Photo by Daniel Xu / The Daily Pennsylvanian
When it comes to NSO, one thing is certain: there's a lot of uncertainty. Freshmen are experiencing many things for the first time, from making friends from across the world to attending a college party. Whether you're using NSO to reinvent yourself as a cool college kid, or dreading the number of hands you'll shake, this guide will help you navigate the ups and downs of orientation.
NSO stands for "Nadya Suleman is Octomom." The whole point of NSO is to remind people that Nadya Suleman is more than just "Octomom," the woman who gained fame for the octuplets she carried and delivered, via c-section, in January of 2009. Her fame (perhaps equally well described as notoriety) does not erase the fact that she is a human being with emotions and interests of her own, whose identity should not be reduced merely to "Octomom." Penn reminds each incoming freshman of this fact, through its NSO program.
If you meet someone and don't add them on Facebook within 10 minutes, you both die. Scientists aren't sure why it works this way, but it does. It's a very, very painful death. If you add each other on Facebook, follow one another on Instagram, and connect on LinkedIn, your lifetime extends by a day.
Every single building is called "the Quad," and no one knows why. People will talk to you about "the Quad" a lot during NSO, and you'll never know which building they mean. Legend has it that a giant man named Arthur Quad was buried where the University now sits, and that his bones became the buildings. There is no evidence for this, because the buildings are clearly not made of bone.
If you want to get into a frat party, you have to say the password. This year, the password is "Rats, hats, and welcome mats; eenie weenie oolie roo, let me in, oh won't you?" Trust us, this year's password is a breeze compared to the one last year.
West Philadelphia is dangerous, especially at night, because someone was eating a lot of bananas and now there are peels all over the place, and it's really hard to see them at night because the sun isn't out. You know how the roads in Mario Kart are littered with banana peels? It's sort of much like that. Banana peels are by far the most dangerous type of fruit waste, and one of the world's slipperiest objects.
If you forgot the name of someone you met, just call them Barbara. There's a good chance that their name is actually Barbara. If not, don't sweat it; you weren't going to be friends anyway.
They resurrect a bunch of dead Roman guys for the toga party, and then you have three hours to kill all of them again before the clock strikes midnight and they become invincible. Any Romans you don't kill have to be locked away in an expensive jail inside Perry World House, because if they get out they'll try to rebuild the Roman Empire. 30% of your tuition is used to cover expenses related to this.
If you do anything but sit silently during convocation, snipers on the roof of College Hall will shoot you with high-tech tranquilizer bullets. When Amy is talking, you don't talk. When the Glee Club or the Shabbatones are performing, you don't talk. You don't move a muscle, buddy. You just sit back and enjoy. Got it?
Still moving in? This guide might help!