Baz said it best

Andrew Schiller

Ladies and gentlemen of the class of 2011, don’t be a dumb teen. The long-term regrets of not making the most of your college years aren’t obvious until later, and so (with Baz Luhrmann’s Everyone’s Free to Wear Sunscreen playing in the background) I’d like to dispense some advice, now .

Enjoy the LERs and free time of your first two years. Nevermind. You won’t fully appreciate free time and easy classes until you’ve passed them. Trust me, you’ll look back at Facebook photos of yourself and understand, in a way you can’t imagine now, how many good memories lay before you and how fabulous they really were.

You are about as effed up as you imagine.

Don’t focus on your GPA, or focus, if you’re looking at grad school, but know that focusing too much on grades is as effective as bubbling in only one answer on your Seven Ideas final. The real obstacles in your life are likely to be things that you have little control over, like the obnoxious fire alarm that sends you outside at 4 a.m. on some freezing cold Wednesday.

Do one thing every day that someone dares you to do.

Sing karaoke — while drinking.


Class is long, so just in case, know the attendance policy. Remember the important things the prof says. Forget her OK jokes. If you succeed in doing this, let me borrow your notes. Keep your old campus magazines. Throw away your old Chipotle receipts.

Don’t feel lost if you don’t know what you want to major in. Some people just know, some have no idea, and others think they know — but really don’t.

(Cue hand drums.) Maybe you’ll hook up. Maybe you won’t. Maybe you’ll get pregnant. Maybe you can’t. Maybe you’ll break up because of dorm drama. Maybe you’ll do the no-pants dance for the 75th time at some graduation after-party.

Get to know your professors — you never know when you’re on the borderline between a C and D. Work hard to bridge the gaps between two barely relatable concepts, because the older you get, the more you’ll need to BS essays for class. Live in New Front once, but leave after your roommate drives you crazy; live north of campus once, but leave before you end up in a frat.

Accept certain collegiate truths: Textbook prices will rise, USG will be mostly Greeks, you too will become a senior. And when you do you’ll fantasize that when you were younger, students sold books to each other instead of back to the bookstore, non-Greek slates for USS actually had a chance, and people didn’t sit in their rooms at their computers.

Don’t sit in your room at your computer.

And don’t assume all of the Facebook yes’s will attend your party. Maybe you have a cheap keg. Maybe there are random strangers. But you never know when either might run out.

Be careful which alcohol you buy, but be gracious with someone buying for you who doesn’t get the kind or amount you asked for.

Alcohol is a form of dementia. Drinking it is a way of fishing around for approval of choices you’ve made, glossing over the uncomfortable parts and temporarily valuing absolutely everything for more than it’s worth.

But trust me on the dumb teen thing.

Andrew Schiller is a senior newspaper journalism major and the assistant news editor for the Daily Kent Stater. Contact him at [email protected].