Bateman: How to get in with the in-crowd

By Oliver Bateman

Most students arrive on campus with visions of wild partying inspired by hot college comedies… Most students arrive on campus with visions of wild partying inspired by hot college comedies like “National Lampoon’s Van Wilder” and “American Pie 2.” Although these films present faithful depictions of the id-fueled existence that Ricky Martin termed “la vida loca,” few of us have enough charisma to emulate legendary party animals like Van Wilder or that nerdy kid who humped the pie. Nevertheless, becoming a big man or woman on campus (“BM/WOC”) is a worthy aspiration. As your faithful college advice column, we owe it to ourselves and you to explain how you can go from zero to hero.

First off, you’re going to need a thing. All of the popular people, from Kobe Bryant to the Teen Wolf, have a thing. In the case of Kobe Bryant, it’s the ability to slam dunk the rock. The Teen Wolf can also slam dunk the rock, and he has the added advantage of being a teenage werewolf. So now you need to ask yourself: Is slam dunking the rock your thing? If not, you should try to develop another thing. Some things to consider include computer hacking, getting your swole on, kung fu, Madden 2010, tanning, Pokémon, black market dentistry and Facebooking.

Once you’ve got your thing, you have to start flaunting it on the scene. There are many different scenes on our college campus, so you should try to pick the one that suits you. The music scene, which occurs at concert halls and other venues where music is played, is definitely where you want to be if you love singing those old, soulful tunes. Sports stat geeks might find a home in a Yahoo! fantasy sports group, where they can talk on-base percentage and isolated power with people who are probably going to be impressed by that. Social networkers can make virtual appearances by clicking the “yes” button on their numerous e-vites. Dramatic types will want to take to the stage, which according to one popular quotation consists of “all the world.” We think that’s probably the largest of the scenes, although astronomers might occupy an even bigger one.

After you’ve rocked the scene, you should begin building some heat. If you don’t know how to do this, take a cue from WWE. Whenever a new villain was stepping up to feud with the peroxide-blonde behemoth “Hulk” Hogan, he would squash a bunch of lesser wrestlers en route to a money match with the champ. In other words, we’re telling you to get out there and start crushing the opposition. Most scenes are filled with rivals, and until you can rid yourself of them you’ll never be the top dog. Do you think that Van Wilder reached the pinnacle solely on the merits of his winning smile? Of course not: He cracked a bunch of eggs to make his omelet, and the less popular people on his scene were left behind to pick up the eggshells.

Now that you’ve got heat, you’re ready for your coming-out party. This is the moment when you leave minor fame behind and become the biggest thing this campus has ever seen. If you need to know what we’re talking about, watch some of those shows featuring the best celebrities of our time. Jersey Shore’s “JWoww” is a good example of this. Several years ago, she was just some anonymous person living in an unknown town. Now she’s one of the most popular people in the history of popularity, and few have handled the transition to stardom with such gentleness and grace.

After you’ve made it to the top, you must remind people that you have no intention of leaving. One time-tested method of doing this was bullying. But according to the cover of a recent issue of “People Magazine,” this practice is now quite controversial and might even cause you to lose your popularity. Instead, you should fall back on self-promotion. Justin Bieber’s nail polish project is instructive in this regard. We’re not sure if he uses this stuff, but all of the young girls who apply it to their nails will be reminded that he is still the nation’s top cutie pie. By informing everyone of how amazing you are with a hit spin-off product, you’re guaranteed to continue hogging the spotlight for years to come.

No one wants to leave college a lonely, unlovable loser, and by following insider tips like ours there’s an excellent chance that you won’t. Of course, even if you do, you can remain sad and bitter about it for the rest of your life — and maybe that can be your thing. “Check out that sad and bitter guy,” people would say. “We’ve heard a lot about him, and he’s really making the scene. What a downer!”

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