5 final steps to freshman success

Chris Slattery

Dear Freshmen who have just become Sophomores (or … possibly still Freshmen),

So? How was it? Was your first year everything you wanted, and more? Less? Are you excited it’s summer vacation? Did the anticipation of exams cause you to hate all of these questions?

Yes, the school year is over, and with this being my first column since enjoying two weeks of freedom, I wanted to check back in, as I occasionally do, on my favorite Grand Valley State University first-years (apart from Delores, the 80-year-old grandmother in my Spanish class who began taking classes this year in between her shifts as a Wal-Mart greeter).

This isn’t a time to get sentimental towards the past eight months (although sobbing hysterically is acceptable). However, because of everything that has happened this year, and because I feel like it, I wanted to advise you one more time. Like a wholesale distributor, I pass the savings on to you!
But, to be clear, I am not actually giving you money. That’s not how a simile works.

Sorry, no time to get distracted…Advice:

• Look both ways before crossing the street. You may have forgotten this in the years since kindergarten, but getting hit by a car is what’s known as “a bad idea.”

• If you ever end up becoming the highest-paid actor on television, don’t call your boss a bunch of names and then quit your show. Also, no matter how many times you “win,” it does not make you a warlock. You need to go to Hogwarts for training like that.
[Note: Yes, that was a Charlie Sheen joke, and hopefully my last.]
[Additional note: I understand that “warlocks” and “wizards” are different things now, thanks to researching on the Internet. Apparently, it is a very heated topic of debate. However, the difference between them and a sorcerer? Beyond my comprehension.]

• When utilizing sarcasm/satire, explicitly label it as such, so no one gets confused or angry enough to write dozens of letters to you about what problems they have with you.

• As a follow-up, do not make vegetarians mad. They are like hyenas — one is relatively harmless, maybe even adorable, but in packs and ticked-off, they are especially vicious. And I can only assume that they like to laugh…

• Finally, be able to laugh at yourself. Life is simultaneously too short and too long to take things too seriously. That project that you flunked? Call yourself an idiot and get over it; there nothing you can do about it now. Your friend hooked up with a guy or girl you really like? It’s not as if there are thousands of other ones living within close proximity of you.

Turn it into a joke.

I would say, “It’s been real, it’s been fun,” but I must confess that I don’t actually exist. I’m only a figment of GVSU’s collective imagination.

And although it pains me to say it, Freshmen, I think we should start seeing other people (other age groups for me, other columnists for you). I’ve had my eye on these soon-to-be high school graduates (in a totally non-creepy way), and believe me, I’ve seen the way you look at Andrew Justus.

Just… please don’t make a scene. It’s for the best, you know.
Maybe I’ll see you around next year…
Love (no longer),
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