Screw up before the mortgage

Allison Pritchard

Now that you’re all a couple of weeks in, I’m sure you’ve heard the same old, trite advice to college freshmen: Avoid the freshmen fifteen; don’t leave your drinks unattended at frat parties; wear flip-flops in the shower; and don’t let the RA know you’ve got a 24-pack of “Nattie” and an unnamed visitor spending the night in your Small World dorm room.

You’ve already paraded in your skanky outfit down Main Street, and maybe stayed up late trying to understand millions of pages of information that were barely even mentioned in class. Instead of the same ol’ banter, I find it more useful to give you some real advice, for partiers and nerds alike.

n Behold the power of Rosie’s. Nothing beats late-night hunger (or post-party munchies) like the only place on campus where you can use your parents’ money to buy greasy bacon cheddar fries. Experience the joy of waiting for 20 minutes (if you’re lucky) in a long line of drunken 20-somethings. Rosie’s is convenient — and you earn points for not drinking and driving.

n Study in the library, study rooms or anywhere besides your dorm room. Too many new friends/roommates/acquaintances/stalkers will hunt you down in your dorm and want you to eat/get drunk/play video games/pick your nose/have sex. Don’t let them make you fall behind in your studies. At their rate, in the words of a T-shirt I saw this summer, the closest you’ll get to a 4.0 will be your blood alcohol level.

n This is your time to try things out (read: “Screw up and it’ll be OK”). Find out why you do the things you do, or if you even want to do them. Protest. Start a group. Start over. If you’ve always wanted to take up photography, make a Web site or try any mind-altering substances, this is the time to do it — not 10 years from now when you’ve got kids and a mortgage.

n Go to on-campus events. Most are cheap or free, and you might actually learn something. C’mon, there’s karaoke, guest speakers, festivals. . .hell, last year we even had Michael Moore! We’ve got it all.

I hope my tips will come in handy, but truthfully, the most important thing I’ve learned these past two years in college is how I want to spend the next two. I want to have the “college experience.” And no, I’m not talking about getting plastered on College Street and giving random “jobs” in my dorm room at 3 a.m. I’m talking about enjoying each day of this happening time of my life.

I know I want to meet new people and learn about different lifestyles. I want to stay out doing something completely random, like taking a walk around campus with friends and over-eating at Taco Bell/Long John’s. I want to be a nerd and read books from the library. I want to try to change the world. I want to read for fun. I want to fail. I want to succeed.

And I want to dance.

Allison Pritchard is a junior electronic media production major and a columnist for the Daily Kent Stater. Contact her at [email protected].