Tuesday, August 29, 2006

College Survival Guide

college

it’s not about getting good grades and graduating on time. it’s about having the time of your life and actually learning something in the process

By Paul Blake, Corey Hutchins, Todd Morehead & Sean Rayford



You’ve bought the books, scored the Gamecock gear, and have spent your first few nights back on campus. You have a pretty good handle on the shopping, culture, and nightlife that Columbia has to offer (and, yes, we’re saying that with straight faces) after having read another publications back to school issue. Yet, somehow you were left wanting more. How, you wondered, do I BS on an essay exam or find a secret parking spot? Surely, a college guide– written by USC graduates– would impart some type of wisdom, too. What are the worst excuses to give a professor? How do you fight Athlete’s Foot? Well, worry no more. City Paper staffers, all with long rap sheets at USC, have compiled their sage wisdom into a list of the things you really need to know to survive at Carolina.

HEALTH & WELLNESS Hangover Cures It takes years of trial and error to perfect the ultimate hangover cure. Most of you youngsters out there still have the luxury of sleeping for 14 hours to knock a hangover out. The rest of us have to be at work at 9 a.m. on weekdays. That being the case, necessity has forced us to develop effective cures. And, simplicity is the key: Set the alarm clock to 6:30 a.m. before you go out. Just trust us on this one. The next time you hear that horrible sound, the sun will be rising and you will wake up in a mild sober shock. Ignore the chirping of the birds, the light streaming in through the window and the fact that you slept in your shoes again. You only have to do five simple things at this point.



  1. Fill a glass of water.



  2. Optional: Force down a piece of toast, some cereal, crackers, whatever.



  3. Take a packet of headache powder. If you have to, take two tablets, but the powder, while near vomit inducing, is quicker to dissolve. Drink the whole glass of water. Note: If you’re worried about mixing booze and aspirin or ibuprofen –which can be harmful to the liver– consult a physician before you go out to the club (preferably in person while you’re dressed in your evening wear).



  4. Refill the glass after you take the headache powder and drink another. If possible, drink a third glass. The first priority is to hydrate your system.



  5. Pee, go back to bed and sleep for at least 2 more hours. When you next wake, you will feel close to 45%. Have a cup of coffee (iced sweet tea is even better. Remember: hydrate.) After a caffeine jolt, take a shower, have something greasy for breakfast, and put on a fresh clean pair Hello Kitty boxers. (You may have a shart later). The real hangover starts around mid afternoon. You’ll wake strong, but crash later. Be prepared. If you feel ill, splash cold water on your face. If you are in class, just use your fingers to dab it on your face from a water bottle. The sickness will pass. The key is to shoulder through it. Go home and take a long nap. If you follow these steps, you’ll feel so good by Happy Hour that you’ll want to go out for a drink to celebrate.



The Benefits of Condom Use Maybe you’ve had University 101 and seen the slideshow. Maybe your first drunken sexual encounter said she was on birth control but then you had to drop out of school and work a $10 an hour job to give her ¾ of everything you make just because you thought it “didn’t feel as good.” Keep in mind, condoms are significantly cheaper than a (a) a wedding, (b) child support, or (c) an abortion, soooooooo USE THEM (unless you are a devout Catholic, in which case, swing away).


And remember, free Lifestyles tuxedos are available at the Thompson Student Health Center.


With HIV cases being the highest in the State you better wrap it, and with all the other sick internet born perverts where nothing is taboo it may be best to listen to your pastor and hold out for a southern bell. For more information about local HIV testing events and locations, call DHEC’s AIDS/STD Hotline at 1-800-322-AIDS. For easy women, visit the Greek Village.

SOCIETY Thank you, Sir! May I Have Another? : How to survive Rush Week The one stipulation for Mom and Dad paying for college is that junior will join pop’s old frat or daughter will join mom’s old sorority. It’ll come in handy later, they say, when you enter the business world or if you transfer to the Citadel. For now, though, the frat and sorority have their present-day perks: a sense of community within your flip-flop wearing mob of homies; reputation; and, most importantly, the key to some of the best booty on campus. But, it won’t come free. First you have to survive Rush Week. You will have to wear diapers in class, shoot down a Slip-n-Slide greased by beer vomit, or worse… much, much worse. The key is to be physically prepared. Make sure to get plenty of sleep, by any means necessary. Studies show that lack of sleep will cause forgetfulness, mood swings, and will hamper the immune system. You will need your immune system in prime order after some of the disgusting things you’ll be forced to ingest.


