1. What do I do when I have a class that was supposed to be intro-level, but there are a bunch of upperclassmen making things seem so clique-y? They have inside jokes and rapport with the teacher...and they are extremely vocal about EVERYTHING.
Lost in the shuffle
Dear Lost in the shuffle,
First, remind yourself that if this is an intro class, those obnoxious upperclassmen have nothing to brag about (who knows, maybe they're retaking the class because they talked through it the last time). Also, remember the feeling of being left out in these situations so that when you are the upperclassperson with a rapport with faculty, you don't act so clique-y.
Find others in the class that respect the raising-of-your-hand-to-answer-a-question rule and befriend them, chances are they are feeling the same way as you. Your professor may be familiar with the other students from another class but it's probably not as chummy of a relationship as these students make it out to be. Give it some time, and before you know it, you'll have more inside jokes (in all your classes) than you’ll know what to do with.
The Counsel/Advice Dean (CAD)