Gettysburg College has been home to thousands of students from around the world for over 185 years. Everyone leaves with a unique experience, but there are some things that everyone can relate to as a Gettysburgian.
If you don’t recognize these 25 Gettysburg norms, do you really go there?
1. JMR = BAE
Gettysburg’s very own celebrity: President Janet Morgan Riggs. “I never expected to know my college president… There are hundreds of employees, thousands of students and even more alumni in our community, and President Riggs makes a point of developing relationships with people on this campus. She hosts students at her house all the time and says hi to everyone she sees. I’m so happy to have a proud Gettysburgian at the helm of our school,” said senior Brooke Gutschick.
2. The Gettysburg acronyms are basically their own language.
CUB, DPS, JMR, EI, GLC….um, excuse me what? Tour guides for the school have to be super careful not to refer to places on campus by their acronyms. At some point people just got tired of saying “Department of Public Safety” or “Garthwait Leadership Center.”
3. A 10-minute walk from one side of campus to the other feels like forever.
We don’t know how good we have it. Instead of taking buses to class or driving building to building, our housing accommodations are just a few steps from the classroom. Ah, the benefits of a small campus.
4. You know the luxury of unlimited meal swipes as a first-year.
Servo couldn’t make it easier for first-year students. Instead of meal counting, students can worry about more important things like making friends, coordinating weekend plans and studying. “Now as a junior, I look at how many meals I have on Sunday night and realize I only have one meal left for two days,” said junior Andy Milone. It’s tough living that 12-meals-a-week lifestyle.
5. Dressing to the nine’s freshman year then rocking your leggings Thursday through Saturday by sophomore year.
Some schools are all about looking nice for a night out in a dirty and dark basement. Gettysburg tries to keep it simple. Before you can go through the formal recruitment process, first-year students are left out of the fun mixer parties where dressing crazy is actually better. “Freshman year I made sure I wore a dressy shirt with a cute skirt, my make-up was pristine and that I looked put together. Sophomore year, I would go out with the makeup I put on at the beginning of the day, the same leggings I wore to class and changed out of my t-shirt,” said junior Eily Anderson.
6. You know how to act calm, cool, and collected walking past a DPS officer on your way to a frat.
We all have our favorite DPS officer and know how to turn on that smile like a light switch.
7. You’ve done at least one career-related or job shadowing activity before graduation.
The Gettysburg alumni network could quite possibly be one of the strongest attributes of the education. By graduation, 99 percent of seniors have plans to attend graduate school or have a job in place. “Gettysburg faculty supported my search for a summer research experience, giving me multiple options and suggestions to narrow my focus down to what I really wanted to do. I got an internship at University of California—Riverside researching plant molecular biology and it was by far one of the best career-related experiences that I’ve had,” said junior Zoe Yeoh. Professors, staff, parents and alumni know the quality of Gettysburg students and give it their all to help seniors secure a path post-graduation.
8. You’re ridiculously creative with mixer outfits.
Halloween is every weekend here. College has become an elementary school kid’s dream. Every weekend calls for lots of runs to the local thrift shop and Amazon Prime orders.
9. You’ve made countless Lincoln Diner and Pizza House runs in the middle of the night.
Those poor overnight diner workers…We have a love-hate relationship as we consistently bring business at odd hours of the night, but typically cause quite the scene.
10. Your Fall and Winter wardrobe consists of Bean Boots everyday.
Our student body is a walking campaign for Bean Boots. “Bean Boots are a staple in the ‘unofficial Gettysburg dress code’ and I wouldn’t have it any other way,” said junior Emily Evans. We’re still waiting for an official offer to be featured in a L.L. Bean commercial. They could probably send photographers over to campus any day of the week to shoot an ad.
11. Your schedule has one too many commitments.
The best thing you can do for yourself as a first-year student is get involved. You’ll make new friends and build a strong resume.“Once I joined one organization on campus, it inspired me to become even more involved in other aspects. I like being busy, but even though I was involved in four or five different clubs and activities last semester, I was never overwhelmed!” said senior Aubrey Silverman. Gettysburg provides so many incredible opportunities for students that often times we need to take a step back and see if we actually have the time in our schedules to participate. Then again, it’s a good kind of problem to have.
