Brock About Town: Wisdom of the ages

Illustration by Lev Cantoral

Since I graduated college, a terrifying transformation has begun to occur. The music at the hip student bars has become too loud for me, so on Saturday nights, I test out soup recipes in my Crock-Pot while I watch Jeopardy! I have purchased multiple cardigans in various shades of moss. I do the crossword puzzle every morning. In short, I am turning into a cranky old man.

Like most geezers, I’m full of nostalgia for the good old days of oat-sowing and youthful hooliganism and feel compelled to corner the nearest young person and give them an earful. Unlike most geezers, I have an entire town to browbeat.

Without further ado, here are some tips for all you new college students:

I have never personally met someone who did not gain the Freshman 15, but I hear they’re out there. I imagine they probably go to the gym. If you know where that is, maybe check it out. If you don’t, that’s fine. At Hillcrest, they have a waffle maker and a soft-serve machine, which means you can make yourself a waffle ice cream sandwich. Just food for thought, so to speak.

I do not condone underage drinking, but I do want to save you the embarrassment of looking at some humiliating Facebook photos in a few years, so here’s a tip: Nothing says “I’m 18” like wearing five-inch heels, a pound of bronzer and a Forever 21 dress with the tags still on to get mini-pitchers of Long Island iced tea spilled on you at Brothers. And I would hope it would go without saying, but leave the lanyard you got at freshman orientation in your dorm room.

Be social. It know, it is so tempting to hole up in your room watching Gilmore Girls, and those campus events can get pretty cloying (“Let’s play ultimate frisbee to build leadership skills!”) but making friends is one of the best parts of college. It’s also the key to passing all your classes without actually studying. To wit: Make a few friends in each class, then set up a Google Doc for everyone to put their notes in, so you only need to pay attention to every third lecture. It’s not cheating, it’s collaboration.

God, I feel better. Now I get why old people are always trying to impart wisdom. I think I’ll call my grandma.

This article was originally published in Little Village issue 272.

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