My last words: 4 seconds at IU

This is it. For four years I have dreamed about writing this article: my last column in college.

First, some advice to the incoming freshmen:

There are two things you should always have: a fake ID and shower sandals. Do not lose either.

A Miller Lite might be a good call, but an AMF at Upstairs is a better one.

If you want a winning football program, go to the games. If you want to binge-drink and black out before the sun sets, tailgate until the lights go out in your head.

Lose your high-school girlfriend. College is the time to be a hunter, not a husband.

Now, without further adieu, this is what I’ve learned living in Bloomington:

Sink the biz, not your grade-point average.

Bloomington’s bar version of the board game Battleship is fun and easy. Going to class and doing the work, however, is neither fun nor easy. But ultimately, college forces kids to prioritize. First save yourself from failing out, and then sink your sobriety.

Sports is a sport.

The art of surviving at a big time bar like Kilroy’s Sports Bar is to treat it like a sport. Hone your skills, but have fun. Sports on Walnut Street is a combination of pitchers, pals and possible hook-ups. All three elements must be delicately balanced to maximize your good time. But above all – pick up girls, don’t poke them. When you poke someone on Facebook, you’re saying: “I’m too much of a coward to talk to you in person, so here’s a virtual poke!” While it is not the lowest form of communication between the sexes, it is only slightly above grunting.

Classroom romances are nice in theory, but destructive in practice.

Remember those mornings when the only thing uglier than your hangover headache is the sight of the person in your bed? Yeah, now imagine that every morning, including during tests, lectures and class work.

Don’t ever live in Smallwood Plaza. Ever.

Yeah, I said it. Take it from a Jersey Jew: Smallwood is the ghettoization of the stupid, the spoiled and the narcissistic. Conversations don’t include “Iraq.” No, instead they begin with “I rock.” In the next decade Bloomington will continue to build these enormous apartment complexes, which serve at the convenience of students with wealthier parents. Smallwood unites these students in a community that couldn’t care less about what is going on outside their own small worlds.

College is a struggle between brains.

Yes, contrary to science, there are two brains. One is above the waist, the other is below. Try and use the one on top of your shoulders as much as possible.

Despite its title, “Guitar Hero” is for losers.

When you, the video gamer, can pick up a real guitar and play songs like “Free Bird” and “Jessica,” then you can boast about your bitchin’ skills. Until then, get help and get a life.

Nothing good can happen after 2 a.m.

If your watch reads 2:01 a.m. and you’re thinking, ‘Is this a good idea or a bad idea?,’ chances are it’s a terrible idea that will result in either jail time, a disease, a broken heart, a broken nose, a fine, a newborn baby or time in a rehab facility. Maybe even a combination of them all. No, nothing good can happen after 2 a.m.

When people say they’re from Chicago...

Yeah, they’re not. If IU students could draw a map of Chicago, it would include the planet Neptune. Is it really so hard to say “suburb outside Chicago” or “northwest Indiana?” You keep telling yourself that you are from Chicago, and I’ll keep telling myself that you’re full of it.

Never order a second

Hairy Bear.

The only thing that follows a second Hairy Bear from Bear’s Place is an even hairier night. Drink one, skip the second and order a beer instead.

The Drunk Bus is your best friend when alcohol is your worst enemy.

The Drunk Bus is the University’s solution to the drinking epidemic in Bloomington. “If you can’t beat ’em, drive ’em,” and the Drunk Bus is the premier transportation tool for the intoxicated. So whether you’re stumbling out of Sports or sneaking out to complete the Walk of Shame, the Drunk Bus is your best friend.

So, in two weeks I will sail back east toward the Big Apple, bagels baked right and a black oblivion called the future. For four years I have called a college in Bloomington my home, and the one certainty I’ve learned is this:

Smile like you mean it, IU. If we as college students have learned anything from Virginia Tech, it is that any day – even one spent in a classroom – can be your last. Don’t waste your time with those who think you are a waste of theirs. Find a group of friends, finish your degree and forge your own future.

If you take one thing seriously, my fellow Hoosiers, make it your smile.

After all, college is not four years; it’s four seconds. And they’ll be over before you can count them.

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