Like a deep-sea diver carefully reemerging from the depths of the ocean or an astronaut calculating his safe return through the ozone to planet earth, there is a science to the transition from summer life to college life. One must safely reenter to life in Madison with grace and dignity, and we at The Black Sheep know exactly how to do so.
10.) Milk your home situation:
Your parents won’t be around to cook, clean, and wait on you forever so make sure you appreciate it while you can. Be the dependent, messy, constantly-hungry kid they know and still for some reason love. This will lead directly to back rubs, homemade spaghetti and meatballs, and some brand spankin’ new school supplies.
9.) Don’t forget the prep work:
Stock up on the free, parent-bought necessities before even attempting to move into your new place. Everyone’s had that terrible experience when you walk upon your new abode after a long drive, run to the bathroom to relieve yourself after 2 Big Macs, a large fry and an M&M McFlurry, realize you didn’t pack toilet paper, and immediately sprint three blocks to the nearest public restroom while regretting everything you’ve ever done in your life that led you to this point. Anyone who says they haven’t is a liar.
8.) Know your limits:
“I drank a fifth of vodka on Mifflin last year and was fine, so I can totally drink a fifth of vodka on the first night of Welcome Week” —Your Friend Who Will Go To Detox The First Night Of Welcome Week. Newsflash: your alcohol tolerance can change on a daily basis. According to Phineas and Ferb there are 104 days of summer vacation. That’s 104 days of steady alcohol tolerance decline, with the exception of a drastic peak in tolerance inconspicuously located around Independence Day. The numbers don’t lie.
7.) Get in shape:
If there’s anything to be learned in Nutri-Sci (AKA: the easiest science credit at UW) it’s that doing the once-a-day ab crunch to get out of bed at 1p.m. will not keep your body in Bascom-ready shape. Start doing some sort of heart rate stimulating exercise ASAP or live your life as the kid who looks on the verge of hyperventilation every morning upon arrival at Bascom Hall.
6.) Red til’ you’re dead:
New year = new Badger gear. If your parents won’t buy it, simply text your dad later in the week to put money on your Wiscard for “school supplies,” then go to the bookstore and buy them yourself. Simply insist that UW upcharges spiral notebooks when your parents ultimately ask how you spent $80 on school supplies. Blame the budget cuts. Sounds legit.
5.) Buy a tool, don’t be a tool:
You’re going to have to hang shit up, put stuff together, and fix all the shit the previous tenants in your apartment destroyed. You could drop $100 on Command strips to decorate your apartment, or you could save money by MacGyver-ing together an entire Ikea desk using a pair of scissors as a screwdriver and aluminum water bottle as a hammer.
4.) Start actually reading your email:
Because, over summer, students check their Wiscmail when phrases like “mandatory” or “tuition due” pop up, then vow to “read it in-depth” at a later time. Before going back to class, start actually reading your school emails, and prevent yourself from being the hot mess who misses a mandatory induction ceremony. And then isn’t allowed to sign up for classes, and then has to stay an extra semester. And then never graduates because they lose motivation. And then adopts eight Himalayan cats.
3.) Assert your dominance over your roommates:
Make sure you’re the alpha-dog of your house/apartment/cardboard box by getting first pick of bedrooms, monopolizing the refrigerator space, and leaving passive-aggressive post it notes all over the place. Once you’ve established being the alpha, the rest of your semester will be roommate problem-free.
2.) Construct your party playlist:
Use this time of transition as the ultimate time to make the bangingest pre-game playlist any of your friends have ever heard. Hit all the bases and make sure to include a plethora of songs and genres ranging from Kanye West to Kanye West. Kanye is life.
1.) Watch all the Netflix:
Make sure before your return to campus you are caught up on all the important Netflix series that people will be talking about. Don’t be the loser who doesn’t laugh at a joke referencing Crazy Eyes — half of humor is being hip and knowledgeable of pop culture. Be the funny guy when you step back on campus and you’re sure to make new friends with ease. Just watch Netflix for 16 hours a day first.