College Guide 2011
Published: August 24, 2011
When MT editorial intern Ally Levise suggested a college bucket list, we put the word out on Facebook, on Twitter and to our staffers and interns — and one of our sister papers, The San Antonio Current, did the same. A sampling of the resulting insights — sometimes serious, sometimes not, sometimes contradictory — should help ensure you undergrads get the most out of the experience.
Pranks When we graduate from college, we're supposed to be sober, serious adults. So what better excuse right now to release a painted pig in a building? Or to put 100 pink flamingos on the dean's lawn? Be creative, and remember: Don't get caught.
Start the next campus craze — Our post-collegiate research department identifies goldfish-swallowing in the 1930s (210 is claimed as a record), panty raids (supposedly beginning at the University of Michigan) and phone-booth stuffing in the 1950s, piano-smashing in the 1960s and streaking in the 1970s. There the fad tradition pretty much dies. But you, dear collegiate reader, can revive it.
Organize a flash mob But make it a flash mob for good, not evil.
Posters — This is the last time in your life when you can put posters on the wall without being accused of regressing. We suggest something tasteful, such as W.C. Fields or some symphony in blacklight from a resale shop.
Go vegetarian/vegan Not only can you enjoy all the college-age self-righteousness of a vegan diet, it dovetails neatly with the "picky eater" phase you don't want to age out of quite yet. Note that limited income often creates the hybrid McVegetarian who subsists on ramen and fishwiches.
Experience the dorm cafeteria Including on "mystery meat" day. Unless you're following the advice above.
Road trip! Normally, this means getting in your friends' worst, smallest car, packing it to the gills with things you will not need, and then breaking down on the highway just far enough from home to necessitate calling Mom and Dad for a wire from Western Union.
Declare your independence For the majority of college students, you are still reliant upon Mom and Dad for almost everything: tuition, books, clothing, food budget, credit cards, pocket money, meals when they roll into town or when you go back home. But don't let reality stand in the way of a pose of absolute independence. Practice phrases such as "I am my own master" and "Honey Badger don't care." Repeat as necessary until everyone believes you — and you almost believe yourself.
Sexual experiments Probably 90 percent of the guys who "come out" in college are going to be gay for the rest of their lives. It's a little trickier with the girls, hence the slang term "LUG" (lesbian until graduation). Our Facebook friends' advice includes the following: "Group sex. LOL," "Have causal sex in the parking lot (preferably in a car) after an evening class," and "Ménage à trois, or orgy."
Become insanely political Whether you're left-wing or right-wing, or just want to pick some pet issue to be fanatical about (animals, fur, green energy), this is the time to carry a placard and engage in the competitive sport of consciousness-raising.
Protest something "For a lot of people, the college experience will present at least one opportunity to organize, gather and protest the hell out of something," explains Facebook poster Bob Wilkins. "Student pay, tuition, cafeteria food quality, the firing of some radical yet radically popular prof ..."
Add jail to your résumé Wilkins continues: "It's probably the one time you could get arrested and put it in your résumé. For instance, you're applying for a writing job on the Daily Show : 'Yes, sir, when I was 20 I was arrested on campus while protesting the G8 Conference ... and/or the next year protesting Big Pharma ... and my senior year I organized and led a March against the latest reauthorization of the Patriot Act.'"
Get drunk with a professor you admire And for a trifecta of advice from Wilkins: "It's important. I don't know why exactly ... I'll think about that more ... but I got drunk on more than one occasion with a few professors and got better grades in their classes, not because we shared some stories and got to know each other, but because I started doing better work in their classes. I'm just realizing this as I type ... huh ... how about that ... there's something there ... the point here is to get to know them outside the classroom. Meet for office hours ... but ask if they can meet at a coffee shop instead."
> Email Ally Levine