#7 Their Parents

parents.jpgSomewhere between high school graduation and their second semester in college, college students’ opinion of their parents flips 180 degrees. In high school parents were the enemy; the nasty beings making unreasonable rules, curfews, and simply making your life a living hell. They get mad at you when they catch you drunk or smoking weed, they don’t let you hang out with your friends, and make you feel bad for missing dinner.

But once you pack up and head off to college, parents become entirely different beings. Instead of the hateful trolls that felt they could control you just because they carried you in their womb for nine months, they actually become somewhat… cool?

Cool may be too strong a word, but they are good for a few things in college students’ minds.

a) They give out money. Lots of money. $30k a year for tuition while their you get stoned and skip class. $500 a month for rent. Plus many college students still get “allowance” so they don’t have to risk their grades by having a part time job. Though most of this money goes to beer, pot, and food.

b) They take you (and 3-7 of your friends) out to eat whenever they visit; usually dropping at least $200. This is their obligation for giving you a hard time for the first 18 years of life and they feel they need to make it up to you.

c) They finally treat you like an adult; although you still need them to make rent.


#6 Weed

wacky.jpgMost people get exposed to marijuana during high school, some even before. But this initial stage of the pot-smoking lifestyle can be characterized by going through great obstacles to find any kind of weed available, such as borrowing your friend’s car to pick up your other friend’s brother who knows a guy living in this trailer park who’s roommate sells herb. And usually (unless you live in California, Oregon, or Colorado) the weed you buy is the reject shake that even Pakistan won’t smoke.

By the time these people enter college it is an entirely different story. The first weed they find is actually in bud-form opposed to looking like a bag of old yerba mate. Plus it will be more potent, stinky, and stone them more than the first time they huffed whip cream when they were eleven. And it’s everywhere, even your Microeconomics TA can hook you up with a bag. Thus, college students’ love affair with the wacky tobacky is born.

Freshmen in the dorm must deal with the hassle of either finding a way to secretly toke up in their room or meet chill friends off campus to borrow their couch and bongs for a while. Contraptions involving dryer sheets, plastic bottles, toilet paper rolls, and other such household items are put to use by hundreds of students all over campus, but this can easily end with a “write up” faster then you can say “Abba Zaba, you my only friend.” Much safer to venture off campus where you will most likely become immersed in your town’s local smoking circle who jams the Dead while discussing other stimulating topics such as their roadtrip to Conventry for Phish’s last show, which chinese restaurants have free delivery, and which heady nugs to pack next.

Another thing college students like about weed is they can name their smoking devices.

“Hey man, should we pack Lil’ Smokey or Bongalo Bill?”

Beware, becoming too involved in pot culture can lead some to believe they don’t need college degrees to make it in the world, they can just start selling it. Don’t fall into this trap, you life will be much more satisfying by shelling out $50 once a week with a college degree than trying to find some sort of minimum wage job after 3-5 in the pen.

#5 Beer Pong

beerpong.jpg American’s have Football, Australians have Cricket, the rest of the world has Soccer… college students have Beer Pong! Ask any college student and they will agree beer pong should become an Olympic game. Since it isn’t, some make their own “Beer Olympics” with beer pong, the beer bong, and flip cup. Go into any Fraternity house and you will see a wonderfully crafted custom beer pong table. In college houses, the garage’s sole purpose is to house the beer pong table, not to store cars. Beer pong is more important than cars.

The rules of beer pong can vary depending on the region it is being played, it is even called Beirut at some Ivy League conferences, but the main idea remains the same.

1. There is a long table; ping-pong tables are used most frequently.
2. There are 10 cups on either end of the table arranged in a triangle each filled about halfway full with beer.
3. Generally, the game is played in teams of two where each player throws one of two ping-pong balls into the one of the opponents’ cups. Once the two balls are on the opponent’s side it is their turn to throw.
a. One ball in the cup means the opponent drinks that cup of beer.
b. Two balls in means the opponent drinks three cups of beer.
4. The winners are the team who makes the other team drink all their cups of beer.

Now there are some very specific rules and variations to be aware of:

If the ball bounces on the table the other team can swat it away. Some do not allow the elbow of the thrower to cross the edge of the table, so not to give them an unfair advantage.

If the ball hits the cup but does not go in the other team just takes a drink.

If the ball goes in but swirls around the edge of the cup and has not dropped into the beer yet, the other team can “blow” on it to get it out of the cup (Note: some conferences only allow girls to blow… well because girls blow and guys don’t).

Teams are also able to ask the other team to re-arrange their cups to form a more appealing triangle, but rules on this vary extremely from conference to conference.

Make sure to understand all the rules before entering a tournament because once the ball is thrown it’s on and there aren’t any instant replays. Someday beer pong will get the athletic recognition it deserves, but for now it still holds its place as the most amazing college sport in the US.

#4 Coffee Shops

beancycle.jpgCollege kids love coffee, not only that, they NEED coffee to survive. Most can’t function in class without their daily drip and don’t mind being late in order to get their fix. Unless they invest in their own coffee maker or espresso machine (very unlikely), college students go to coffee shops. Though many people aside from college students like coffee shops, for many college students they become part of their daily routine. I’m not sure if it’s the aroma from roasted espresso beans, stimulating conversations, or simply just an excuse get tweaked on caffeine and do homework; but the local coffee shop is often the college student’s home away from dorm.

