Special Issues » College Guide

Things you really need to do before you leave college (Part 2)

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Road Trip

Normally, this means getting in your friends' worst, smallest car, packing it to the gills with things you will not need, and then breaking down on the highway just far enough from home to necessitate calling Mom and Dad for a wire from Western Union.

Declare your independence

For the majority of college students, you are still reliant upon Mom and Dad for almost everything: tuition, books, clothing, food budget, credit cards, pocket money, meals when they roll into town (or on trips back home). But don't let reality stand in the way of a pose of absolute independence. Practice phrases such as, "I am my own master," and "Honey Badger don't care." Repeat as necessary until everyone believes you — and you almost believe yourself.

Sexual experiments

Probably 90 percent of the guys who "come out" in college are going to be gay for the rest of their lives. It's a little trickier with the girls, hence the slang term "LUG" (lesbian until graduation). Our Facebook friends left us advice including the following: "Group sex. Lol" "Have causal sex in the parking lot (preferably in a car) after an evening class!" "Menage a trois, or orgy."

Become insanely political

Whether you're left-wing or right-wing, or just want to pick some pet issue to be fanatical about (animals, fur, green energy), this is the time to carry a placard and protest injustices.

Protest something

"For a lot of people, the college experience will present at least one opportunity to organize, gather, and protest the hell out of something," offered reader Bob Wilkins. Protest subjects may include: "student pay, tuition, cafeteria food quality, the firing of some radical yet radically popular prof ... "

Add jail to your resume

"It's probably the one time you could get arrested and put it in your resume," Wilkins continued. "For instance, you're applying for a writing job on the Daily Show : 'Yes, sir, when I was 20 I was arrested on campus while protesting the G8 Conference ... and/or the next year protesting Big Pharma .... and my senior year I organized and led a March against the latest reauthorization of the Patriot Act.'"

Find a mentor

You need "that one professor you keep up with after college that you know you can always get advice from."

Find a role model

One Facebook friend opined that you should "Find a professor who is a shining example of how you can defy the odds with hard work. My sociology teacher at university was born blind."

Read, read, read

Fall madly in love with a writer who died before your parents were born.

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