Aug 132007
Authors: Ryan Nowell

Congratulations! Considering you’re now attending a public university in a state ranked 50th in funding higher education, I’m going to assume things either didn’t pan out all that well for you or you’re not really the ambitious type. But that’s okay – you’re in good company.

As freshman, CSU’s large campus and cow-scented air may seem a bit much to take in all at once, but let your time spent in orientation ease you into the experience.

Once you’ve mastered breathing through your mouth and the vital social skills gleaned from all those incredibly awkward tell-something-about-yourself exercises you were wrangled into these last few weeks, you will have the twin keys to success at CSU. Being able to ignore odors and name your favorite band while passing a foam ball will prove to be invaluable skills, both now and later in life.

Once you have these techniques down, the school will cease being such a vast, unknowable sprawl and start to seem more like a hulking, Lenny-esque manchild, whose endearing gumption belays any concerns about its physical size or apparent cognitive irregularities.

Now since this is the first time a lot of you are striking out on your own, I feel obligated to pass on some advice about college living, as it’s often fraught with temptation.

It’s always important to experiment and try new things, and while following a few simple rules can make sure you broaden your horizons safely, I recommend you ignore those rules and make as many atrocious decisions as possible.

When asked to pinpoint the time in their lives in which they sunk the lowest, most Americans name their college years as that lurid dark place they wake up screaming about in the middle of the night. The mid-twenties drug-fuelled nervous breakdown is a hallowed rite of passage in our society, and it leads directly to the all-important mid-thirties fervent embrace of capitalism, Zoloft, or Jesus.

So really, the continued prosperity of our economic and religious institutions are riding on the drunken debauchery you indulge in today. Make the responsible choice.

Further, many of you are still very young, and therefore have an axe to grind with your parents. Making an utter shambles of your life is an excellent way to demonstrate to them your newfound maturity. Remember that thing they did when you were sixteen that was totally unfair and completely embarrassing and ruined your life?

Well, whatever it was, there’s one perfect way to get them back. What strain of VD is entirely up to you, but I guarantee the look on their faces when you hand them the printout from the free clinic will be absolutely priceless.

If you find that after a few weeks you’re still having trouble hitting your stride, keep in mind that adjustment takes time. CSU is committed to helping students cope with the crippling deficiency of cultural significance called Fort Collins.

By taking the few perks of living in Colorado and harping on them incessantly, we hope to politely drown out any lingering doubts you may be having about your enrollment.

Noticed yet that every single miscellaneous item you’ve received from this school has mountains on it? That’s the magic at work. Within a couple of months, you’ll forget all about the flatter, more interesting places you come from.

So, on behalf of the student body, I’d like to offer all of you our sterile and ambivalent welcome. Some of you may experience some hazing or mistreatment, but don’t take that personally. Over time, you will win over our brusque dismissal, and one day, who knows, maybe even our casual indifference.

Now lets all look wistfully at the mountains, or likeness thereof.

Ryan Nowell is a junior English major. His column appears every Monday in the Collegian. Letters and feedback can be sent to

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