First-years have a lot to learn about Freshman life

    As UCSD opens its doors to another round of progressively more ambitious and better groomed freshmen, the more jaded of those remaining from years past are reminded what a monumental waste of time much of our first year was. Wide-eyed 18-year-

    olds are probably receiving more than enough unsolicited advice as it is, regarding everything from amassing quarters for the dryers, to the merits of abstinence, to the risks of keeping large mammals (boyfriends and girlfriends included) in one’s dorm room. Most of this advice is geared at preserving the fragile mental well-being of the quivering 18-year-olds. Full disclosure ó this columnist really has no (well, a little) regard for mental well-being. He just really wants to see this school be a bit more lively. As such, here’s a list of advice for the more masochistic of freshmen.

    1. The very first thing you should do on Thursday, when classes start, is sign up for another class. Your freshman classes are a joke, and you have more than enough work ethic and talent to attempt 20 units. The extra four units do not even have to be anything related at all to your major or your ambition to become a doctor or lawyer. Just try something ó it’s all the same price (money-wise, not sanity-wise) and you might very well reap the benefits in getting a jump start on that next masochistic step, a double major. Or you might just find out you are much more talented at vector integrals than you will ever be at writing modern poetry.

    2. Do not EVER go to discussion unless you are required to. While this may seem like a nonmasochistic step (i.e. you’ll get more sleep), the vast majority of “”discussion sections”” are thinly veiled excuses for TAs to hand out answers to students that are too lazy to think for themselves. You’ll get a lot more traction out of thinking for yourself.

    Discussion sections are like drugs ó the more you use them, the more dependent you get. And then sooner or later, they’ll take them away from you (unless you’re an engineering major, in which case they have to keep giving you discussion sections for fear you won’t graduate). When it comes to discussion sections ó just say no.

    3. If you are Asian, make sure you drink milk every few days. Otherwise you will eventually look in the mirror, and all you will see is a jaded, lactose-intolerant columnist. Or if you’re really masochistic, don’t drink milk for a year, and then try half a gallon.

    4. Join a student organization of some kind and put obscene amounts of time into it (regardless if you have a job that actually makes you money). Student organizations are generally divided into two categories ó those who think they are affecting something, and those who openly profess they are doing jack for society. A.S. Council, CALPIRG and the editorial board of a certain student newspaper fall into the former category, while the ultimate Frisbee team and the science fiction club Darkstar fall into the latter.

    If you enjoy spending much of your time in a room making broad generalizations about the nature of society and the worth of individuals while yelling at other people, the former group of orgs is for you. Otherwise, if you like to run around in circles for a Frisbee, or roll dice testing against your dexterity stat on whether or not you will catch that Frisbee, the latter group of orgs is for you.

    There are a few organizations that do actually do things for people in need. This columnist knows they exist somewhere on campus, but cannot actually point to any off the top of his head (there are religious clubs that do great amounts of community service, but for you agnostics or worshippers of pagan Celtic gods, that might not be for you). Tangential to this discussion is which organizations do plenty of drugs.

    There is a rather easy litmus test for the uninitiated as to whether you’re getting yourself into something you’d rather not (or something you’re looking for). Simply start by first asking: Is this UCSD student organization a media club (i.e. does it put out something on newsprint, or the airwaves for general consumption)?

    If the answer is “”yes,”” then you have found an organization with plenty of illicit substances to be supplied to all comers. Congratulations.

    ***

    UCSD is undoubtedly the red-hot prophetic center of California politics. To illustrate this, I cite two examples of this campus’ recognitive skills with regards to the California gubernatorial race. First, then Lieutenant Governor (but soon to be leading candidate!) Cruz Bustamante spoke at the Thurgood Marshall College commencement this year. Undoubtedly, Mr. Bustamante realized the geopolitical significance of our fair campus in the run-up to the election.

    Secondly, May’s A.S. election was the debut of a tactic that would ultimately find its way into a political venue with (some) actual significance: the use of the run-a-guy-with-the-same-name-as-a-frontrunner-and-confuse-the-electorate-and-or-make-a-mockery-out-of the-election-process tactic. Initially used by opponents of Kevin Shawn Hsu on this very campus, the tactic foreshadowed the numerous Gray Davis-es from around the state who filed papers with the intent of running for governor in the recall election.

    Fellow students, UCSD is back on the map. Sure, we had a few years since Newt Gingrich and Bill Clinton visited in the mid-90s that tried to show us how marginal and insignificant the campus was, the climax of which was a rousing glimpse of the magnificent white ass of none other than Dr. Patch Adams himself.

    This is all to say that Davis (the real one) no doubt made a fatal mistake in his campaign by opening the “”truth and reconciliation”” (read: “”I kind of apologize, but it’s really the fault of the Texas energy companies.””) portion of his campaign at UCLA. Everybody in the know realizes that this is the epicenter of where everything is happening ó and to guarantee that stays the result and UCSD clings onto its perch at the top of statewide politics, UCSD students should vote yes on recall, and yes on Bustamante. Or yes to one of the numerous name rip-off candidates. Or even yes to this columnists’ editor, Daniel Watts, a UCSD student who is himself running to make a mockery of the political process ó er, to demonstrate the value of civic participation.

    That probably merits full disclosure. Mr. Watts and this writer are on rather cordial terms, having worked at a certain student newspaper together for quite some time. In fact, a few years ago, Mr. Watts and this writer got bikini waxes together and posed for some German bodybuilding magazines naked. Come to think of it, some of this writer’s responses to the interview questions were probably a bit less than politically correct.

    As students, we can only hope that either those magazines never get found, or no one learns how to read German ó the exposure of this columnist as a politically insensitive hack could do untold damage to the political legitimacy of this fine university. That university that really does matter in national politics. What does UCSD stand for again?

    This column stands for egalitarian principles. As a result, all correspondence sent to [email protected] will be treated with the same amount of incompetence.

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