By: Saije Rusimovici, Staff Writer
A misty winter fog drifts through the winding roads that lead to the top of Burnaby Mountain, collecting at the bus loop. Without warning, a frosty breeze blows a collection of dried up leaves across the Cornerstone sidewalk. The aroma of freshly brewed coffee snakes through the door as someone makes their way out of Starbucks, hot coffee in hand.
Your eyes follow them as they bring the coffee to their lips. They wear big, nearly opaque sunglasses even though it hasn’t been sunny in weeks. You try to meet their gaze, but it’s impossible. As they walk by you, they offer a thin lipped smile, tucking a spiral bound notebook into their oversized tote bag. For reasons you can’t explain, all you want to do is read their mysterious journal.
Sensing your gaze, the wispy figure drops the journal on your tiny table and whisks away. Literally. So let’s see what they have to say:
1. Purchase a thrifted trench coat
Let’s be honest — we all wanted an Alison DiLaurentis style redcoat during our Pretty Little Liars phase in early 2013. For on-campus purposes, and to fit the more modern, dark academic look, pair either a vintage Burberry, camel coloured coat with a sharp long sleeve button up, subtle pearl earrings, and a pressed, pleated pant. Look like you’ve jumped off the pages of The Secret History and onto SFU campus. It’s okay to give the east coast scholar vibe even though we’re much closer to California than New England. For all anyone knows, you’re visiting from Cambridge. Keep them guessing.
2. Carry around a thick, slightly worn paperback — the vaguer the title, the better
Find a tree to read under, in true Rory Gilmore fashion. Honestly, any inconspicuous location works as long as people can see you. There’s no point in hiding between the stacks in the library. Maybe the outdoor seating at West Mall Starbucks. Or, on the upper floor of the dining hall, dressed too nice and out of place in comparison to the other kids wearing Pillow Slides and pyjama pants. Appear both smart and secretive at the same time. Top picks include Bunny, Dead Poets Society — but make sure it doesn’t have the movie as its cover — or Wuthering Heights.
3. Give a pseudonym at Starbucks
Maybe you feel like being a Claire today. Or an Esmeralda. A Gerard? Make up a personality to go with them, and their beverages. Claire is quiet and polite. Always asks for her drink extra hot, usually a variation on a tall, nonfat, vanilla latte. Esmeralda always gets the latest drink with a cake pop (the flavour depends on the day), offering a little attitude to the barista. Gerard refuses anything but an americano with room, despite never adding any cream to it. Makes you wonder what he pours in there as he makes his way to 18th century lit.
4. Be one with the fog
Take a stroll through campus enjoying the hazy mist settling over the pond on your way to the AQ. Take your time — it never hurts to be fashionably late to class (you’re ahead of the reading list anyways).
5. Sit near the back, but raise your hand the most
Your art history professor isn’t sure who is speaking, but your voice carries clear across the lecture hall. Keep comments concise, yet thought-provoking, answers vague, yet intriguing, and counterarguments bold, yet civil. Respond to prompts with an incontrovertible “wherever the wind blows,” keeping a neutral expression. People may look over at you and think: who even talks like that? That’s the point.