Freshman Sent into Despair over Looming Research Paper

sad male student lonely looking out the windowby Cam Wong, Hardest Class OMG Correspondent

A student was found near-comatose and spouting gibberish on the steps of Porter Hall earlier this week. When revived and questioned by student health services, the student’s only response was “sources… more sources…” followed by broken sobbing and incoherent screaming. This continued for several minutes, as the student became more and more agitated until caretakers were able to provide citations to several contemporary research articles on the effect of social media on the Dakota Access Pipeline.

Witnesses claim that the victim seemed to enter a state of blind panic upon seeing a political rally sign while entering the Gates-Hillman Center, causing them to begin hyperventilating before rushing out into the night and being found outside by campus police. The student, who has elected to remain anonymous, has been confined to their dorm room with minimal access to any social media that might trigger another attack.

Investigators say this is only the most recent of many such incidents relating to a as-of-yet unknown cause, currently labeled as “76-101”. Incidents range from outbursts in dorm rooms to sudden unexplained nausea attacks while in class to, in dire cases, collapses between classes. The precise cause can vary from incident to incident. One student reported a sudden feeling of dread (much like a heart attack) when overhearing a bystander mention the word “eleven” while discussing a math problem.

Campus reports show that these attacks are not just limited to freshmen, but can in rare cases cause significant distress in sophomores as well. First-responders and student health officials urge campus residents to be aware of the dangers, and to report any case of 76-101 they may encounter.


by Nick Rauen, Freshman Gripes Correspondent


It’s 4 AM and you sit back in your seat and sigh. That Interp paper that you procrastinated on for far too long is finally finished—or at least has met the word count. That’s what counts, right? You close your laptop and, in putting it away, knock over the two Starbucks cups and the one-too-many Red Bulls. You make your way down from the end of the hallway and walk into someone messing with the Wean Elevator. You shrug, turn the corner, and walk over to the stairs. You finally make it to the door when you see the downpour outside. The weather gods have picked the worst weather out of the random hat.

Every building is connected, right? You can make it back to Donner while barely going outside. Wean to Doherty, 10 seconds to the UC, another 10 seconds to West Wing. You can probably make it through the night without your humanity being subsumed by the torrent. You move down the hallway and find the entrance into Doherty, crossing the small connecting hall and wandering into the sloping maze. The exit on the other side of the hallway seems not to exist. Confused, you decide to head down a staircase, hoping the topographical clusterfuck that is Pittsburgh somehow caused the exit to be a floor further down. The abyss welcomes you, the stairs seeming to make less and less sense. If the floor slopes up, does that mean that you are actually going up floors? What does “up” even mean anymore, you ponder.

There is a door labeled simply “ART.” As you push past it, it creaks with decades of disuse. The corridors became narrower, and as you turn the corner you see the shadows of two figures huddled against the wall. They seem to be crouching over… some form of idol? They hear you approach and, startled, turn towards you. You hear their footsteps as they come toward the open door.

You flee in terror, tripping over your feet, choosing random doorways and hallways, desperate to escape. Your mind becomes more delirious with lack of sleep as the last bit of Red Bull fades from your system. You become desperate, falling to your knees when you see it. A slight glimmer reaches your eyes. The sunrise washes over you as you crawl to the exit. Safe.

Welcome to Carnegie Mellon, You Fucking Nerds

Well, well, well, what have we here. Another year, another class of incoming students. readme has awakened from its long summer nap and is ready to once again spew satire across campus.

If you think you can handle the truth, continue on and read what lies ahead. If you think you can make up the truth, then you’re right—consider joining readme at the next opportunity. We’ll be at the activities fair on Wednesday, September 9th, 4:30 to 6:30. Look to the bear hats.

Until then, enjoy your first few weeks as a college student. You should definitely check out Casino Night on Thursday, the comedy show on Friday, and the free movie in McConomy on Saturday. Those are all put on by the second-best organization on campus, the Activities Board (AB). Full disclosure, the best organization on campus (readme, of course) is part of AB.

The Freshman Survival Guide

College can be a frightening experience. You show up on campus and suddenly you’re surrounded by unfamiliar faces who all seem to know each other already. Maybe because they just had PlayFair two days ago.


Well, never fear! For your edification, readme proudly presents: The Freshman Survival Guide! Now you, too, can learn how to survive the freshmen.

  •         Freshman like to travel in herds. Avoid large groups and don’t make eye contact with the head of the pack.
  •         Many freshman wear their ID cards on lanyards for ‘ease of access’. This can be used to identify freshman who break from the herd.
  •         Most freshman live either on or incredibly near campus. They can thus afford to carry lighter encumbrances than an off-campus upperclassman. Take this into account when calculating necessary retreat speed.
  •         Freshman are unfamiliar with the lay of the land. Use this to your advantage by seeking refuge in [obscure part of campus] or [obscure part of campus] but be warned! The freshman will adapt and this tactic will soon become futile. Find more secure hiding places as the year goes on, and do not hide anywhere featured on the KGB campus tour.
  •         Some may tell you that the freshmen are more afraid of you than you are of them. While this advice is occasionally true, it’s best not to rely on it. If a freshman appears frightened, don’t discount the possibility that it could be a feint.
  •         Campus eating places are often filled with hungry freshmen during lunch and dinner hours. Avoid whenever possible and always have an escape route handy.
  •         At some point in the year, you may find yourself taking a class with a freshman. Do not panic. Locate the other upperclassmen in the class and band together; this should be enough to deter them. Beware freshman-dense classes like 112 and __. If you find yourself in one of those, readme can no longer help you.

…hang on a moment, readme’s getting a call on its imaginary earpiece. What’s that, imaginary earpiece? This was supposed to be a survival guide for the freshman? Why would readme do that? They scare us enough already.

Freshman Speaks, Expects CMU to be “Cakewalk”



To welcome the incoming class of freshman, readme interviewed one of their member. John Smith is a former high school star who is now merely average, although it seems clear that he hasn’t realized it yet.


When asked about where he’s from, Smith replied with a reply readme has been hearing from freshman all over campus: “I’m from some suburb in the northeast, but no one knows where that is so I’ve just been saying New York/Washington/Boston. The high school I went to was pretty good but not great. Like, most people only went to places like Case Western or Cornell, with a handful going to Harvard or MIT.” readme almost pointed out the fact that most people going to college is an achievement in itself, but thought better of it.


Smith is in CIT, but is thinking about switching to SCS, which was his first choice all along. “You know, I put SCS as my first choice, but I think somehow it got mixed up in the application process. There’s no way they would have rejected me, with my membership in 12 clubs (six of which I founded), and over 9000 hours of service each year since I was a freshman. Not to mention my involvement in three varsity sports, my self-taught fluency in Esperanto, and the fact that I was first chair in both the orchestra and band. And don’t get me started on my SAT scores.” Quickly moving to cut him off at this point, readme turned the conversation to his current time at CMU.


“So far I’m taking like 54 units,  but I’m thinking of maybe tossing in 21-127. I mean, with a title like ‘Concepts of Mathematics,’ it has to be pretty basic, and it’ll look good when I apply to… Well, it’ll look good on my resume.” Pointing out that this is a lot of classes, readme had to refrain from giggling at the response. “Well, in high school, I took AP classes and still only had a few hours of homework a week. I’ve been on the advanced track since elementary school, and they always say the next level will be harder, but it never has been. I figure CMU will be a cakewalk.”


At last report, Smith was curled in a fetal position in Hunt, his screen covered with scraps of code and various error reports.