If you think about it, former president George W. Bush was a college pioneer. He was one of the first to take the college experience out of the library and classroom and place it upside down atop a keg of cheap beer. (Full disclosure: City Pulse could not confirm Bush was one of the first college students to perform a keg stand). He was one of the lucky few Americans who were rich enough and of the right pedigree to be able to treat college like a long party — a bacchanal between the carelessness of high school and a cushy, high-paying job at some corporation or law firm set up by daddy.
Fast forward about three decades, and the behavior of people like him have revolutionized or seriously influenced higher education in this country. No longer is college about studying, studying, studying and living in close quarters with members of the same sex. Now you get to do other things, like get your first credit card (it’s a bit harder this year thanks to Obama’s credit card act), drink booze out of the crevices of your classmates’ bodies and lots of other stuff John Harvard never even thought of.
So, in the spirit of realizing that most of you are going to engage in extra-curricular activities while studying at Michigan State University, Lansing Community College or Cooley Law School, we present a few (thinking back on our own experiences, we could have written a whole book) Do’s and Don’ts of college life in Mid-Michigan.
DO: Feed the meter
Are you familiar with those little metal poles that line the streets every eight feet or so? Yeah, the parking meters. Well, you can’t ignore those, unfortunately.
A long time ago, someone said something very wise: "Parking attendants hide in the trees." Unless you want to deal with the hassle of getting a parking ticket, forgetting to pay said ticket, having fees added to ticket and eventually having your registration suspended over ticket, make sure you put enough change in the meter. Because, goddamn, those parking attendants can smell an expired meter. (Bonus to students who live in Lansing: free parking after 6 p.m. every day, and free parking on weekends.)
DON’T: Wear more than one piece of apparel at once
It doesn’t matter if it’s game day, laundry day, or Labor Day, wearing more than one piece of clothing branded with the name of your university is lame as hell. You already know what school you go to — why would you need to wear several different reminders?
DON’T: Make every night amateur night
Yeah, yeah, it’s stupid that you have to wait until 21 to drink when you can be 18 and join the military, get married, etc. But please, please, students, keep your drinking safe and keep it to yourself. You already know that if you get caught driving drunk, you’re screwed — but you can also get arrested for being drunk and underage. You can get arrested for relieving yourself in public (drunk or not, actually). And, for sure, you can get arrested for acting like an idiot while drunk — and most people will not have sympathy for a college student screaming at the top of his or her lungs at 3 a.m. on a Saturday, because they had one too many "hard" ice teas.
DO: Avoid people giving out free T-shirts
How evil could a person giving out a free T-shirt be? Pretty evil. That free T-shirt is made in a sweat shop, with money from a multi-national bank that has the sole mission of sucking your sweet freshman soul out of your body through a little rectangular piece of plastic.
DO: Wear a helmet
Look, we’ll be honest, the Lansing area was not designed for riding a bike. Outside of the MSU campus, there are like three bike lanes. So if this is your chosen mode of transportation (and kudos to you), you are not guaranteed safety. People around here love giant pick-up trucks, the drivers of which hate bicyclists because it temporarily hinders their mission of getting to the next red light AS FAST AS POSSIBLE. So wear a helmet when you ride. (Also, last year, a columnist at The State News said he might run over a biker on purpose if they didn’t get on the sidewalk — but bikes are legally supposed to be ridden in the street, so watch out for a black late-model Saturn.)
DON’T: incite or participate in a riot
Research the history yourself, but law enforcement around here takes rioting seriously. You will be Tased (or tear-gassed), dude. You are only aloud to riot if they raise tuition by 50 percent and discontinue Sunday morning pancakes at the dining hall. A sports team doing good is not a reason to riot, and Tommy Izzo agrees.