To combat the mental and physical fatigue, study a British SAS or Army Special Forces survival manual.


They often teach basic techniques for surviving in a high-stress captor-and-captive situation. This will come in handy after a night of vodka enemas and ice baths when you awaken blindfolded and naked in the middle of the horseshoe on Sunday morning.


Most importantly, try to be mindful around alcohol, the cornerstone of all hazing activities.


Alcohol poisoning is the bane of the frat existence, but it is a real threat. Too many shots of spiced rum– no matter how high Jimmy Buffett is cranked– will cause you to pass out and can depress the nerves that are responsible for involuntary functions like breathing or the gag reflex, which will cause you to choke, Bon Scott style, on your own puke. (Which is better than someone else’s vomit.) In addition, your heart rate can drop and lead to hypothermia or you could suffer brain damage from dehydration. If the guy beside you shows any signs of alcohol poisoning while you are being hazed, stop the challenge, remove the broom handle, and call the paramedics immediately.

Using a fake ID in Five Points

Though we at City Paper in no way condone it, there is a simple process for using a fake ID in Five Points. If you’re a girl and have boobs then congratulations—you’re in. And if you hook up with the bouncer then your friends are in too. If you are a guy though, you have a only a few options: (a) Drive to Atlanta or New York and buy a good fake, but don’t spend more than $50, (b) Purchase some holograms off the internet, (c) Make a friend at the DMV, (d) Use your brothers’, or (e) Use that scanner your parents bought you accordingly.

As for using that fake, walk in behind someone of age—they won’t scrutinize your ID as hard.


Wait about a month after school starts to head downtown to avoid SLED. Make sure you dress down like you’ve been doing it for a while and, last but not least, if you see a cop ACT NORMAL—otherwise he’s going to beeline for you when you drop that cup and bolt.


Remember, the ID doesn’t really have to look like you and if all else fails you can always use “the pass-back” option. But, we think you should wait until you’re legal to go boozing at the bars. …Shouldn’t you be at home studying?

Penalties for being caught using a fake ID to purchase alcohol in the state of South Carolina.Using a fake ID: To use someone else’s driver’s license or personal identification card. First offense: Up to $100 fine or 30 days imprisonment; driver’s license suspended for 90 days. Second or subsequent offense: Up to $100 fine or 30 days imprisonment; driver’s license suspended for six months.

S.C. Code Sections 56-1-515(2), 56-1-515(4), 56-1-746(a) Using an altered ID: To alter a driver’s license so as to provide false information. First offense: Up to $2,500 fine and six months imprisonment; driver’s license suspended for 90 days.

Second or subsequent offense: Up to $2,500 fine and six months imprisonment; driver’s license suspended for 6 months. S.C. Code Sections 56-1-515(1), 56-1-515(3), 56-1-746(a)

Giving false information for the purpose of buying alcohol: It is illegal for a minor to lie to a clerk about his or her age in order to buy alcohol. Penalty: Fine between $50 and $100 and up to 30 days imprisonment. S.C. Code Section 61-4-60

Giving false information to a law enforcement officer: It is illegal to lie or give false information to a law enforcement officer. First or subsequent offense: Up to $200 fine or 30 days imprisonment. S.C. Code Section 16-17-725

Sex in a Dorm Room Things haven’t changed much since Gilbert and company went on their legendary panty raid in Revenge of the Nerds: the girl’s dorms will forever be the promised land for the undergrad male. Buxom young vixens stroll the halls in bath towels on their way to experimental make-out sessions, stopping occasionally to giggle through scantily clad pillow fights. To actually score in this frilly heaven, with the teddy bears looking on, is a scene to rival any story in Hustler.

Conversely, sex at the guy’s sparse, armpit- reeking dorm in the Honeycombs has always seemed pathetic and, well, kind of creepy. Funny how that works. No matter if you choose top bunk or bottom, space will always be an issue; lighting, too, will be a problem. But, you’ve got to run with what you bring to the track. The one element you can control is privacy.

The whole necktie on the doorknob bit was antiquated back when your parents used it in the Shag days.


