College Guide 2011
Published: August 24, 2011
Keep in touch with the folks now that you're out from under their parental yoke, admit it; you sort of miss the 'rents. Take a minute to call and check in with them — and Mom will be so happy she'll get all misty-eyed.
Drugs College is this weird time and place where lots of things are inexplicably socially acceptable that usually wouldn't be. We're just saying ... if you experimented with some psychedelics or something, we wouldn't hold it against you. But if it does go badly, don't hold it against us. Some Facebook friends suggest specific inebriants, including psilocybin mushrooms and marijuana.
But don't be frivolous Regarding the drug stuff, and sex stuff and some of the other advice here, Facebook respondent Moor Phe Us rants: "Join a fraternity; a ménage à trois; an orgy?! ... Frivolous nonsense. And you wonder why the world is a hell! The reason the New World Order cabal can even exist is because people are stupid! They're so busy skipping class to engage in public drunkenness, or swallowing goldfish or having wanton uncontrollable sexual encounters to even notice that they're being victimized. ... You all deserve whatever fate awaits you."
Create If you've always had an interest in crafting, photography, music or anything else of the creative ilk, this is a great time to try it out. Odds are there will be people around who share your interest and will be able to help or encourage you. More and more college students supplement a meager income by making and selling things on sites such as etsy.com.
Join a club Most schools have something for everyone. It's a great way to meet people and it'll be comforting to know that others share your nerd passion for anime, squirrel-watching, intramural ping-pong or the kind of creative endeavors suggested in the previous item. Clubs are also a way to learn about working in groups and taking a leadership role. (Yes, playing well with others does serve you later in life.) Be the president of something.
Network Because years from now you might walk into a job interview "and find yourself sitting across from that guy who always wore socks with sandals in your psychology class."
Find your BFFs Not exactly the same as the above. Make sure you know the difference.
Join a sorority or fraternity Well, not that we did. But they're networking taken to the nth degree. "Even if you don't get in, at least it is a fun experience to try," a Facebook friend advises. Depends on your idea of fun. Another suggestion: "a few frat parties for the free beer and complete craziness."
Get a job "Even if it's only for the few weeks and the employee discount." (And if it's only for that, you can give the check to charity or your more numerous classmates who're slaving for the bread.)
Dress for success, but not just yet Go to class in your PJs — while you can.
Walk campus in the wee hours "To see stray cats and ghosts."
Start a company You've seen The Social Network, right? On a similar note, the idea for what became Fed Ex was first conceived by its founder, Frederick Smith, for an economics assignment at Yale, although he didn't put the idea into action until years later. Google began as a Stanford research project by founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin.
Get your grammar act together Your/you're. Its/It's. Are/Our. You may seek casual sex, but probably not causal sex (as one Facebook friend scolded another). Edit Yourself by Bruce Ross-Larson is but one of dozens of manuals that'll help if none of your classes have. Remember, you can't carry your diploma with you all the time. Know the stuff that people expect from a college grad.
Disassemble a car "Then re-assemble it inside of someone's dorm while they are away at home!"
Remember your homework With all of those distracting extra-curriculars vying for your attention, it's easy to forget that you're there to learn some stuff. But you did just spend $98 on that calculus textbook so you might as well make use of it. Tuition only becomes more burdensome when you have to pay double because you failed your classes.
Plot your entry into the Guinness Book of World Records If it's a group activity, you'll never have a more promising pool of of potential co-conspirators waiting to join your quest.
Register to vote And follow up by voting.
Buy a really, really dumb Detroit-made automobile "For $500 or less."
Wake up in another country "Without a clue as to how you got there."
Fire a rocket-propelled grenade "In a safe environment, of course."
Move off campus — And learn to take care of yourself.
Learn to cook As an important part of the above. Moving off campus opens up whole new horizons in cooking, beyond boxed meals and microwave-ready provisions. Learn to sauté, poach, roast and fricassee.
Get to know people different from yourself They may be easier to find than before, or after.
Beer pong "Don't just play. Learn to dominate."
Volunteer for research You can pick up pocket change and, who knows, maybe say, "She never would have gotten that Nobel Prize without me."
Acquire a master key "To everything on campus." Better yet, the universe. (And be the next Stephen Hawking.)
Watch Animal House One of our colleagues considers it a documentary of his college days. See if it is for you.
Make the dean's list At least once. If you're generally a fuck-up, it's nice to prove the problem really is your attitude, not your ability.
Graduate Put all this behind you. Begin dispensing unsolicited advice to undergrads.
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