Satire | What not to do as a first year

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Promiti Debi | Senior Staff Illustrator

By Genna Edwards, Senior Staff Columnist

You’ve already heard countless snippets of advice from your mom’s well-meaning friend of a friend of a friend about your first year of college. Don’t do drugs, go to class, try to remember what vegetables are, yadda yadda. Here’s some real advice, love. Right from the source.

Don’t go to frat parties alone, or any party for that matter, if you’re in any way a woman or feminine-presenting. Men of all sizes and majors could try to drug you. Didn’t think I’d hit hard with that first one, yeah? Get pranked.

Don’t put your cup down. Don’t do it. Hold that thing tight or toss it.

Something lighter, perhaps. Don’t go for the meal plan that gives you more swipes than dining dollars. You will come to despise Market Central and the hangovers it reminds you of. Trust me. The food will get old, so you’re safer eating solely Flamin’ Hot Doritos for four years.

Don’t be that kid asking 20,000 questions whose answers are all outlined in the syllabus. AKA read the entire syllabus.

Don’t waste your time trying to explain intersectional feminism and its ties to anti-capitalism to any dude at any party, ever. Whether they’re right-wingers, Marxist for clout or, “I don’t really do politics because my human rights are never under threat,” they’re not listening to you. They’re watching your mouth.

Don’t drink from the Cathy water fountains. They’re, like, oddly warm.

Don’t come to college still in a relationship with that kid from high school you think you’re gonna marry. You don’t believe me now, you’ve heard it all before, I get it. Wait four months and he’ll meet some blond pigtails named Amy. (You will dump him and he’ll tell everyone it was mutual. Whatever.)

Don’t trust Cody or Shaun or Jake to have a condom on them. They’ll say they have one, they’ll say it with those eyes, but then, oops, turns out it must have fallen out of my deep, deep pocket. I mean, pulling out is safe, I read a thing on it from, like, Breitbart?

Don’t worry, not every guy you meet will be a 6-foot child who becomes upset if you don’t praise them for not groping you, but a lot of them will troll you on Reddit for calling them out in your university newspaper. (Why do you read all my stuff, man? Are you, like, obsessed with me?)

Don’t assume now that you’re in university that everyone must have Matured in Serious Ways. You’ll realize quite quickly that every -ism is just as prevalent, if not more, in higher education as it was when you were younger. Luckily, it is easier here to find your people. (I’m the short redhead in all black who always looks like she just got struck by lightning, if you ever wanna say hi.)

Don’t get a crush on a TA or an RA. Easier said than done, but just don’t. This needs no explanation.

Don’t eat 10 soft serve ice cream cones from the Market machine. It’ll seem like a sick idea at first, but it won’t in about an hour.

Don’t cry over some guy who skateboards to literature class, or that girl with the circular glasses who loves Alice Munro or the beanie who writes poetry about his fears of sexual inadequacy — there will be more people. You have your entire life. Society has conditioned many of us to believe that we are only on this Earth to find a man to marry and make children with. This is a lie — your life is so much more and just beginning. If some Chad hurts you, if Hanna isn’t interested, babe, you are fine and complete as one person. Repeat this every morning in the cracked communal mirror — you are fire. You deserve to be here. You can get everything you want in life and more. Just avoid the jungle juice.

Genna Edwards writes about culture, media and gender for The Pitt News. You can reach her at [email protected].

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