You’re strolling about along campus, dead from last night and craving your bed and as your eyes wander about, you see the same people every single day. The people that make you go “They’ve got college right” or “Oh no, they look lost” and basically any reaction you have when you see someone doing something that is so typical and yet surprising every single time. Keep reading for 10 people you will see at Purdue!
1. The lost freshmen.
Almost every semester, you will see headlines of how Purdue has enrolled the largest freshmen class so far. And then you soon realize that it is so easy to see who they are when you’re on campus. Walk past the campus map by the unfinished Purdue P, and you will see a meeting of anxious freshmen trying to get to class on time. Walk further into memorial mall and you will see people standing by the hello walk sign trying to catch their bearings to understand what direction is what. Occasionally someone might even ask you for directions. Plenty of people you will see at Purdue are lost.
There is something I have noticed the most, they ALWAYS travel in packs. It’s almost obvious that when you see a group of students walking around campus together during class hours, they’re freshmen.
2. The hammock owners.
We all know Purdue doesn’t have the best weather all year around. But when the weather is good, there’s always that group of people crowding the memorial mall or the engineering fountain with their hammocks and mini speakers. There’s the nappers, the homework doers and then of course the groups of students talking about how they could definitely climb the tree or swing the hammock up to 90 degrees. The hammock owners are people you will see at Purdue that will make you jealous.
There’s also the Instagrammers and the photographers taking endless amounts of pictures and lastly, the couples in their double hammocks. I must say, during the fall and the spring before the frosty and bitter winter comes in, us Boilermakers really know how to make our days’ worth when the weather is good.
3. The Unicyclists!
Yeah, you read that right. These are the most surprising people you will see at Purdue. There’s always this one guy at any given time getting around campus on a unicycle. Sometimes I don’t understand why, why make the effort? Then again, he’s gotten himself on this list hasn’t he?
It is quite entertaining actually, seeing this guy just cruise across campus and casually walk into class with a folded unicycle. Except when it’s snowing, then he’s out of luck.
4. The bikers and the longboarders.
Now, I’m not really sure how it works on other campuses but we have had a HUGE longboarding outbreak here at Purdue. Being an almost flat campus with no hills, biking and longboarding is so common that all the racks are always full, and there’s someone falling off their longboard eating dirt on any given day. Most people you will see at Purdue have a bike or longboard. Sometimes, you’re annoyed by them on the sidewalk and sometimes envious of their efficiency in getting to class but nevertheless, you’ll be seeing a lot of these around.
Being a school of engineers, you’re bound to see something whacky and stupid, but hey it’s not stupid if it works. I’ve spotted many kids sporting a longboard with a motor, and a remote in their hands to accelerate. Yeah, a motorized longboard. Talk about being lazy, or just smart? Don’t those two go hand in hand?
5. The Picnickers
Purdue has a huge campus, which means lots of space for activities on the days when it isn’t covered with snow. Thanks to the memorial mall, and many other open areas around campus, you will often see people setting up a picnic with their friends (you know that water bottle isn’t water and the apple juice isn’t apple juice).
Then there’s the benches and tables by the Beering fountain where people like to eat takeout food and do homework, just close enough to be in range of PAL, while trying to make sure all their stuff doesn’t fly off thanks to the unnecessarily heavy wind. I commend these people though, because even with all the irritating weights and extra concentration you need to put on your paperwork and food bags, they still sit out there to appreciate the weather.
6. The Campus Tourists
Every once in a while, you’ll be sitting in CL50 and you will notice a pack of parents and students (potentially) walk across the back of the hall, awkwardly looking at everyone watching sports, playing games and texting in the back row. You’ll see them walking across the John Purdue statue, and through Stewart Centre. And if you’re lucky, you will see a fellow student trying to look terrified to go to class and awkwardly tell them “It’s a trap, don’t fall for it” just to scare the poor high-schoolers about college.
Let’s not forget to mention the enthusiastic tour guides, hating the fact that they have to make college academics sound fun. They are always holding up a smile and trying to be as loud as possible while not letting their voice get lost in a never-ending abyss of a ridiculously long-lasting sore throat; all because Mom wasn’t here to take care of them.
7. PUPD a.k.a Purdue University Police Department
You might think that, “Oh, what do cops need to do in the middle of the day on a college campus”, and honestly, I don’t know because our campus feels so safe. In any case, there is ALWAYS cop cars parked around campus, and it is so entertaining when you see students suddenly riding bikes and longboards on the road, not jaywalking and trying to be as straight faced as possible. I mean, they’re here to protect us not mess with us, but it seems like everyone just gets paranoid (including me).
Often they will pull over bikes (YES BIKES), for not stopping at a stop sign or riding on the sidewalk and watching the biker just question his purpose in life as he gets a ticket for riding a bicycle on the sidewalk. Now here’s a pro tip for the freshmen; the first few weeks of classes, this practice is at its peak. Cops are on the watch, making sure the freshmen understand the rules of the road, so be extra careful. The PUPD are people you will see at Purdue, but you can avoid if you follow the rules. The rest of the semester, be extra careful anyways because even though there’s no cops, that isn’t really something to encourage you to do something silly.
All in all, the Boilermakers appreciate all that you do to make this a safer environment for everyone, so thank you PUPD.
8. The fancy cars.
Take a walk on and around campus on a weekday, take a minute to notice the Chauncey hill parking lot. You are bound to see at least three or four REALLY fancy cars per day. I’m always jealous of these people you will see at Purdue. Thanks to our large student strength, we have a very diverse crowd and a lot of our students are auto enthusiasts. Thanks to this, we get to see the best of the best cars around campus. Whether it’s a Ferrari, a Maserati, a highline Mercedes-Benz or a classic Toyota Supra, we’ve got it all.
As you walk along State Street, you will hear the roar of a V8, or a tuned V6, and for those that don’t understand those words, long story short, fast and speedy cars driving by.
9. The Runners
I don’t just mean the people that are out for runs for a workout, I mean the runners that could be running for any reason. Since Purdue has a large bus system, there’s always a group of people trying to get the bus back home or to class. There’s the bus catchers most often seen at the Union Bus stop (leave space if you’re standing there for your own safety), there’s the “I’m late to class” runners, the “I forgot I had a meeting” runners and thanks to Purdue’s large campus they’re not overdoing it when they say they have to run.
It is very common for Purdue and its organizations to have events that involve running as well, such as the insomnia cookie run, the classic fountain run and the various charity 5ks that we have all year long.
10. Student “bike police”
If you don’t know this already, you better make sure you do, especially if you have a bike. Don’t ask me how, but Purdue has had a long-lasting tradition of taking any unlocked bikes and placing them in the closest tree, high up.
Yeah, that’s what happens, your bike, if left unlocked, will end up in a tree. People don’t steal unlocked bikes as much as they put them in trees and you will always see someone doing the needful or a bike that has already been put into a tree. Yes, it is weird; no, it probably won’t stop. So just don’t leave your bike unlocked.