On Thursday, my nephew leaves for one of the greatest adventures of his life… his freshman year of college. For the first time ever, he’ll be living away from the home, and family, he has known for the past 18 years. During this transformation into university student, every young person deserves a mentor. Since my last protégé has been sentenced to 20 years in a Thai prison, I’m available to take on a new apprentice. Thus, nephew, here’s my unsolicited advice on how to conquer the collegiate conundrum.
First, really get to know your roommate. Share your class times with each other. Then, when you’re positive he’s at lecture, search through each and every one of his drawers, closets and pockets. Eavesdrop on his phone conversations. Do not give up until you find out all there is to know about the man that you cohabitate with. Then, make sure to document in a journal all of his illegal activities. You’ll be surprised when a good bit of blackmail material comes in handy.
Once you and the roomie are BFFs, concentrate on the main reason you are attending college- to party. However, do not go wild with all your newfound freedom. In fact, I warn against any form of alcoholic drinking. Don’t be like Aunt Amanda and get busted the week before classes begin with a beer bong and a six-pack of Natural Light in the “cool kids” dorm room. AA might sound like fun from the brochure, but in actuality the 12-step program is a heck of a lot worse than writing an essay on Thomas Hardy’s England. Plus, if you puke in your own bed, you now have to clean it up. So. Not. Fun. Trust me.
Instead of boozing it up at the local frat house, attend as many collegiate sporting events as possible. Immerse yourself in school spirit. Paint letters on your bare chest with a group of friends and spell out encouraging words. (Extra points if any of these friends are women.) Develop your public speaking skills by shouting obscenities at the visiting team’s coach. These talents will prove invaluable later in life when you are faced with adversities like speeding tickets, job firings and any dismissal from a reality dating show.
When a sporting event isn’t scheduled, do not come home every weekend. You’ll miss out one of the best parts of college, the Saturday night. Plus, I know you’ll most likely just bring home huge amounts of filthy laundry for your mother to wash. Not to mention, you’ll hit up your parents, grandparents and the homeless guy under the turnpike for more money. I’m on to you. Live as Auntie lived. You can survive by ingesting large quantities of Taco Bell and price reduced milk and yogurt for longer than you’d think.
Most important of all, go to class and study hard. Decide on a major. Then change it again and again and again. Relish every second of university living. Because in a flash, it will be over and all you’ll have are the distant memories of a time before kids, the wife and endless employment. That is, unless you keep that blackmail journal.