20 Ways To Be Popular At An Expensive Liberal Arts School

Wikimedia / Westlands
Wikimedia / Westlands
  1. Despite your Jewish upbringing, support Palestine at all cost. Disregard any and all other atrocities happening across the globe. Palestine is fresh and hip. Not only do you seem engaged and political, you get to rock a Keffiyeh.
  2. Smoke Parliaments.
  3. Under no circumstances support the school your parents are paying exorbitant amounts of money for you to attend. School spirit and pride is for squares and bros. Square bros.
  4. Complain frequently. The vaguer the criticism the better. Say that the problem with your school is “systemic” or “institutional.” Offer no suggestions or constructive criticism.
  5. Take over a building. Why not the library? All you need to do is show up and then refuse to leave. It is the most effective way of getting your point (perhaps justice in a far away land) across and in no way inconveniences other students. Make sure to bring your nalgene full of greentea and your macbook, because you may be there for hours!
  6. Smoke weed and avoid homework.
  7. The more things you take offense to the better. Throw terms like sexist, racist, and homophobe at everyone/everything that has the audacity to disagree with you. The more you use these terms the more valid they become, so try to squeeze them in every other sentence.
  8. Attend class as little as possible. Don’t worry you probably don’t have grades and none of your classes actually count as credit.
  9. Frequently talk about transferring to NYU. The louder the better. Of course, this will never be a reality because your noncredits don’t transfer.
  10. It doesn’t matter if you’re from Long Island, New Jersey, or the Hamptons. At school you’re from “the city.”
  11. Take Adderall, Ritalin, Vivance, Dexedrine, etc for every task requiring the slightest bit of effort. Cleaning your room? Take some speed. One page response paper? SPEED.
  12. “Wear a bandana.”
  13. Smoke weed and take downers to relax from all the speed.
  14. Never do assigned reading. In the rare event you actually attend class, spend the whole time talking about completely irrelevant books/causes/ the dream you had last night. Anything that has nothing to do with the curriculum. The people in the class aren’t there to learn, they are there to listen to you.
  15. Take Philosophy courses. Nowadays, a philosophy degree is worth its weight in gold. When someone calls you out on the fact you never did the reading, respond cryptically with phrases like: “Well, your entire point hinges on the false assumption that a physical reality actually exists.”
  16. Wear a bandana.
  17. Remember those designer jeans you bought? Cut those bitches off.
  18. Remember those shirts you wore in 4th grade? They’re definitely cool again. People will find your Spongebob Squarepants shirt refreshing, ironic, and above all absolutely hilarious. Match it with a scarf and nonprescription glasses (the thicker the frame the more serious you are) because you’re not all fun and games. You’re an academic, a political activist, and a poet/author/musician/artist.
  19. Having fun at a party is for frat dudes and conformists. It’s best to stand outside in the freezing cold clutching a Pabst and smoking a cigarette. This equals instant respect. If you decide to ingest drugs, tell everyone about the drugs you are on as they will all certainly be impressed and fascinated.
  20. Use words like “solidarity” and “governmentality.” Learn to love Foucault and Derrida. While you’re at it, pick up an obscure instrument. Perhaps the kazoo or the banjo. Wake up your neighbors by practicing said instrument early and often. When neighbors accost you, hit them with some deconstructionism. They will be impressed.
  21. Get a tattoo. If anyone gets/understands/relates to the tattoo, you did it wrong.TC mark


More From Thought Catalog

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1363230138 Michael Koh

    this is nice

  • beachsloth

    That banjo bit hit too close to home.

  • london

    cut them bitches off and hit them with some deconstructionism

  • Eric

    pick up an obscure instrument… the banjo…

  • James

    'Palestine is fresh and hip.'

    Yeah… gross injustice happening since 1948 and all.

    • Bensaucier

      Seems ancient and biblical

  • Ras

    Roommate: You woke me up again with your stupid banjo!
    You: I did it for deconstructive reasons.

    • Anonymouse

      asdlfkjsdklfjs pain! Banjo has nothing to do with deconstruction! *Facepalm*

  • Chris

    philosophy degrees are the bomb

    • http://kumquatparadise.tumblr.com aaron nicholas

      no but seriously

    • rilez

      A Philosophy degree says, “I smoke weed and it inhibits me of thinking about anything else.”

  • YouMustBeZane

    A reference to pbr AND ironic t-shirts?!

    Man, you really know how to write a completely cliched “HiPSt3rzz Suk” -esque article.

