How to make it without mucking it up

Shelley Blundell

By now, all new and returning students have been sufficiently bombarded with back-to-school advice: how to make friends and influence people, how to stay successful in life and in the classroom and so on. This to me seems not only tedious, but also mind-numbingly ridiculous as well. Who gives a baked potato that repeating someone’s name upon meeting them helps you remember it for next time? If I want to remember you, I will. And it doesn’t take a genius to figure out that showing up on a regular basis, paying attention and occasionally cracking open your stupendously overpriced textbook is all you need to do to pass even the most banal of liberal education requirement classes.

Because I never point a finger without offering a solution, my introductory column proposes real tips for getting through the spring semester: people and actions to avoid, things to experience and basically how not to bugger it up for next year.

First and foremost, those of us privileged to own motor vehicles will no doubt soon encounter the bane of any driver’s existence – jay-walking cellphoners, as I like to call them. These marvels of Generation Space Cadet honestly believe that talking on a cell phone creates an impenetrable force field around them through which no animal, mineral or vegetable can permeate. They are wrong. Might I suggest learning some expletives in a foreign language? German cusswords are violent. It often catches the cellphoner off-guard and makes for some interesting facial anomalies. If all else fails, you can always try a voodoo doll – it may not work, but at least you can bash that against a wall.

Another strange occurrence you will encounter are those people who think wearing pajamas to class is cool, and then have the audacity to walk around looking at those who were diligent enough to actually put on clothing that morning as if they’re missing out on some hip trend. Hey, PJ posers, news flash: You’re not cool, you’re just damn lazy. And P.S., sleeping in clothes all night then walking around in them the next day kind of makes you smell like cheese – old cheese. Either way, you’re not getting notes from anyone because if you’re too slack to put clothes on, then you’re definitely too slack to copy notes in a timely fashion.

One of my favorite millennial mistakes is the “emo hairstyle.” Those people whose hair hangs over their eyes in an avant-garde, grungy fashion and who walk around reciting bad poetry to themselves while constantly flipping the shaggy point out of their eyes. I don’t even know where to begin. Thank God MTV is a 24-hour channel – you never know when you’re going to wake up sans identity and need a new one, preferably one that can be purchased at your local Hot Topic. Just remember, emo kids: MTV also gave us the wonders that are big metal hairdos and the Flock of Seagulls abomination. All kids laugh at their parents in their younger years, but it is my firm belief that yours will probably disown you. Twits.

While there are many other strange and abhorrent behaviors strewn across campus (mini-skirts with moon-boots, beltless beggars whose pants hover around their kneecaps, belted zealots who cannot go out without at least five belts on, etc.) I feel I have covered all I can for now without a serious case of brain-bleed. Just remember this: Fashions come and go, but common sense lasts a lifetime. Good luck.

Shelley Blundell is a senior magazine journalism and history major and a columnist for the Daily Kent Stater. Contact her at [email protected].