We all know the obvious signs of a college student: tired eyes, sweatpants, and coffee cup in hand while shuffling to class. We’ve all seen it, and most of us are probably looking into the mirror thinking “yep, that’s me”. But besides the standard ones, what are the signs you’re a Grand Valley student? Because GVSU is unlike any other university (in our humble opinion, maybe even the best?), Lakers stand out from the rest. Don’t be surprised if you see more than a few of these in yourself, we’re one of a kind! You know you go to Grand Valley State University when…
Your closet is full of Laker blue and white!
We Lakers show our pride through wearing the iconic blue and white of our school. Almost every student here would need more than two hands to count how many GV items we own. But when they hand out free gear at almost every sporting event, it’s impossible not to stock up. What can we say, Laker blue looks good on everyone!
You avoid walking under the blue arch to dodge the curse
When you get to Grand Valley, you’ll hear about the curse. Apparently, if you walk under the blue arch next to the Arboretum by Ausable Hall, you will immediately be cursed. The horrible punishment? Failing all midterms (a freshmen nightmare). Of course, there are weird ways to undo it that seemingly only a few people know about, but save yourself the time. Just don’t walk under the arch and avoid it like everybody else does. It’ll save you many sleepless nights spent worrying about your impending doom.
Every time you ask someone where they are from, they hold up their hand to show you on the mitten
It’s a Michigander thing. Ask almost any in-state student and they will pinpoint exactly where they live in Michigan using only their pointer finger and right hand. And with amazing accuracy! This leaves many out-of-staters very confused, and scratching our heads trying to figure out this bizarre behavior. But don’t worry, soon enough you’ll catch on and maybe, just maybe, be able to one day do it yourself when asked where you go to school.
Squirrels coming right up to you is completely normal
Since Grand Valley is a very natural campus with a forest and ravine right in the middle of it, wildlife is a part of the campus. Deer, birds, and even groundhogs are not unusual things to see here. Even more common? Squirrels. Overly friendly, not-afraid-of-you squirrels. They will even jump out of trash cans at you and walk right next you on the sidewalk! You’ll get used to it eventually, and soon enough you’ll be feeding them the rest of your sandwich while sitting in the Arboretum.
You know that Mackinaw is the most confusing building ever. Period.
I don’t care how many classes you’ve had in Mackinaw; no one really truly knows their way around that building. No one. Where is D hall? Do I go upstairs or downstairs? Wait, there’s a basement? If you find yourself asking these questions, you’re not alone, because not one Laker could probably give you the answer. Just make sure you find the POD store, and you’re good. Food is more important than class, right?
You have a picture with Louie the Laker and/or T Haas
It is on every Laker’s bucket list to get a picture with one of these Grand Valley celebrities. Double points if you get one with both! It’s not uncommon to see students flagging down Louie at sporting events or T Haas (our amazing president) with their phone in hand, ready for a selfie. With a little perseverance, it’s fairly easy to get one (and the bragging rights that go with them)!
The printers at Pew library have given you trust issues
Luckily, GVSU offers all students free printing in any computer lab and the libraries! But that doesn’t mean it’s at all reliable, especially at the Mary Idema Pew library. All students here know well that even if you send something straight to the printer with every wish in the world, it probably still won’t show up to print. So we sigh, shed a few tears, and try again. Will it ever work?
Your wardrobe consists entirely of winter clothing
Living in Michigan gets bitterly cold, and all students here know that if you don’t suit up, you’re going to regret it. Walking to class in a blizzard is hard enough, but without snow boots, gloves, and a jacket reaching down to your knees, it is almost impossible. Our closets mostly consist of heavy sweaters, thick boot socks, a parka fit for a king, and multiple pairs of thick gloves. We’ve all questioned at some point if our university is located in Michigan or Antarctica while simultaneously cursing at the snow blowing in our faces.
You could face all five seasons in one week and be totally unfazed
Allendale has the weirdest weather ever. You could be warm in the morning and not even need a coat, and suddenly it will be snowing in the afternoon. Fortunately, here at Grand Valley, we are completely used to this. We have gloves on us always in case of a snowy ambush or umbrellas to protect from the lake effect downpours. Spring on Monday then winter on Tuesday? Nothing but a normal week for us!
Every time you walk through Kirkhof, chances are more than a few pamphlets will leave with you
With Kirkhof being the student center, many organizations will set up tables in an effort to recruit unsuspecting passerbys on their way to Panda Express. Everyone knows the drill by this point; keep your head down, avoid eye contact, and walk quickly. This way you and your orange chicken will leave peacefully, without any informational flyers being shoved into your hands.
Laker Bowls at Kleiner are the highlight of your Mondays
Fried chicken, mashed potatoes, gravy, corn, and cheese. Arguably one the best dishes served on campus and the students here know it. The lines on the nights these are served have the longest wait times, but it is so worth it. Between Kleiner and Fresh, you’re sure to be able to find one when you need it. When it’s been a long week full of exams and projects, these are the perfect treat for any Laker.
No beautiful fall/spring day feels complete without a walk through the Arboretum and a nap in a hammock
It is almost a rule at Grand Valley that when the sun is bright and it’s warm, it’s time to take the hammocks out. Taking in the amazing scenery on our campus is the only way to spend these few heavenly days. Bright colored hammocks crowd the Arboretum and just about any wooded part of the campus. Lakers know how to kick back the right way!
Laker pride is a very real thing, and Grand Valley is truly home!
Every student here is proud to call Grand Valley State University their home away from home. We show it by painting our faces blue at football games, throwing up the Anchor Up hand sign whenever we can, and posting selfies with our amazing president. Talk to any student here and they’ll tell you; GVSU holds a special place in all of our hearts and always will. Go blue!