    • patrick

      I hope he keeps writing them until all the hipsters move back to Nebraska or get beaten to death.

  • elaine

    i do some of these things, i am a bad person

  • Gerry Rice

    you make thoughtcatalog less relevant by trying so hard to be apolitical.
    also, your writing reminds me a lot of my xanga ca. 2003

    • unicorn assusalt

      Xanga is so mainstream. I bet you are in a frat.

    • Bensaucier

      You make Jerry Rice, the greatest receiver of all time, less relevant by existing.

    • Teenagewebmail

      so true! this kid was the president of the gop sponsored official young republican's club at hampshire college. it was never quite clear if it was a joke or not.

      • Bensaucier

        gop sponsored? seriously?

  • coco

    disgracefully true.

  • http://exitclov.tumblr.com exitclov

    This also works at my public, “best value” college in the South–just subtract all the references to New England money, etc.

  • http://kathbarbadoro.tumblr.com elitism

    I think a lot of this is only true at the fancy liberal arts schools on the shittier end of the spectrum. Like Bard. People actually did their work at the expensive liberal arts school I went to.

    • anon

      Aw, be nice. I know a lot of workaholics who go to Bard.

  • Brandon Gorrell


  • Natalie

    We did a lot of work at the expensive liberal arts school pictured atop this article. Most everything else, pretty true.

  • http://www.smokingonanemptystomach.blogspot.com Jordan


  • Mcconnell Shannon

    #21. Argue with esteemed professors at every chance. Even though they've dedicated their lives to studying one book or decade, you, as a freshman, are sure to find fault in what they are teaching.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/josh-mosh/28601084 josh mosh


    To be fair this is really just like 20 things that suck about hampshire and I don't think any of these things would exactly make you “popular.”

    And the kids at sarah lawrence weren't half as bad while I was there.


    • Bensaucier

      Very fair. I didn't include Sarah Lawrence, , etc in the URL. That was TC. But yea, this is based on Hampshire…

      • SLC grey beard

        And yet, I recognize that picture of Westlands any where.

  • saramcgrath

    idk tho…

  • http://www.facebook.com/amandacmuller Amanda Muller

    I guess this is why I wasn't popular during my one year at Sarah Lawrence–The only one I got right was #20 (and that's just because it was a math-related tattoo).

    • Bensaucier

      that'll do it

  • http://youlookliketheyfucked.blogspot.com Jawn

    You know that expensive digital camera you just got last May at your high school graduation party? Give it to a homeless person. You use disposables now. They are the new Polaroid cameras. The actual new Polaroid cameras are pretenders to the throne.

  • http://twitter.com/KelleyHoffman Kelley Hoffman

    be aloof, say you're from california, never talk about your family. everyone will assume you're the child of any middle aged celebrity who shares your last name….

  • Frank

    you do understand no one is FROM the Hamptons, right? okay, good.

    • Emilyjordana

      scary enough, people ARE from there. and they are terrible.
      the reason few know this is, for the most part, people actually FROM the hamptons are incapable of leaving.

  • Blaise Pascal

    This is utter shit. You've obviously got a case of hipster-envy. I recommend seeing an overpriced shrink and shopping exclusively at American Apparel and thrift stores. Suck a dick and leave us liberal arts kids the fuck out of it.

    • rilez

      Soooomebody related a little too much to this article, huh?

    • rilez

      Soooomebody related a little too much to this article, huh?

  • aniym

    wow, this is a terrible and extremely predictable list. some of these don't even make sense (speaking as someone who was a starkly conservative econ major at one of the top 10 lib arts schools)
    – PBR is over and NOBODY fucking smokes Parliaments; it reeks of poor breeding. don't forget that a ton of these “hipsters” are trust fund kids who could always afford davidoffs or if you have to slum it, marlboro lights.
    – re: Palestine. You're unlikely to find a lot of pro-Likud people on these campuses anyway, so supporting Palestine isn't really non-conformist. Tibet, Myanmar and South Sudan are where it's at. Bonus: nobody really gives enough of a shit about these places to argue with you if you cry about human rights abuses there.
    – at the higher-echelon schools, you WILL be torn a new one if you don't study and the professors of “lite” subjects like art and philosophy make their courses harder than it should be to weed out these future dropouts.
    -You missed a fairly major bullet point. People claiming to be from big cities are also ALL inexplicably DJs because they have a shitty Ableton set up and listen to a lot of electro and dubstep and talk about nothing but.

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