Western Courier

A guide for the novice student

Mark Csernus

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I know class has already started but it’s never too late to offer advice, especially if you missed the back-to-school guide in the last issue of the Courier because you were too hung over to go to class on Monday.

These are just a few pearls of wisdom I’ve picked up during my time at Western Illinois University. You can thank me later. Say, when you’ve graduated, have a job with a great salary and need to make a charitable donation. Enjoy.

Number One: Attend Class. Playing hooky is for middle school kids. Unless you’re disfigured in a grisly head-on collision with a tow truck it’s not easy to justify an absence. Even then, you’ll score sympathy points when you show up to Anthropology with half a nose. Strap on that eye patch and limp your ass to campus. Some teachers don’t take attendance, but that doesn’t matter. They may not mark your presence on paper, but all professors take mental attendance. You will quickly attain a reputation as a careless no-show. Word will spread and your name will be utterly sullied before the first football game. What is the point of coming to college if you’re not going to attend class? You’re going to be paying off college loans long after your contact lenses have Internet access. Get off your futon and get your money’s worth. Be academically responsible in general. Sit in the front of class, visit professors during office hours, study a little bit every day, get your work done as soon as possible and participate in class. This is basically your job right now. It can’t hurt to be a professional.

Number Two: Don’t drink too much. Having a few beers to take the edge off is great. Having 47 beers and passing out behind a Steak ‘n’ Shake is unpardonable. While I’m on the topic of altering your consciousness, take it easy with the drugs as well. My dorm floor was like an all-you-can-eat narcotics buffet. I got a contact high three seconds after exiting the elevator. Sure those kids had fun, but many of them will never graduate. Learn to find a healthy study-to-party ratio.

Number Three: Eat Healthy. Forget fast food. It will make you tubby and sluggish. Nothing kills a productive afternoon like a McDonald’s value meal. God only knows how much work is ruined because someone collapsed after eating the Wendy’s Classic Triple. A fast food cheeseburger truly does drain the life out of a person. The freshman fifteen is easily avoidable. Eat light. You’ll save money, have more energy and arouse the daylights out of any Leatherneck within gawking distance. You’ll have plenty of time to let yourself go in grad school.

Number Four: Practice Safe Sex. The brief joy of all-natural intercourse isn’t worth a surprise pregnancy or a lap full of warts. Do what I do. After sex, before I cuddle, I take off the condom, dump the substance on the floor and individually kick every sperm in the face. It may not be romantic but it gives my companion and I peace of mind. There are several places on campus to get free condoms, so there is no reason why every student shouldn’t always have some contraceptive at the ready.

Number Five: Save Money. Buy used books. Buy books online. The school’s bookstores will sell you a textbook for one hundred fifty dollars and buy it back for a quarter. I don’t want to bad-mouth this fine university but I’m in complete dismay every time I turn in my books. Develop a shrewd lifestyle right now. Don’t get taken advantage of.

Number Six: Get Political. There are roughly fourteen thousand students walking around campus. If we concerned ourselves with local politics we could run this town. We should run this town. Western students provide Macomb with millions of dollars every year. The student body could have more control over things like rent prices and the cost of alcohol. Realtors and liquor stores make a fortune from college kids’ money. Educate yourself so you can get the best deal possible.

Number Seven: Host Parties. Host themed parties. This lets people know you’re outgoing and you’re not afraid to enforce a dress code. Originality is the key. ‘80s parties are played out. The first weekend back I’m throwing a 1780s party. Put on a powdered wig, sport a monocle and pay homage to our founding fathers by downing some jungle juice just as they dreamed we would.

Follow these simple tips, and you’re certain to have a great year.

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The independent student newspaper of Western Illinois University. Serving Macomb since 1905.
A guide for the novice student