College
by Lance Pauker on November 28, 2012

1. Dueling Sandwich Shops

A campus sandwich shop cannot be considered a true University staple until it becomes routinely taken hostage by multiple hordes of sweatpant-wearing Bros, who primarily communicate via indistinguishable grunts only otherwise championed by throat cancer patients.

As someone who has performed this ritual hundreds, if not thousands of times, a successful college deli establishment requires the following:

1. Sandwiches named based on college character, that are therefore extremely easy to be mocked
2. Unavoidable run-ins with people you really don’t want to talk to after last night’s performance
3. Hard-working person behind the counter with whom you think you've formed a tacit friendship with, even though you haven't at all. 

2. Campus Bar

Do you like yelling “whasss good???!?” to certain people, and pretending like you don’t know others? Want to get spectacularly shitfaced on $7 pitchers with the same 7-9 people every night? Don’t mind being a bit discouraged when you realize that the majority of girls you are gunning for are in relationships, and the only other talent that’s worth it has grown tired of the non-committal hookup, and will thus only get with you if you exhibit and maintain proper boyfriend material?

If you’ve answered yes, please discontinue saying words, sack up, and enjoy your last vestiges of not listening to a radio host to make your morning commute more tolerable. 

3. CVS

SCENE: CVS – Early Evening

College Male, 21, absentmindedly picks up some essentials. Upon seeing Underclassmen Female, 19, he freezes–they met at a thing, but her friend blacked out so she had to run away before he could get her number. She is way more attractive than the girls he usually hooks up with. But since he is two years older, she is somehow oblivious to this.

Female:  Hey!

Male: Hey! I definitely didn’t see you there.

Female: Cool dude.. So how come we haven’t hooked up yet?

Male: Well I wasn’t gonna Facebook message you cause that’s just way too attractive of a thing to do. And then I got a girlfriend, so I figured there was no point in talking to you.

Female: True. Though you broke up with her right? Isn’t it weird that I somehow know this information?

Male: It should be, but not really. 

Female: I feel like now is the time where I say something like “classes are kicking my ass,” because you’re supposed to make the next move here, but I want to keep talking to you, so I will just say that “classes are kicking my ass.”

A few beats of silence. CVS lady yells “next” in the most miserable, emotionless tone possible.

Male: Want to have zero concrete plans to meet up tonight, but hope that fate somehow brings us together?

Female: Kind of. Though now that I see your primary sustenance is a carton of milk, three bags of funions, a Power Bar, and a box of condoms, I feel like you no longer offer any surprises.

4. Late-Night Food

As much as a party as the place you just came from. Not unlike watching your favorite childhood movie as an adult, be sure never to eat this shit sober. A loss of innocence from which you may never recover from.

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5. Gym

The collegiate gym is a place where desperation, ambition, and carefully crafted outfits mix together to create one of the more illuminating environments in human history.

As a center of self-improvement, the sheer act of going to the gym would seem to indicate that the gym-goer is currently dissatisfied with his or her status quo. From the stoner who suddenly realizes that can no longer walk to the corner deli without getting tired, to the super-devout woman who doesn’t drink, is basically married, and wakes up at 6 am so that she can productively chop shit on a cutting board, it is the resolve to be better than the person you were five minutes ago that keeps college kids on their fitness grind.

Except that on pretty much every campus, the gym often acts as a “get out of jail free card”– one that somehow justifies all of the other shitty things you are currently doing to yourself. You spent last night drinking fifteen beers and eating three big macs? No sweat, just do like three reps of that upper chest machine. You good.

6. Campus Coffee Shop

Do you want to have a personality? Be interesting? Like things just so you can tell other people that you like them, even though you may not like them yourself? Want to do all of this without being labeled a hipster?

A. Very hard to do
B. If we live in a world where everyone is obsessed with being an interesting person, the interesting people are those who are not interesting at all.
C. Just order a coffee that has at least three words in its title.
D. Make sure to flirt with the barista who is always smiling about the fact that she didn’t join a sorority and dresses like a slightly gothic Cat in the Hat.

7. Frat House

Wearing that “yea it’s a shithole, but it’s our shithole” proudly on its sleeve, there is really nothing that a paragraph in an article written on the internet could say about how important this place is to the development of a young man. It’s your darkest hours and your greatest hits all in one. A dazzling spectrum, the extremes of which you’ll likely never come close to anywhere else. Again, much like this paragraph, the amount of rambling bullshit found here is way past alarming. 

8. Personal Landmarks

As you move through college, you’ll steadily accrue valuable landmarks. I.e., following your first “spending the night over at her dorm,” experience, you’ll spend the next four years reliving the memory–whether it be embarrassingly romantic or hilariously disgraceful–every time you walk past that building. Same thing if you ever end up doing the deed in a not-so private place. Or, when you break your leg running on that ice patch, but didn’t notice until the next morning because you were just that shitfaced. Or the rooftop of that building, where you and your buddy just chilled out at four in the morning and knew that the joint you were passing wasn’t gonna be something you’d forget anytime soon. The blur of the best types of memories, forever immortalized by each and every time you walk by. The smile growing ever-wistful, but in a way that remembers to say that at that point in your life, you truly lived. 

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