The following list is aimed specifically at Virginia Tech, though I have no doubt it could very well apply to every college and university in the United States. Also, one would think that these are all common sense issues. But we all know that common sense is something that is severely lacking in today’s culture.
To the academic bigwigs at the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, I implore you, share these things with your students. It’s an easy enough thing to do. Just print a handout that can be given to each freshman during orientation. These things are just as important (and maybe more so) as learning how to set up their email address or how to utilize the library appropriately. And so, without further gilding the lily and with no more ado…
1. AXE BODY SPRAY DOES NOT FIX THE PROBLEM This one is specifically for the guys. Boys, you need to shower. Make it a part of your routine. There is a huge difference between a guy’s dorm room and a girl’s dorm room. Everyone notices the distinct smell of dude in the guy’s room. Take a shower and use soap. Do not cover up with a disgusting body spray. It actually covers up nothing. It only mixes the smell of your body odor with whatever the heck Xtreme Arctic Blast is supposed to smell like. Some smells are good together, like apples and cinnamon. You and Axe are not good together. So don’t.
2. LEARN TO COUNT TO TEN/BE ABLE TO ADD & SUBTRACT THESE NUMBERS This is mostly to help you keep track of your bank account. In my opinion, too many students still have mommy and daddy pay for everything, including that pizza you bought for everyone on your floor. Whether they fund your debit card or not, it’s still important to know how much you’re spending. When you go in to complain about your account being in the negative and being charged $35 that you don’t have, those super helpful bank tellers that act like they feel sorry for you when you’ve overdrawn your account for the seventh time don’t actually feel sorry for you. In fact, they’ll call you stupid behind your back as soon as you leave the building and you’ll still be charged $35 that you don’t have. Because you’re stupid. Also, avoid credit cards at all costs, dummy.
3. ENJOY THE SIMPLICITY OF EASY MAC The things they can do with a microwave these days. And it’s not just the macaroni and cheese. There is a plethora of 2-minute meals available at the Gucci Kroger. When I was starting out, if I missed out on feeding time in the dining hall, it meant I had to spend money I didn’t have to eat at a real restaurant or I was stuck with Ramen. I would, however, suggest avoiding anything with microwaveable eggs. I don’t know who thought those were a good idea.
4. LOOK BOTH WAYS BEFORE YOU CROSS THE STREET I get it. You’re young. You think you’re invincible. You imagine you’re immortal. You’re not. And just because a pedestrian has the assumed right-of-way, even outside of the crosswalk, it doesn’t mean that every driver in Blacksburg is going to be responsible or not distracted enough to not kill you with their car while you’re texting and crossing the street. Also important: if you insist on crossing a busy road at a non-crosswalk in the pre-dawn morning hours in the midst of a heavy fog, please be aware that a long, black overcoat, while cool if you’re going for a Benedict Cumberbatch/Sherlock look, will only make you impossible to see to a driver who is coming around that mild curve on Prices Fork. Oh, and just for courtesy’s sake, how about you acknowledge those drivers that stop to let you cross the road. Yes, they are supposed to stop and the law would be on your side if they were to hit you, but does that logic comfort you in the event that you’re laid up in a hospital bed or lying on a slab in the morgue? I don’t think so.
Seriously, y’all, these are mostly common sense. I wish you good luck with your school year. Explore your freedom, but be responsible. Time to be a grown-up. Sort of…