1. Make it clear that you have seriously changed since high school. For the better. Basically for a good chunk of Penn students, this means that you now party often. Weekends are a 3+ night event. Say “work hard, play hard” every few hours. If you’re at a frat, and the guy at the door lets you in, tell your friend that it is because you know a lot of people in the frat. Make it seem like your social connections let you in, not that you wisely (Tip #1: go early!) arrived at the frat at 11:15.
2. Prove how much you love your school. Could not be happier. Are happier than your friend is at his or her school. Walk down Locust Walk and say hi to everyone. Your friend does not know that you do not know the person, and the person will have no choice but to reciprocate your greeting. If at a dining hall or dining–dollars accepting place, casually sort of flirt with the people that work there. You will seem highly sociable and will cultivate a feeling of campus friendliness. Make a decision ahead of time if you want to subtly make them feel like crap or not. If yes, brainstorm questions with a self–serving spin. (“How many leadership positions have you acquired?”)
3. Plan ahead to minimize issues. Avoid the post–party vom. Hydrate like crazy and preempt problems with a bedside waste canister. If you actually need to do work, tell them ahead of time to bring their own work. Other idea: enlist your loyal friend as a research assistant. Sign them in to Van Pelt and do not let them leave (make sure they know they can’t exit through the handicapped entrance in Rosengarten, tempting as that may be.) Give them a textbook and a highlighter and get ready to bond, intellectually. Don’t let your friend use the trip for an opportunistically anonymous hookup that screws up your social life. Establish rules.
4. Enjoy! This is your chance to gossip about an entire constituency that you have neglected to shit–talk since senior year. And to catch up with a beloved friend.