Practical Advice For Incoming Freshmen

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Brothers,

If me actually calling you “brother” is accurate, this column is not for you. If you’re a high school frat star who thinks he’s totally ready to crush college, congratulations, because what I’m about to say is for you. So let’s start at the obvious fact, which is that you know a lot of things. By this, I mean you don’t know shit. In fact, you know less than Jon Snow, because at least he knows how to eat pussy. Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, let’s talk. And by that, I mean I talk and you listen.

1. Your money is not yours. Act accordingly.

The days of working a side job and paying your way through school are over. The economics of higher education simply don’t allow for it. Given that, there are three realistic ways that you’re paying for school: scholarships, loans, parents, or some combination of the three. In any of those scenarios, that money is not yours. Sure, you “earned” your scholarship by pretending to be a responsible human being, but you can lose it just as easily as you bullshitted for it. Loans are not free money, and future you is not going to be the big shot salary guy right out of the gate like you assume. Sure, your parents might give you everything and not give a shit about how you spend it, but what sort of precedent are you setting for yourself? Are you willing to continue living off of them when you’re 30? Because blowing their money on shady narcotics and unnecessary house decorations is an easy way to develop a habit that will guarantee that will happen.

2. Don’t get fat.

Everyone will get fat. It’s just simple math. Take a bunch of people from organized lives run by coaches and parents and throw them into a system that includes buffets and binge drinking and the pounds are inevitable. Take care of yourself. You can distinguish yourself as an eligible bachelor from most of your competition by staying in shape. I’m not saying you can’t grow a bit of a man gut. Just don’t turn into a roly poly. We played with roly pollies for hours as kids, and we never once saw one of them actually get laid. It’s the same in the human world. Speaking of getting laid…

3. You don’t have to fuck everything in sight.

I know that the college lifestyle seems to put a premium on banging as many broads as you can, but in reality, life isn’t an “American Pie” knockoff. The guys I pledged with who got the most tail were by no stretch of the imagination the most respected guys in my class. You want to know why? Because they stuck their dicks in anything that let them. Quality over quantity, fellas. Would you rather spend $50 at McDonald’s or at the best steakhouse in town? Can you even eat $50 worth of McD’s? More importantly, would you even want to? I’m not saying you should settle down immediately and plan your wedding in between classes, but just because sex is on the table, it doesn’t mean you should sit down to eat.

4. Don’t work hard. Work smart.

Grades are bullshit. I’ve said it a thousand times, and I’ll say it again: unless you’re applying to grad school, anything with a three preceding it is fine. Hell, for a lot of majors, a 2.0 or more plays. College isn’t about grades, anyway. It’s about figuring out how you operate on your own (albeit in a bubble wrap environment). You should be making friends and making memories, not keeping your face pressed to an exploitively priced textbook. Plus, your raw numbers won’t help you. You’re likely not going to get a sweet job out of school anyway, and most companies will never even bother to ask you for your GPA at any point in the application process. So how do you work smart? Connections and internships. Those typically go hand in hand, too. Don’t take a summer internship at a place with a good name, take one at a place that offers you the most interaction with superiors. Make a good impression, do everything that’s asked of you, a few things that aren’t, and make sure to ask them for an exit interview. Professors are a resource, too. Sure, some might be teaching because they couldn’t hack it in the private sector, but a lot of them are there because they like teaching. More importantly, almost all of them have connections to people in the real world. They might not get you a job, but they can certainly introduce you to someone who will give you a chance to make a good impression.

5. Get an education.

But wait a second, didn’t I just tell you that class is bullshit and that college is for building social skills more than it’s for learning facts? Yes, I did. That doesn’t mean you should walk out of there as yet another idiot with a degree in alcohol poisoning. You have four (or a few more) years where you can do almost whatever you want. So you know what you should do? Read some books. Classwork and taking notes is one thing, but broadening your horizons is another. Create a curriculum for yourself. You’re supposed to be expanding your mind, so do it. Study stuff written by people you vehemently disagree with–you’d be surprised how much you can pick up from an opposing viewpoint. Have intelligent discussions with your friends. If your friends aren’t down to talk about moderately important topics every now and then, that’s your first clue that you have shitty friends. The point I’m making is that your university doesn’t dictate the worldview you leave with. You do. So if you waste the opportunity to expand it, then you’re fucking yourself. You’ll be doing enough of that in the rare moments your roommate is gone as it is. College isn’t hard, but it should damn well be something.

Sterling Cooper is a contributing writer for Total Frat Move and Post Grad Problems. He has never understood why people like sand, and has been in a bitter ten year rivalry with Muggsy Bogues, for reasons neither of them choose to reveal.

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