Know that everyone hates you. Know that you’re going to need to get rid of that lanyard. Put your student ID in your velcro wallet like an adult. The first thing I was going to say was “Know to wear a condom,” but if you’re bedecked in a lanyard, you won’t make it anywhere near those Extra Long-Lasting Trojans you bought at Costco...unless you find a coed with a kinky “nothing-but-lanyard” sex fantasy (which sounds insanely hot, now that I write that).
You’re a college man now: no longer living under the tyrannical TV habits of your parents, no longer shackled by the confines of state laws requiring you to go to class, no longer masturbating in a private shower. You are on your own (without actual responsibilities or dangers) and that freedom is exhilarating. You feel that wind in your hair? That’s the winds of change, friend. You hear that weird squishing sound? That’s a thousand virgin vaginas, all calling to you, like the seas called to Ahab. You hear that cranked up dubstep? That’s your new annoying roommate that calls himself “Ra.” You hear that audible groan your 26 year-old cousin made when you excitedly spoke about orientation? That's the sound we make in our minds every time you speak. We hate you because we know what you don’t.
Know that you’ll find a girl. If not freshman year, then sophomore year. You won’t believe at first how easy the sex will come. You’ll think you need to hold on to this rare, blow-job giving unicorn...but you don’t. I’m not saying this to be an assh*le; this isn’t a case of “dump her and you will pull so much tail, Bro.” In truth, you will have far LESS sex when you break things off and you’ll be tempted to call her every time you get drunk. But if you do, you’ll be missing a much larger picture. College is not about consistency, it’s about variety. If you stick things out with the girl you met during Rush Week, you will be that awful post-grad that constantly talks about how he should have been laid more. Not to mention you’ll have an inflated idea of how attractive you are to other females. You’ll be a man who thinks he can dunk simply because he’s been playing on a 7-foot rim for the past 4 years. You’ll be emotionally stunted, and while all your friends are quietly enjoying casual sex like normal people, you’ll feel the need to blab about every half-hummer you get off of eHarmony. And the saddest part? You’ll still check her Facebook every couple days.
Know that you’ll find drugs. Marijuana, of course, but pills, too. Try and stay away from the opiates. You’ll find cocaine, though hopefully not Freshman year. If you’re doing cocaine that early on then you’ll start slicking your hair back and everyone will wonder why you’re such an arrogant prick. Instead, take some mushrooms and play Mario Party. That will take you to the outer reaches of space and time. It will make Avatar look like a grade school diorama. You can get the shrooms from Ra.
But mostly, just stick to the alcohol. Alcohol is a community endeavor; it’s not locked in rooms like cocaine, or mellowed out like weed, or disconnected like psychotropics. It’s fun, it’s cheap, and it leads to more exciting adventures, like kicking down doors, breakdancing, or passing out on top of a girl who is also passed out.
Know that you will have the opportunity to play A LOT of Madden. Or FIFA. Or NHL. Refrain. A few casual games with friends becomes a shame spiral of leagues and drafts and scheduled games. You will never again get laid. Stick to the aforementioned Mario Party.
Know that you’ll need to pick out the biggest guy and just punch him square in the jaw. That way, no one will try and butt-rape you in the shower. Am I being serious or kidding?! DO YOU WANT TO TEST ME? No, so punch a guy square in the jaw.
Know that no one cares about your experience. You’ll have this gnawing notion that you are having the most amazing and unique time in the history of the world. You’re not. Your older cousins won’t care how drunk you got at some basement party. They’ve heard about “shotgunning,” “Beer pong,” “fat chicks,” and 9:10 classes don’t sound that bad to them. They have mortgages now. They f*cking hate you.
Know that you’ll get fat, then really in shape, then end up somewhere in between. You’ll brag to people about your “Freshman 15” and your “beer gut” in a jokey way but inside you’ll just feel really gross. If you’re a chick, you’ll be in the best shape of your life the week before Sophomore year spring break (it’s a scientific truth). If you’re a guy, you’ll be in your best shape Junior fall as a direct result of how good the girls looked that week before Sophomore year spring break. (Side note: I’m not telling you to keep an eye out for those Sophomore year spring break pics because that would be creepy. If I were creepy I’d encourage you to save room on your hard drive. But I’m not creepy.)
Know that you will be told to look to your right and left. Then told that one of you will drop out. This will be scary for like five seconds because if you drop out then you’ll have to go to trade school, learn an actual craft, make actual money, and then you’ll never be able to look your parents in the eye because you didn’t get that creative writing degree with the minor in Colombian folk dance. You’ll forget this ever happened when you see the girl in the front row wearing a shirt where you can kinda see her nipple.
Know that you’ll dip pizza in ranch dressing. You’ll think this is amazing and want to tell everyone like you’re hosting Diners, Drive Ins, and Dives but this won’t be news. Just an insider look at how you got so fat freshman year.
Know that everyone majoring in Engineering will tell you how hard it is. You’ll stop listening very quickly because apparently that major also makes people very boring.
Know you’ll racially profile. You’ll be racing to a calculus final that you didn’t study for because of these things called vaginas and beer. You’ll look around the room for an Asian girl to sit behind and cheat off of and you will do your best not to get caught. If you’re reading this and you’re an Asian girl (especially with glasses) then know that the white people (mostly men) will be cheating on you whether you’re smart or dumb. (Also, Asian girl, what's your number? I like holding your tiny hand in my much bigger hand.)
Know that someone you meet your first semester will literally disappear. You’ll hear a story that they had some problem that you didn’t even know existed (this is when I first heard about Body dysmorphic disorder), then you'll see them senior year as you’re about to graduate. You’ll be half drunk and talk for a few minutes. It will be surreal as they tell you an odyssey-like story about living at home, going to community college, reconnecting with their spiritual self and how they now (somehow) have the academic standing of a Junior. You’ll turn around and feel like you dodged a bullet then get totally hammered because you’re graduating.
Know that in the end, you’ll want more but you’ll know it’s time to go. In the end you won’t miss it so much as not understand why the rest of the world doesn’t work this way. You’ll wonder why that dick who wears his class ring everyday got promoted over you - if the world were a bar, you would own that Hagar-wearing chump, pouring beers on your head while he’s trying to order some uninterested babe something with apple pucker. You’ll wonder how Boiler Room got it all so very wrong. But this is the beginning. You’re entering college this fall and this is why we all hate you. You’re about to know everything we already do and that’s pretty awesome. This is hope manifest. You’ve seen DareDorm. You bought lube even though you’re not entirely sure when you would use it (at some point, you’re just hoping for the words, “Do you have any lube?” to cross the threshold of your ear canal). You’ve got a closet full of Hollister. Look out college. Here you come (“cum”? Nope, that’s gross, just “come.” My bad).
Jared Freid is a New York City-based comedian. You can follow him on Twitter @jtrain56 for videos, columns, and more owning of Freshman losers who he’s secretly jealous of.