So you have decided to attend college, and what an excellent choice you have made! Boulder, Colo. The beautiful University of Colorado campus. The Flatirons, the Pearl Street Mall, yoga pants, etc.

There's also all that nearby skiing, snowboarding and rock climbing that might cut short your college education and/or life but is so much fun it doesn't matter. They don't call Colorado the "Leisure Fatality State" for nothing. Actually, they don't call it that. They don't call it the "No Free Parking State" either, but they sure as hell should.

Anyway, there are some things you should know, incoming freshman. I'm sorry, freshperson. We are in Boulder, after all. That's your first lesson. Also, that dirty hobo asking you for change is an electrical engineer. The rent here is crazy high.

If you are one of those kids whose parents could afford thousands of dollars for a "college coach," whatever that is, good for you. Jesus and the Divine Mechanics of the Universe have smiled upon you. Likely, your parents are also footing the bill for your tuition, books, bail money, etc.

If you aren't one of the chosen ones, let me tell you that the student loan people will follow you to the gates of hell. I was clinically dead for two hours last week during an acute case of boredom, and there they were, cloven hoofed and demanding numerous signatures on paperwork. Thank God for defibrillators is all I'm saying.


College is where your political views will become fixed and immutable, at least until you become old and bitter (38). Here's how. You will have at least one professor who wrote his or her dissertation positing the theory that all straight white men are repressed homosexuals who repress other groups of people as an excuse to not make out with one another. At the same time, a conservative group on campus will hold an ill-advised "affirmative action bake sale" where they sell white cookies for a dollar and Mexican cookies for a dime. Hopefully, you will wind up somewhere in the middle.

College is a time to experiment with drugs. Here are the rules. Marijuana after noon, alcohol on weekends and cocaine when its free. Actually, that is terrible advice. Scratch that. Here is better advice: Marijuana is superior to alcohol. I've been a crime reporter for about 10 years, and I've never read the following in a police report: "Suspect had been smoking marijuana all day when he punched and then choked his girlfriend." Alcohol yes. Marijuana no. Marijuana also makes the Cheeto dust on your fingers look like flames, which is fun when you're alone.

It's likely you will be drinking, however. Sadly, it's a huge part of the social fabric of our country, and Colorado loves its chocolate pumpkin spiced India pale ale (barf). So if you must get schnockered, try it in your dorm room the first time. You can avoid the inevitable felony charges that arise when you can't hold your liquor.

All manner of tragedy can strike while binge drinking. Men: If you are a little buzzed and you are making out with a woman who is so drunk she can only speak in vowels, be a gentleman. Walk her home, make sure she gets inside safely, go home, pleasure yourself and go to bed. If you believe that you might be a sexual predator, please, kill yourself.

Women: If you are out with a group of friends, one of your members may tap out because she is too drunk to walk. A guy says, "You can leave her with me. I'll take care of her." He has a nice smile. Don't leave her with that guy! First of all, that's a violation of Girl Code Chapter 9, Subsection D: Never leave a man behind. Secondly, that guy has nefarious intentions.

But don't let a few bad apples spoil the college sex. It should be an opportunity to explore one's innermost desires and hopefully catch a communicable, but curable, sexually transmitted disease. College is barely worth the cost of admission if you don't take that shot of piƱa colada-flavored antibiotics while the clinic doctor shoots you a stern, unsmiling gaze.

So have fun, and be creative. Read up on affirmative consent, too. It's important to know that your partner or, if you are lucky, partners are totally willing participants in any weirdness that goes down. It was never an issue with me in college. I'm grumpy and I write well. The women threw themselves at me. Then they left. They always left. Sigh.

Anyway, you should probably study at some point.

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