5 Tips to Survive Your First Week on Campus

THE FIRST MONDAY IN SEPTEMBER, while not the official end of summer, does serve as the day on which we transition from the hot frivolity of summer to the cold formality of autumn. Headshots is here to take you slowly through that transition.

And what a summer it has been. The Olympics reminded us of all the sports we don’t care about. Mitt Romney choose a lover in Paul Ryan. Todd Akin proved that getting elected to office does not require a minimum IQ. And once again, the 2nd Amendment gave license for the citizenry to murder each other at will. Oh what, oh what, will the winter bring I wonder?

Labor Day marks the end of summer and beginning of fall, a time of change, a time of transformation, and a time of rowdy drunkenness on college campuses from coast to coast. There is no more promiscuous, stupid, inebriated time of flaw and failure than the first week of college. Headshots, who celebrated no less than five first years of college, has some suggestions to surviving the first 7 days of the rest of your life.

1. Don’t Bring Your Parents

In our 10 years as a dorm supervisor at Northwestern Upper Idaho State Methodist at Boise (go Lumber Ducks!) we were surprised at how many coeds showed up with their parents in tow. Listen, I know they’re footing the bill, and they’re driving you and a rented U-Haul with your futon and gay porn stash to some northeastern town with one movie theatre and dude who looks like Zach Galifianakis’s cross dressing fat cousin who sells dime bags and dream catchers on the corner of Main Street and America Road, but for the love-of-dating-your-sociology-prof-by-second-semester, ditch the ‘rents at the gates. You’ll never recover from being that dude who showed up holding his mommy’s hand. Trust me. And my mom.

2. Attend Class

You know why most people fail out of college and are back living with in their parents basement, working at Target by October 11th? Because they don’t go to class.

The easiest way to get through school is to simply show up. Osmosis is how 85 percent of college learning is done.

Also, you know where the hot coeds are? In class. Because hot coeds want to learn stuff. So if you go to class, you could learn stuff and get some. Also, sometimes the profs bring treats or take you underage drinking. (In Canada, profs bring beer and Canadian whiskey to class, but, whatever.)

3. Have Plentiful Amounts of Safe Sex with Many, Many, Many Partners

At no other time in your life, unless you are on the fast track to becoming a pro-athlete or a rock star, will you ever have as much access to willing and able sexual partners.

According to my sources, 78 percent of male college freshman spend 82 percent of their time literally in and around vaginas. Those same sources, who may or may not be my buddy Ian after twelve cocktails, say that female freshwomen have at least one penis in at least one of their orifices for 81 percent of the first 6 weeks of college.

So be safe, and let your freak flag fly high. Get with boys, girls, boys and girls, girls and boys, girls and devices, boys and video equipment. This is your time to be free, and experiment. How else will you know which porn to Google when you’re 35 and alone?

4. Avoid Frats, Sororities, Jocks, and Grad Students

You know what fraternities, sororities, jocks, and grad students have in common? They all want to put Rohypnol in your gin and Jägermeister and put on Usher and then touch your bits and pieces.

Fraternities, sororities, jocks, grad students, and people who listen to Usher are the worst people in the world (excluding Russians, Toronto Maple Leafs fans, and experimental poets).

It’ll appear, at first, that these are where the cool, hip parties are, but nothing can be further from the truth. This is where the future rapists, murderers, investment bankers, and Republican congresspeople begin their adult lives.

Best to find the smaller, way cooler, listening to Wilco and smoking dope parties where no one will molest you unless you ask them to.

5. Don’t Fuck Your Prof

This is mostly for the young ladies attending post-secondary, especially girls with daddy issues. English majors, I’m talking to you.

Sometimes the company of an accomplished, educated, and inappropriately charming educator seems like a good way to learn more about the world, set yourself apart from your peers, and get a B+. But, trust Headshots when we tell you: It’s not worth it.

Old people with too many Masters degrees are needy, batshit crazy, and quick on the old ejaculatin’ trigger. Is a B+ really worth that? No, no it isn’t.

So, good luck, leaders of tomorrow. And remember, it’s not about how much you learn, it’s about how much you can drink and fuck while still being able to write an passable essay on Foucault and gender roles in mid-20th century American literature.


Mike Spry is the author of JACK (Snare Books, 2008), which was shortlisted for the 2009 QWF’s A.M. Klein Prize for Poetry, and he was longlisted for the 2010 Journey Prize. His most recent work is Distillery Songs (Insomniac Press, 2011).

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