Nowadays the norm is to cover your doorknob with a thick glob of Vaseline.


The door is virtually impenetrable, gives your roommate a moment to realize why you’re blaring Eddie Money, followed by the image of what is transpiring on the other side of the door. He will then look at himself grabbing the lubed doorknob, be overcome with a pang of disgust and will hurry back to the coffee shop for another latte. But, don’t abuse your roommate’s kindness: you should only commandeer the dorm for an hour or so at a time. And remember: free Jimmies at Thompson Student Health Center.

Intricacies of Communal Dorm Showers

There is but one essential to surviving communal showers. Cheap sandals. Platforms if you can get them. The only place you will wear them is in the shower—and with good reason.

Foot fungus runs rampant. If the powders and itch creams aren’t working and it still feels like a lit match is resting between your toes, try slathering your feet with yogurt. No joke, it’s supposed to work wonders. Itchy feet are the least of your worries, though. Those chunks clogging the drain are last night’s pasta from the Bates House Cafeteria after the kid two doors down slammed a six-pack of Hard-Core Apple Cider. We don’t even need to get started on what the guy is doing in the corner stall and if an athlete is on the toilet, breathe through your mouth—when combined with the steam, the stench will smoke you out faster than NORML during a student pro-democracy rally.

MONEY


Don’t let a T-shirt of free pizza induce you to sign up for a credit card.


They look friendly enough, beckoning from the foldout table near the Russell House. And, wow, you can get a free generic Carolina shirt for just filling out that form? And the credit card lady says, “Haaay, how are yeeewww!” like she’s a long-lost relative, and, oh, the whole experience just seems so genuine… Nope.

Fight it! Run away shrieking if you have to. There’s no shame in it. Just run. The minute the credit card lady’s talons close around your form, consider yourself financially ruined before you even graduate. Next thing you know, you’ll have an apartment full of non-returnable Spongebob Squarepants furniture that you bought while tripping and a massive monthly bill that it will take decades to crawl away from.

Extra Funding

No one wants to have a job in college, so we’re going to tell you some get rich quick scams. Oh yeah, and of course we could never actually encourage anyone to do any of these, so this is really just, uh…more like what not to do unless you want to end up in our crime report.

1) The 1-900-Number Scam: This one can be hard work and take some wit, but when it works it rakes in big. Set up a 1-900-Number with a fake name and a P.O. box that charges something like $10 a minute (you set the rate), then go all over town to a bunch of corporate buildings and ask to use their phones, dial the number and leave the phone off the hook. Most likely any corporate headquarters’ phone bill is handled by direct deposit and the money will go into your account unnoticed. If you do get found out, however, you better hope they don’t have you on camera.

2) Bill Me Later: By doing this right you can furnish your entire home with the most pimped out stuff and never have to pay a dime. Here’s how it works: Buy a TV from some place and use the Bill Me Later option, which means you won’t have to pay anything for six months but if you mess up on a payment the interest will just be really high. Use the TV for five months and 10 days and then return it for CASH at the place you got it. Now take that cash and use it to pay off Bill Me Later in full. Now go pick out a better TV and do it again. If you keep your records straight you can do this for couches, beds, tables, electronics, game systems or anything and never end up actually “paying” for any of it. Just make sure to ALWAYS pay off Bill Me Later on time—the more you do that, the more money they will credit you and the more stuff you can charge.

3) EBT Cards: Most crackheads who are on welfare don’t really care so much about buying groceries as they do about buying crack. That’s why they’ll sell you their EBT card worth $250 in grocery purchases for like $125. Be careful though, you’ll need to enter a PIN number and a lot of times you might want to drag that crackhead along to the store with you to make sure it works.

4) Selling Classes:


Yes, that’s right, you can literally SELL classes that you don’t have to take. Usually only working for upperclassmen who are able to register before others, you can sign up for a class known to fill up quick and then post a listing on eBay or Craig’s List saying you’ll conveniently “drop” the class at a specific time (like 4:27 a.m.) and the buyer can “add” the class the second later. Or you can just use a cell phone and have the buyer keep hitting “add” as you conveniently click “drop” online.


EDUCATION Pass/Fail Classes: Unsung Heroes of Undergrads Peace Out! : Develop a Sixth Sense for Dropping Classes Try to sit as close to the door as possible.


