

<p>Some red flags crop up among the student body, while others are inextricably linked to the University itself.</p>

Some red flags crop up among the student body, while others are inextricably linked to the University itself.

It’s okay — the people and things we love often have a few red flags, and the University is no different. Some red flags crop up among the student body, while others are inextricably linked to the University itself. From hyperactive LinkedIn users to questionable statistics in the Stall Seat Journal, here are the most glaring red flags on Grounds.

1. The SafeRide white van

I remember arriving on Grounds in August of my first year and being inundated with a variety of safety resources to know about. One resource that stood out to me was the University’s SafeRide — a free ride service for students to utilize when they don’t feel safe walking home at night. Please note that the SafeRide is a white van. Yes, the exact type of vehicle you were always told to run away from — especially when the white van is offering you free candy. I find the SafeRide white van to be one of the funniest contradictions around Grounds.

2. Students studying Commerce who will make sure you know it

You either know this exact person or you were this person. Either way, you are certainly familiar with this Comm student rambling on about their economics class and how cool stocks are. In fact, they probably even have an internship lined up at Goldman Sachs. While this Comm student may think they are providing you with life-changing bits of wisdom, they surely can’t talk with you forever when there are consulting club meetings to attend. The networking grind never stops. 

3. A table to pay your enrollment deposit at Days on the Lawn

This simply screams desperate. As I was walking by Peabody Hall on my way to class earlier this week, I was excited to see all the new Wahoos exploring Grounds. The ginormous sign denoting the table where new students can pay their enrollment deposit struck me as unusually aggressive — especially as the University is not exactly short on cash. As I am currently dragging myself through a mountain of papers, I couldn’t help but want to tell the newly-admitted Wahoos to run while they still can.

4. Course syllabi that include the CAPS contact information 

While adding resources for student well-being in a syllabus certainly comes from a place of compassion, it is still an immediate red flag. Seeing the CAPS information at the bottom of a syllabus indicates that this class is going to crush your self-esteem so intensely that a CAPS appointment is the only way out. The cruel twist, however, is that the real red flag becomes the weeks-long wait times to schedule a CAPS appointment.

5. Signing leases for the following year in early September

A group of 18-year-old students signing a year-long lease with people they have known for a couple of weeks — what could possibly go wrong? So much changes over the course of an academic year, and binding yourself into a legal responsibility with virtual strangers is a tried-and-true red flag. If you are lucky, things work out and you don’t end up hating your roommates. But if not, you might get stuck with a red flag roommate who blares music at all hours of the day and night. 

6. That one friend who’s a little too into LinkedIn 

I get it — a little self-promotion is necessary as students enter the real world. Nevertheless, being a chronic poster with over 500 connections on LinkedIn is a major red flag. I understand that you are “thrilled to announce” your latest resumé addition, but I don’t know how many more of these posts I can read. At the very least, some variation to these LinkedIn posts would be much appreciated. There has to be a better way to describe your feelings other than “beyond excited.”

7. Questionable Stall Seat Journal statistics 

If there is one thing the University loves, it is a statistic — especially on its promotional materials. The Stall Seat Journal — a publication from Student Health and Wellness promoting healthy habits that hangs in the stalls of on Grounds bathrooms — is no exception. I cannot help but laugh at some of the statistics that are selected. A favorite of mine is from the substance safety issue, stating that “92 percent of U.Va. students watch out for their friends to make sure they stay safe.” I find that these statistics have a different effect than intended — I instead think about the 8 percent of University students who do not look out for their friends. 

8. “Hoo Needs a Hug

Could there be any larger red flag than the conditions that make hug volunteers necessary? Although I think the individuals who volunteer to hug students are wonderful, am I the only one worried that free hugs seem to be the only solution to the struggles of University students? “Hoo Needs a Hug” seems to translate to “Hoo is Miserable.” Frankly, the answer to that question is me in the midst of my midterms.

9. The sheer number of runners 

As someone who has never loved running — I would rather put pins in my eyes than subject myself to such cardiovascular torture — the popularity of running around Grounds is shocking to me. If your first instinct when you wake up is to run several miles, I am scared of you, and I want to make sure everything is alright at home. I will stick to my morning ritual of coffee and playing Wordle — even if it means I will never achieve the honor of participating in a Run with Jim.        

10. That distracting sorority girl in lecture

You know this person. You’re just trying to listen to your professor’s lecture, but behind you, that blonde girl with the raspy voice is whispering about Tri Delt’s upcoming mixer with Elmo. When you finally direct your attention back to note-taking, the whispers distract you once more — this time, she’s explaining that she can’t work on the group project Sunday because she has chapter. I know these are pressing matters, but please plan your next spray tan appointment somewhere else.  


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