48- The Michigan Daily - New Student Edition - September 3, 1996
Know what to expect? Don't count on college beig that way
Some feel an air of trepidation when think-
ing of their first day, their first week or even
their first year at college.
Others, however, sit on the porch swing with
their parents or siblings as warm summer
breezes usher thoughts of beer, parties, beer,
and impending freedom through their day-
dreams. As Mom and Dad talk of their years
listening to the Beatles, "feeling groovy" and
"of course getting a lot of studying done," they
too reminisce about life in the fast lane.
What to make of it all?
Well, don't listen to your parents too much,
lest thoughts of getting your hair cut in a styl-
ish "flip" and buying those "hit" records from
"The Cowsills" begin to ruin your fantasy of
college life. Trust me, reality will ruin it fast
Just remember that John Belushi won't be
handing you a brew, the Budweiser girls don't
play volleyball in thongs on the Diag and, no,
college guys are not more mature and sensitive
than the thugs at Happyville High School, and I
think you will be just fine. Reality, as I have
said, has a way of dampening those lofty fires
that burn in your imagination.
Try these examples on for size (not to burst
your bubble or anything, but someone has to do
Fantasy No. 1: "Dude, like school is going
to be so fab! I am going out the first night,
dude, and getting butt-wasted on good beer -
forget that high school swill. I am going to,
like, scope out the crowd, dude, and I am gonna
score with the hottest babe in the place ... no
Reality: You go to a packed party, dance to
Techno-crapola, eye every young woman in the
room and drink high school swill out of a two-
day-old keg. (If you see a keg, that is.) You end
up reverse drinking (i.e. puking) through your
nose all over your new shirt and swear off
drinking for the rest of your life ... only to
drink again the next night.
And forget the whole woman thing. I mcan
hey, you're a first-year student.
Fantasy No. 2: "[felt like the subtle nuances
of my inner person were stifled in high school.
No one ever let me express my true being, and
I had so much conflict between my outer con-
sciousness and my soul. In my jaunt toward a
better self, I am going off to higher education
so as to discover a new me, and I am going to
be the most independent person who I have
Reality: Those 30 flannels you picked out
before school start look just like those your
roommate bought, and every other female at
Michigan decided to buy one of those "trendy"
little backpack thingys that serve no purpose.
Reading Kerouac bores you, and the people on
your hall catch you staring at the book as you
hold it upside down.
And, darn it, that fuschia lipstick and green
hair fits right in at East Quad.
You give up and sit at an all-night coffee
shop with your green beret, sipping an iced-
mocha-latte-frappuccino with skim and smok-
ing a Dunhill cigarillo, or you become a mem-
ber of our "cozy" family of 40,000-plus drones
that makes this University so great.
"I mean, God, how was I supposed to know
that everyone has Doc Martens and reads phi-
Fantasy No. 3: "True love. That is what I am
going off to school to find. All those high
school guys/girls were so dull and uninspired. I
am going to meet my prince in shining
armor/princess in a conical hat, and we are
going to fall deeply and madly in love. Strolls
through the Arb at night, soft kisses in the
moonlight - we will live happily ever after."
Reality: You meet a different soul-mate three
times in the first week, and all are about as
interesting as a soft honeydew melon. Intellec-
tual conversations consist of "Wasn't the
weather beautiful this morning?" and
"Umphh." You get dumped hard after you do
things you shouldn't in a fraternity bathroom
("Isn't this the sexiest place to do it?") and go
on to use your experience as material for a
weekly column in the Daily.
You give up on love, think the world is drea-
ry and join a radical "militant" leftist group so
you can throw rocks at all your favorite ene-
While these are only a few examples of the
way things are versus the way things "should"
be, there are countless other things that just
will not be what you are expecting.
But you may find a party with good beer,
you may stick out as a true individual and you
may just happen upon that person you will
spend the rest of your life with.
Just don't bet on it.
When talking about school with your par-
ents, stay off the subjects of love, alcohol and
what you really want to get out of college,
because your conversation will go directly
Keep those thoughts in your head, and
maybe, just maybe, one of them will actually
And, despite what they will say, your parents
wore flowers in their hair, called each other
"Moonshine" and, yes, they did inhale. Invite
them up to Hash Bash in April; they might
One last tip: Don't show up at school with a
"flip" and never, ever listen to anything by
- Josh White is a Daily news editor and an
LSA junior. He can be reached over e-mail at