One might assume that all coffee shops serve the same purpose, but they’re wrong. College students are very picky when it comes to the coffee shops they frequent. Some might even be a regular at several different ones depending on the particular situation.

There are the quiet Starbucksesque establishments purely for students to study at while sipping their double-nonfat-half-caff-caramel-vanilla-latte with whip. Norah Jones (or other such mellow folksinger) is typically playing softly in the background while absolutely NO conversation is going on. If two middle-aged ladies suddenly come in for their weekly chit chat they are immediately given the stink-eye-glare by every table and forced to leave due to the awkwardness.

Then there are the funky and lively art coffee houses where no studying whatsoever can ever take place. You would be too distracted by the newest crop of Jack Keroacs next to you having pseudo-intellectual conversations as well as loud, sometimes abrasive, music playing while someone is hovering over you trying to hang a painting. On a Friday night you might find a slam poetry session, eight chess games, and possibly a drug overdose occurring simultaneously. Don’t ever think to come study here, the regulars will give you the nasty “Why don’t you go back to Starbucks? You’re sucking up all the cool!” look.

Somewhere in the middle are the casual “meet up after yoga” or maybe before a frizbee game “coffee shops.” I used quotations because most of the clientele will be drinking some sort of tea, mate, smoothies, or some other non-caffinated drink concoction while spouting “Caffeine’s a drug, man…” and then rolling another joint. Often a meeting place for grassroots organizations such as “Legalize It,” “Save Our Open Spaces,” and “Take Back the Whitehouse!” These are nice places for those usually ridiculed by the Greeks on campus to find a sense of community. Also great places to score herb

#3 The Smoking Benches

smoking.jpgFor those unfortunate enough to get stuck with the dorm room right outside the smoking benches, they not only get to enjoy the constant waft of cigarette smoke through their windows but also constant chatter from those cool enough to smoke. The smoking benches are where all the smokers in the dorm congregate to inhale their death-sticks while making awkward conversation with strangers. Usually located right outside the main entrance to the dorm, all the healthy non-smokers must hurry by without breathing any toxins while those who risk their lungs play hacky sack and make plans for the night ahead.

It’s a no-brainer that smoking cigarettes is cool, thus the smoking benches are where to find the cool people. Oftentimes non-smokers will even hang out at the smoking benches simply to meet these risk takers we call smokers. They might even take a drag or two just to fit in.

Most college smokers would agree that the friendships they have now would not have been made without the smoking benches. Where else can total strangers spark up a great conversation simply by asking “hey can I bum a square?” Usually these three and a half minute conversations will end with “so anything fun going on tonight?” and BAM a friendship is born!

#2 Getting Dressed Up for the Gym

gym.jpg Contrary to popular belief, college students to not go to the gym to work out. The university recreation center is a breeding ground for those young, fit, and incredibly narcissistic students who feel the need to strut around the opposite sex in tight and revealing “work out clothing.” But this “work out clothing” is not what it sounds. It is just an excuse to wear skimpier clothes that would normally be unacceptable to wear anywhere else on campus. In addition, girls do not actually work out when they are at the university gym. This would ruin their make-up while also making them sweaty and gross. Obviously a turn off to that young hunk over on the weight bench they are trying to get the attention of.

It is completely unacceptable for any college lady to show up at the gym without a) straightening their hair, b) flawless make-up, c) brand new athletic shoes that have never touched pavement, and d) very short shorts. This way when they are “stretching” the young men coincidently behind them have a great view. Also, sportsbras are not at all flattering so must be replaced by a sexy lace bra (so the men around know they wear lingerie).

Granted about 5% of college students actually work out at the university rec center, but they are usually found running on the treadmill for countless hours. The rest of the student body who want to actually work out will join another gym, this way to escape the meat market on campus.

When trying to make conversation with one of these Gymrats, topics such as a) how much you can lift, b) how sweaty you are, and c) what’s going on later are all perfectly acceptable. Steer clear of intellectual conversation because most likely the girl you are talking to should probably be in class right now.

#1 Fake IDs

College students like to drink. A lot. But due to the fact most people enter college at 18, they are not legally able to purchase alcohol for another 3 years. Thus, the popularity of fake ids.

In every dorm there are two very important people to know.

The first being that guy who knows a guy that makes fake ids. Though uneccessary to become friends with this individual, it is important to meet him. Unfortunately, the craftsmanship of these fake ids will be very poor, will probably be from some random state like Rhode Island, and will cost you about $100 (McLovin anyone?).

The next very important person to know is the one guy/girl with an awesome fake id that always works. This person will probably be the most popular individual in the dorm because everyone will need them to buy their drinkables for them every weekend (or weekday). So of course this person will know exactly what is going on all over town at any point of the evening. Word to the wise: do not overuse this person though, they will become tired of going to the liquor store for you every week unless they are not repaid by a) free booze, b) weed, or c) sexual favors. Or you can just invite them to whatever party you are going to.

One last important thing to note:

The easiest form of a fake id (especially guys with facial hair) is just using your sibling’s old id. You already kind of look like the person, you know all the information on the card, and your appearance is easily altered so you don’t necessarily have to be the spitting image of the picture