May 062008
Authors: Phil Elder

Upon reflection on my last four years at this prestigious Colorado institute, commencing with a shower of water balloons on move-in day and concluding this coming week with the traditional post-graduation alcohol poisoning, I came to the realization that there were many facets of this town, this school, indeed this whole experience, that I wish were outlined for me from the get-go.

As I have done nothing beneficial for my university during my stint therein, I thought I would at least leave the next generation with bits of advice to follow as you delve into the gross irresponsibility of early adulthood.

Ski or board at least once.

Even if the prospect of barreling down a hill toward children and the elderly – who don’t belong on the slope, I don’t care what anyone says – terrifies you, you cannot spend this much time in this state without shredding at least minute amounts of powder.

Climb some rocks.

We have millions of them and they’re stacked pretty high just west of campus.

Get stoned on top of a mountain.

Whether it’s gray rock, Horsetooth, some random trail up the Poudre Valley, whatever, find a rock that surveys large amounts of wilderness and get stoned on top of it. It’ll be worth it, I promise.

Sign up for an organization.

You don’t ever have to go to any of the meetings or any of the gatherings, but you can put on your resume that you were a part of that organization.

I am part of CSU Democrats, Snowriders, the Associated Students of CSU and even the CSU rugby team.

Do I know anyone else in any of those organizations?


Being involved on campus is as easy as sitting on your couch and watching TV.

Walk home wasted.

Not only will this keep you from getting a DUI, it does wonders to clear your head.

Use it either as a time to reflect on how awesome everything is in your life or how you really need to pull it together.

I leave that decision to you.

Visit Greeley.

I promise that you won’t enjoy it, but everyone has toknow where that awful smell comes from.

Drink from a beer bong.

You just can’t go through college without trying at least one beer bong.

Go to a show at the Aggie.

You won’t find a smaller, more personal venue that still plays decent names from time to time anywhere (and people-watching all the high school scenesters is worth the ticket price alone.)

Go protest something.


This is a magical time in your life – you’re exposed enough to know how vicious and awful the world really is, while simultaneously being na’ve enough to believe that markers and signs and a sit-in will change it.

Take advantage of that time.

Now, for all of you excited soon-to-be legal drinkers, I have a special bit of advice for the downtown scene. Have an atomic cherry at the Town Pump. Have six of them. It’s a cheap, fun and highly effective way to get nice and tossed.

Drink a beer before class at the ‘Skeller. Nothing loosens your tongue more for that big speech than a tall Springboard.

Whether or not you drink, smoke, protest or even exercise, at least take your time.

College isn’t an inconvenience to rush through, nor is it a minor obstacle on your way to greatness.

Study, achieve, succeed, etc., but have fun doing it.

It’s an amazing period in your life.

You’ve been given all the freedoms you’ve “deserved” since middle school, but without all the horrid shackles of family and retirement plans and minivans and mortgages binding your hands and feet.

Do everything you can with that freedom – those shackles are coming sooner than you think.

Phil Elder is a senior political science major. His column appears Wednesdays in the Collegian. Letters and feedback can be sent to

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