Your gut will speak to you after the first 10 to 15 minutes of your first day of class.


If the professor seems particularly grumpy… she probably is. And, more than likely, he/she will remain that way for the majority of the semester. Also, avoid the young professors, if at all possible. They are still institutionalized and seem to have chips on their shoulders. More often than not, the old wrinkled suit-wearing guy is going to be more hung over than you are, will be a whole lot easier on your GPA and will often impart grizzled worldly wisdom through his rants while simultaneously teaching the subject.

Also, immediately scour the syllabus. They are often misleading. Sometimes phrases like “25 page essay and Power Point presentation” are snuck into seemingly innocuous lines around the mid term point on the syllabus, often only noticed with horror three days before they are due. If there are too many projects and journals and busy work, go with your gut and drop the class. If it’s a small class, at least wait for the class to end. If it’s a larger class, slip out the door the minute you decide to drop, go home, and hop on V.I.P. Be patient: lots of students drop and add and if you keep trying, you’ll get another class you want. Plus, ride the “override” for all it’s worth.

If you have to change around three times, do it. The key is to search out the classes and professors who will best fulfill your needs. We’ve heard that if you end up with a professor named “Haggard” you should drop the class immediately.

Parking Secret: Secret Parking Want to feel truly alienated by your University? Live off campus. Commuter students have gotten the shaft at USC for years, paying $40 for a parking decal that doesn’t even guarantee a space. Well, forget that. All you need is a little gumption and creativity and you can find a plethora of free parking around campus, often within yards of the building to which you are headed.

Over the weekend, cruise the neighborhoods that surround campus. The City of Columbia has long called dibs on the street parking, so don’t even bother with that.


What you need to do is check the myriad back alleys, side yards, and dumpster areas behind buildings, et cetera: basically, the underbelly of the campus outskirts.


There are very small pockets of spaces behind certain individually owned apartment buildings on Greene, Barnwell, Henderson and Pickens streets. We’ll let you find those yourselves as some of us are still using them. Also, know that most commercial apartment complexes don’t actually have a guy who’s job it is to check cars for stickers in the lot– except Cornell Arms. THEY will tow your ass in seconds.

With some careful recon and some skillful shimmying, you can wiggle into a comfy, convenient, and free space. The key is to adopt the air that you are supposed to be parking there. Challenge anyone who disagrees. If you hesitate for a moment, you risk a $60 tow truck fee.


Make up an elaborate story to go along with your parking space and stick to it. Often these secret spaces are passed down through generations, but if you find your own space, guard it viciously.


Often competing parkers will pose as landlords, leaving threatening notes on your windshield. Sometimes they will threaten to vandalize your car. But, stick to your guns! You can leave notes, too.

If worse comes to worse, you could always have your car-less friend who lives near campus give you his city parking or visitor’s pass.


Vodka: The Key to Nailing Presentations


Best Professors Here we will refer you to the best college Web site known to man: www.ratemyprofessor. com USE IT. How to BS on an English exam If you’re sitting there reading the essay question over and over and you still can’t even recognize where the passage came from, just write about the whole thing makes you feel. Wow them with flowery language. A person close to City Paper once worked this Jerky Boy’s line into an Art History exam: “ …the women in the painting looked like they could do a side of beef and make it more tender than a damn wet pillow.” He got a C. You’d be surprised by what you can get away with. We’ll give you a freebie. You can use this.


Whatever the question, start off the essay with “If so-and-so were alive today, they would…” and then just go nuts about how much they would hate MySpace and Snakes on a Plane.


How to pull an all-nighter First, find the kid on your hall that has a prescription for Adderall or Ritalin and give them a dollar for one, (or if it’s exam time $5—simple supply and demand). Then, have an in-depth conversation with your roommate for at least three hours. You won’t be able to begin studying until you’ve thoroughly cleaned your entire room and organized the cereal boxes by the Dewey Decimal System.

By four in the morning you should have finally buckled down to study and the first pill will be wearing off.


Take another and remember to e-mail the assignment to your professor before you come down hard and sleep through your classes for the entire day.


But don’t be “that guy” with the blue ring around his nostril. Not cool.

And Never, ever sign up for an 8 a.m. class. That one probably goes without saying.

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