12. Your wardrobe features tons of orange and blue—maybe even too much.
“Take one look at my closet and you’ll immediately see orange and blue. They are two of my favorite colors and I’m proud to show my school spirit wherever I go,” said junior Skyler Ehly.
13. You commonly call things “Gettysburgreat.”
Have a Gettysburgreat day! Do Gettysburgreat work! I’m feeling Gettysburgreat! Give it a few years to get its down definition in Webster’s Dictionary.
14. Your professor knows your name and most things about you.
“In-class banter between Professor Fee and I developed into an active mentorship these past few years. Without Fee’s support, I would not have much academic confidence in myself at all. He paved the way for research and job opportunities as well as connections with other supportive professors, trustees, and administrational staff. Ever since, I’ve helped him anyway I can as research and office assistant. Our truly symbiotic relationship was born in a joke and it continues to this day with joke,” reflected senior Jerome Clarke.
15. You know that Gettysburg isn’t in Virginia.
If I had a dime for every time someone thought Gettysburg was in Virginia, I could pay for my liberal arts education. Haven’t you heard of the Gettysburg Battle?
16. A Servo cookie a day keeps the doctor away.
Servo cookies have become so popular that dining services now sends them around the world to students studying abroad. Sign up for a tour and you may be lucky enough to snatch a cookie during your stop in the dining hall.
17. Everyone studies abroad in some capacity (#gettysburglobal).
“Gettysburg College makes studying abroad easy for every student in every major by transferring credits and allowing the experience to cost as much as a regular semester on campus. I went to Lancaster, England with several other Gettysburg students, which helped me acclimate to a new culture and community,” said junior Sarah Rivera.
18. You go to the gym as a social activity with your friends.
“It’s really empowering to see a lot of the people I surround myself with care about themselves and their health as much as I do. Plus it is nice to be able to take a break or two during my work out and just talk with some of my friends when I just happen to run into them there,” said senior Meredith Cox.
19. If you need to find someone, you check the Commons.
Looking for a member from Alpha Delta Pi or Sigma Chi? Look no further. It’s like a chapter reunion at all times of the day.
20. You know your favorite Servo meal.
You’ll need to plan your dinner time strategically if Servo serves their infamous chicken bruschetta.
21. Team Ragged Edge or Ugly Mug?
“I’m an ugly mug fan. One for convenience because it’s closer to sophomore housing, and two you can’t go wrong with a hangover helper,” said sophomore Matthew Robertson.
22. You anxiously wait to attend Mama’s Thursdays.
Best part of turning 21? You’re not left out of Mama’s Thursdays. If you made it in before you turned 21, I commend you.
23. You can’t graduate until you take a dip in the fountain.
“It was freshman year—I lived in Paul and I was walking back from a frat during Springfest weekend and I was decked out in leis and soaked from a water balloon fight in the basement running across campus with a friend. I think after already getting four points freshman year the prospect of possibly getting 10 made jumping in the fountain thrilling and another thing to check off my bucket list at Gettysburg,” said junior Claire.
24. Get Acquainted Day counts as a holiday for the campus.
“It’s the first time we get to meet members of the upcoming first year class and introduce them to the campus community. We get to meet those who we’ll one day cheer for in the stands, partner with on group projects and have in our organizations. More than that, we are showing these students what it’s like to be a Gettysburgian and why joining this community will be the best decision they’ve ever made,” said senior Maja Thomas.
25. You’ve taken one too many sunset pictures.
“The sunsets in Gettysburg have truly made my experience here that much better. Looking at them at the end of the day just brightens my day no matter what. I appreciate them so much and love going on battlefield walks to cherish the moment of the sun setting daily. They are simply beautiful and I have said multiple times ‘I go to Gettysburg because of the sky.’ They are sunsets that you will not see anywhere else and they are truly one of the reasons that make Gettysburg so special and unique,” said junior Danielle Boyland.