The unwritten rules of Baker University


Alyssa Glover

Graphic by Alyssa Glover.

Humans are creatures of habit, and in general most of us crave structure in our lives. If our routines are broken, it can disrupt an entire day. These unwritten rules become important to the way we live and thrive in daily life. Here at Baker, we have more than a few unwritten rules.

1. Regardless of address or location, you must leave for class 10 minutes early.

The first unspoken rule of Baker is that whether you live in the New Living Center, Greek houses or Markham Apartments, at 20 minutes past the hour on a Monday, Wednesday or Friday, you are walking out the front door to class. Where I live, this rule is never questioned. If only eight minutes remain before class begins and a member of the walking crew is absent, people start to panic. If it is 23 minutes past the hour, all hell breaks loose.

2. At the end of semester, freshmen must use their extra flex dollars to buy coffee for upperclassmen at the Daily Grind.

If you are a member of the freshman class, chances are you neglected to spend all of your flex dollars at the Daily Grind. Now is the time when you can pay seniors back for all the hard work they have put in over their four years of parties, socializing and Netflix. Trust me, we seniors need the coffee more than you do.

3. Teachers must schedule a conclave each semester to ensure they schedule their exams all during the same week.

Over the course of my years attending the “Harvard of the Midwest,” I either have a laid-back week with zero tests or a stressful week with two-or-more tests in a three-day period. I am not aware of how professors manage to coordinate their calendars this way every semester, but they do a great job. There’s nothing I love more than neglecting sleep for a week.

4. If you see someone you know on social media but not in real life, it’s completely acceptable to talk to them without acknowledging that you have never met in person before.

I follow this rule religiously. If you are out on a Saturday night, you really can start conversations with anyone at the party. There are fewer than 1,000 undergrads at this Midwestern gem, and we all know the 411 on each other. We know who studied abroad, what sport each student plays, and what kind of people they hang out with. It’s not creepy to talk to a stranger here; its normal.

5. If you want to avoid working out with an entire sports team, go to the fitness center early in the morning or after 5:30 in the evening.

Whatever you do, avoid the fitness center at 3:30. If you are not an athlete and want peace of mind or maybe some space to breathe while you work up a sweat, do not go to the fitness center during prime time.

6. The bottom floor of the library is for socializing and leisurely group projects, and the top floors are for serious mental grinding.

There is no worse disrespect than a group of friends talking above whisper volume on the second floor of the library.

7. El Patron is the only way to make it through finals week.

You know what I mean.

8. Grocery Bingo is not to be taken lightly

The stakes at grocery bingo are high, and the competition is intense. Do not attend grocery bingo without stretching and warming up beforehand. Friendships will end, drama will rise, and the dynamic of everything you’ve known will change. Do not make the mistake of coming to grocery bingo emotionally unprepared.

9. Do not change seats after the first week of class.

This is the last rule because it is practically the golden unwritten rule of Baker University. After you establish a regular desk and chair in your class, keep them and never disrespect someone else’s reserved spot.