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So You Want to Be a Real Pitt Pathfinder?

So, you want to be a Pitt Pathfinder. Or, maybe you wanted to be a Pathfinder but you didn’t make the cut because you couldn’t walk backward. Or maybe you’re just bitter that the Pathfinder tour leaves so much out when describing the Pitt experience. Whatever your reasoning, here’s a quick-start guide to being a real Pathfinder all on your own, including the sites you actually see as a student at Pitt.

8.) Cathedral of Learning–first floor:
The obvious place to begin any Pitt tour, right? Make sure to tell your tour group that the only time to get a place to sit is between 6 a.m. and 6:30 a.m. Otherwise, they’ll have to do unspeakable things to get a hard, wooden chair at a wobbly table. Also, encourage the tour group to stand in the middle of where everyone is walking to take pictures of the ceiling on their phones.

7.) Hillman Library:
Take your tour group to the ground floor at peak hours, so they know just how loud and obnoxious it truly gets. Dare them to find a table that isn’t already occupied. Point out that the school is moving all the books to an undisclosed off-campus location. It will explain the perpetual clanking of metal shelves being dismantled quicker than a freshman’s pre-med aspirations.

6.) Market:
Real Pathfinders like to show people Market at its absolute best. You’re going to show them Market as it will be experienced–in the middle of the night, either drunk or sleep-deprived from hours of desperate midterm cramming. Every tour member gets a complimentary serving of flaccid French fries and pizza with the same consistency as the plate it’s sitting on.

5.) South Oakland:
People who take college tours want to know where the parties are. You’re going to show them. Be the tour guide Pitt deserves and haul ass all the way to Boulevard of the Allies, experiencing gloriously filthy South O on the way. Draw everyone’s attention to the trash strewn about the street, the rickety, crumbling duplexes operated by slumlords, and the distinct lack of real grocery stores anywhere in sight.

4.) Lothrop Hall:
The next part of your tour involves dragging your weary tour group to the part of campus that’s actually a hospital. There lies Lothrop Hall, cheapest single-dorms available on campus, home of the loners and the students who couldn’t stand their assigned roommates. It’s old, it’s scary, it’s far from everything, and it doesn’t have air conditioning–Lothrop Hall, where the biggest selling point is having a tiny sink in your closet.

3.) Heinz Field:
Some out-of-towners may wonder where Pitt’s football stadium is. No problem! Cram your tour into an Uber XL and make your way downtown to Heinz Field. People who stay for the whole thing get a free beverage.

2.) Flagstaff Hill:
Once you’ve return from Heinz Field, march your tired and grumpy tour group all the way up to Flagstaff to relax a little. Easily the most 420 friendly campus locale, Flagstaff is known for its intoxicating plant life (second only to Phipps Conservatory). Give the tour a hit of what college life is all about.

1.) Any dorm security desk:
Now that your tour group is chill and ready to hit the hay, show them what it’s like to go through security before getting home. One rule: everybody has to sign in a friend. Watch as they wait in that agonizing line, while the cranky security guard with poor vision fumbles with ID’s that never scan properly. Once everyone is in, turn around and sign everyone out. Pointless? Redundant? Inefficient? Oh yes, it’s all of those things–and it’s what being a Panther is all about. Hail to Pitt.

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