Collegiate commandments August 14 2002

Freshman year advice from a sinful senior

Many of the unsullied youth entering this year's freshman class think flicks like American Pie 2 and Road Trip sum up the college experience.

I, a senior full of woeful tales of stupidity, renounce the myth that college is all orgiastic pleasure and no regret. From my screw-ups, the tenderhearted frosh can glean the keys to remorseless dorm-living. Thus, I here present 10 Commandments of College Life. Prize them my children, for they are hard-won.

1. Thou shalt party.

Freshman year, I was an omniscient academic with a poetic, goth edge. Obviously, I had no friends. Then, a girl with dark eyeliner, pale skin and irresistibly curly, red hair invited me to a frat party. I went. Shuffling through the Mardi-Gras milieu, we couldn't tolerate the awkwardness. So, we got drunk. My poetic goth edge dismantled and I became likeable for the first time in years. Don't be afraid to lose control, but drink moderately, you lush.

2. Thou shalt talk to strangers.

Yeah, I know what mama said. But now's the time to leave mama's rulebook under your bed. I, the academic misanthrope, rarely spoke to my hall mates. Since I didn't have a friendly relationship with the guy next door, it was slightly tense when I puked on his threshold at 3 a.m. No wonder he punched me.

3. Thou shalt be a revolutionary.

A black eye was enough to make me realize the benefits of getting to know people. I joined a frat. One blissful evening, we decided to engender the "Anti-Condom Movement." Our slogan was, "It's a condomnation on our rights." You see, we thought if the feminists could bitch about the pill, we had equal rights to complain about having to strap a piece of latex to our most beloved nether regions. The movement lasted about two weeks, ending abruptly after our nude protest in which we wore socks to cover our privates. The president of the university threatened to "have us and our liberal 'members' expelled." Don't be afraid to think outside of the box. Be civic-minded (and civic-"membered").

4. Thou shalt not fornicate in the library.

Picture it. The red-headed girl and me in the 24-hour study room in the library. 2 a.m. We're alone. Physics sucks. You can guess the rest. Little did we know that a security camera, perched quietly in the corner, recorded the whole event. Somehow, my frat brothers got the tape. I was branded, "the two-minute man" and the girl stopped seeing me. I'm still heartbroken.

5. Thou shalt eat.

Image is important in college. Possible hook-ups abound in droves. But please eat. Contrary to popular belief, real people are not 7 feet tall and 24 inches wide. Yeah, I know dining hall food sucks — but bulimia is not sexy. I mean, my god, puke stinks.

6. Thou shalt streak.

Does this really need explanation? Suffice it to say it's a great way to become instantly popular. Especially if you've got a really big pair of ... sneakers.

7. Thou shalt call thy parents.

I didn't return my parents' phone calls for the first eight weeks of school. They assumed I was dead and gave all the stuff I left at home, including an autographed U2 box set, to the Salvation Army.

8. Thou shalt not use thy roommate's computer to look at porn.

My roomie stayed up late, pretending to be engrossed in required biology. After I passed out, he cruised every bondage, Bitches 'R' Us site on the Net. Since he was a perv, I figured he'd have no problem if I assumed the porn privilege when he was out of the room. Incidentally, I'm not a stealthy person. I was caught, "in the act," my bare ass in his leather chair perusing a site that (I later discovered) featured his girlfriend. Don't use other people's shit without asking.

9. Thou shalt not cheat on examinations.

Algebra was required for those who didn't pass the math proficiency exam. That was me. First few tests were easy. Then, chapter six introduced imaginary numbers. I can't deal with the normal Sesame Street brand of numbers much less digits akin to Harvey. I resolved to cheat. Remember my stealth? I wasn't expelled, but rather put on academic probation and forced to attend a plagiarism workshop called "Zen Healing for Academic Bootleggers."

10. Thou shalt, umm, what's that last one? ... Study.

It really does pay off. I mean, I did it every now and then and look at me. You too could study your way into a kick-ass internship where you're paid nothing to reveal your stupidest college moments!

Gabriel Dean, a summer intern for Creative Loafing, admits that some facts in this column were changed to protect the not-so-innocent.

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