Tuesday, August 30, 2011

College Words of Wisdom

In August 2001, I was having dinner at T.G.I.F. (those Black Angus burgers were solid) with some high school friends. Most of us were moving to Ann Arbor to start school at the University of Michigan in about a week. It was a last gathering of sorts. We happened to strike up some decent conversation with the waitresses, who told us about a party nearby. I don't recall if the waitresses were attractive, but I do remember hearing the words "free beer."

We showed up to the house party and saw a bunch of 25-year-olds partying. Picture the house party in Superbad, but with people in their mid-twenties bonging beers & playing drinking games. We surveyed the scene & commented with disgust at how immature these people were. "How lame," we thought. "They're in their mid-twenties. Shouldn't these people be a little bit more mature instead of getting shitfaced on a Sunday night? Don't they have jobs? College is over..."

Fast-forward exactly seven years later to August 2008, about a week before my 25th birthday. I had organized & hosted The Beer Olympics. We had a planning committee, created a PowerPoint presentation & produced official t-shirts. I even declared myself "Master of Ceremonies" and led a (tiki) torch-lighting ceremony. We drank copious amounts of beer and were so loud that the restaurant next door to my apartment would no longer seat people in their garden. After the event, we scampered around the East Village at 10pm looking like this.

Oh, the irony. Our naivete was laughable.

Now, fast-forward ten years from that house party. The Little Taquito, my youngest sister, is in the midst of her own welcome week and officially starts college classes this Wednesday. Just the idea of "ten years" makes me feel old, but consider these other things:

- I turn 28 on Wednesday and have nothing good to look forward to, other than the fact that I get a 4-day weekend for Labor Day. Ten years ago, I was excited to be able to legally buy cigarettes & porn, and I had welcome week and the rest of my college experience. The world was mine for the taking.
- The 2011 VMAs just aired, and I didn't know 80% of the people on there. They had a tribute to Britney Spears, in honor of her winning the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award. Ten years ago MJ was still alive, and Britney was still a hot teenager. (And for fun, read this recap of the 2001 VMAs. Fatboy Slim & *NSYNC (*NSYNC!!!) were the top winners. People actually could tell you who Chris Kirkpatrick was.)

As my sister embarks on her own journey, I figured I'd give her some advice:

- Don't major in Economics. It's useless. The entire degree is not Pareto efficient and provides me with zero utility. In fact, I would consider it deadweight loss.
- Beware of the male Women's Studies major. Always question his motives.
- If you major in Women's Studies, Art History or Philosophy, I'll pull you out of college myself.
- Join a bunch of clubs that interest you. But not the foosball club. That did not get me anywhere socially, and I did not become good at foosball.
- Welcome Week is the best time of the year. It's so awesome that I decided to relive it two years ago. Just don't get a UIP while on probation for an MIP, like me.
- Don't lose your phone. Our brother, El Burrito Grande, lost his phone no less than two times during college. Due to today's high prices, you'll be relegated to a Motorola Razr if you lose your Android device.
- You probably shouldn't join a sorority. Just make friends with a bunch of girls in a sorority, have them invite you to live with them in their unofficial off-campus house and drink all of their alcohol & rage in their parties. Just a warning -- you still may get hazed.
- Should you decide to join a sorority, don't join the Asian, or perhaps I should say AZN, sorority. If you join a regular sorority that just happens to have a lot of Asians and is known as "the Asian sorority," I guess that's OK. But you don't need a sorority for that. Just go to the library if you want Asian friends. For you Michigan folks, just go to the Fishbowl.
- If you join a sorority and you decide to wear sweat pants with Greek letters on the buttocks, you will cease to exist. Even if you don't join a sorority and you wear sweat pants with anything on the buttocks area, you will cease to exist.
- Friends who visit from other colleges will never have as good of a time as you promise and vice versa. Don't worry about it. That's just the way it is.
- Jimmy John's is shit.
- I encourage rope lights & liquor bottles filled with highlighter fluid (on which you shine a black light) as decorations for your dorm room. Reminiscing about your crappy dorm room decor is one of the great joys of post-college life.
- Winamp is the bomb music player. It has thousands of skins from which to choose, so you can accurately reflect your personality and current tastes.