Shady Dealer Banner


How to Maximize Your O-Week Merch Haul

By Claire Holland
Sept. 24, 2018



Hello, first years! We’re going to start the year with an important lesson: Contrary to what others may tell you, the goal of O-Week is not to “acclimatize to college life” or “make new friends,” whatever that means, but to squeeze so much free shit from college events that even the most extreme of hoarders would weep at the sight of your merch pile. Unless your dorm room is rendered completely impassable by the end of the week, you haven’t gotten the most out of your first university experience, and unless you’re an O-Aide next year, you’re never going to get the chance to do it again.

So, if you’ve always wanted to own more maroon tee shirts than books, if you want to prep your room for the coming winter by constructing a human-size nest of branded detritus, or if you just want to bask in the warm realization that you have clawed as much money back from the financial black hole called "tuition fees" as humanly possible, here are some Dealer-certified tips and tricks for your O-Week.

Before taking any further steps, it is necessary to discard all lingering sentiments of pride and self-respect that you may have. Trust me, you’ll lose them anyway when you get your first calculus midterm back. With no shame, no one can judge you for the addict-like gleam you get in your eyes when you glimpse a white folding table on the Quad, or for the Gollum-esque mutterings you won’t be able to stop yourself from emitting once you receive your seventh reusable water bottle.

Lacking shame will also set you up for step two: disguising yourself. This can be as simple as putting on one of the three UChicago-brand sunglasses you managed to score yesterday, or as elaborate as stealing and donning your roommate’s larping helmet and chest plate. When done right, the lowly Admissions Office representative manning the giveaway booth won’t blink an eye when you come back for thirds, especially if you can insert yourself into various first year groups as they nervously approach the table.

In terms of front-end tactics, there are a few that can really kick your game into high gear. Buy a drone to airlift out stacks of beer cozies and phone chargers when no one’s looking. Then, get a shopping cart—or better yet, a moving van—to carry everything that your frail academic arms can’t. If you can avoid sleeping in favor of hitting up both late night and early morning O-Week events, you’re in good shape. If you can intercept merch supply chains before they can reach their distribution points, even better! With a little elbow grease and some light reconnaissance, you can become the queen of the UChicago brand that you’ve always dreamed of becoming.

So fly, my maroon magpies, and conquer O-Week. I’ll check back in with you once I’ve tunneled out of my storage locker.