I won't presume to know what brought you, dear reader, to the University of Colorado.

If I were to presume, I'd say that you're here because you like to smoke weed and play in the mountains, or because you're interested in studying science. Probably both.

But I'm not going to do that.

This is a city with so many different kinds of white people that stereotyping is not only wrong, but utterly fruitless. Who am I to pretend to know whether you're a laid-back, dog-loving, EDM-preferring liberal who grew up in Colorado, or a laid-back, dog-loving, EDM-preferring liberal from out of state?

I know my place, and I know my, uh ... not place.

So let me speak about what I do know, about where I fit in, and about how your path and mine might intersect during your time at CU.

I'm a pretty normal dude. I like music and sports and walking door to door through the Hill and campus housing extorting money from students, and like you, I love my friends and family. Typical stuff.

If you and I ever meet, it'll probably be in the following context: I'll be making my weekly rounds, and I'll pound on your front door at 2 in the morning. You'll open the door and see me, dressed all in purple and black, backed by my henchmen, Lanuel and Mimi, who do not speak but who say plenty with the wiffle bats they wield at all times.

You and I will chit-chat briefly, and I, considerate gal that I am, will ask how classes are going and whether you've started looking into summer internships. Then you will produce your wallet and give me money. Just enough to wet my beak.


Many see me as a fearsome presence, and I don't really get why. I want everyone on campus to feel safe and welcome in my city, and handing me a weekly payment or alternate offering — livestock and stone fruits are always appreciated — goes a long way toward ensuring you and I get along.

Your time in Boulder is going to be amazing — I promise. It'll fly by, but at least you'll be able to look back and recall sunny days filled with wonderful friendship and the kind of intellectual stimulation one can really only find at college.

And if you look back and recall something else, it is my sincere wish that your memory, however it looks, is a nice one. I have a feeling it will be.

But if you're turned off by the prospect of good times and fond recollection, then maybe you'd be wise not to pay me when I show up at your door. Because I promise you, the times will be bad if I don't get my money.

Maybe you'll wake up the day after disrespecting me and find your cat is dyed blue or that a silly hat was super-glued to your head while you slept. Perhaps you'll open that box of two dozen donuts you just bought and find that four of them have been eaten. I might abduct your goldfish.

What you need to understand is that I have sick thoughts in this head. Sick thoughts! Would I ever do anything to hurt you physically? No. But would I spook you a bit or slightly inconvenience you with a prank moderately sinister in nature as retaliation for your failure to pay up? Absolutely.

So my advice to you, as you begin to navigate the choppy but wondrous waters of college, is to be open to new things and people, to challenge yourself mentally and to give me money when I ask you for it. Do that, and we won't have any problems.

Because, I mean, we don't want a problem, do we?

Do we?

Good. I didn't think so.

Alex Burness: twitter.com/alex_burness