It was a vibrant fall morning, with leaves of crimson sprinkling along Highway 101. I leaned out the window and breathed in the Santa Barbara sea breeze, acquainting myself with a novel idea: This is my home for the next four years. Before I could exhale, the car window rolled up into my larynx, as my mother declared, “Jen, there’s something we should talk about.” Five missed exits later, this captive listener was educated in all the various forms of genital warts. I kindly asked her to roll my head back up in the window.

For parents, the nest-clearing process is an absolute surrender of power. But being the control freaks they are, you bet they’ll be putting up their dukes. Just when you thought you earned a private life with those cigarettes and voting rights, they bitch-slap you with their most effective Risk weapon- the oozy and itchy card. But they have some perspective. Your parents attack you because, as cliché as it sounds, they were your age once, and as much as they loathe the thought, they know you’re doin’ it. And as much as you loathe the thought, that genital warts speech may be based on experience. You’re welcome.

Rest assured, dear reader, I am living proof there’s sex life after the sex talk. With respect to my mother’s wisdom, I’m proud to say I got past the torturous image of her “unprotected incident” and went on to get my good share of booty. What’s more, I am a UCSB sex protégé. If there’s something to be said about a school that plucks a young girl off the vine of virginity and hones her into a sex columnist, it’s that there’s some damn good sexin’ going on. Launch, hit and sink, baby.

So pick a card, Lord Licorice, and head on down the candy path. Isla Vista’s got all the right ingredients: a square mile packed with the cutest collegians, the sun, the beach and a party-school reputation that once earned a tip-of-the-hat from Hef himself. Not to mention the need to relieve that pent-up tension from upholding our Top 50 american schools rank (I’m sorry, Harvard, did you say something? We couldn’t hear you over our screaming orgasms).

My point, wide-eyed freshman, is simply this: Yes, everything you’ve heard is true. Yes, you paid your high school dues and earned an all-access pass into the Shangri-La of sexy time. Yes, your friend’s older brother probably did tap every chick on Francisco Torres’ – er, Santa Catalina’s – 8th floor South. No, he wasn’t the best I’ve ever had.

Before you grab the condoms and peel out of your parents’ driveway, hear my advice. Don’t get so caught up in the Isla Vista “hit it and quit it” spirit that you forget about you. Sure, Tequila Ted and Black Out Betty may be putting notches on their belts by the minute… but what good are a hundred hookups you can barely remember? Don’t get me wrong; a drunken hookup is golden in its time and place, but you’re ultimately in college to discover yourself. Consider sex a game of Monopoly; it’s not about the number of places you hop, but what you do when you get there.

Now, I’m not saying you should be a portrait of monogamy. Grab a partner or two; hell, roll on the latex and grab a thousand if you dare! But give each experience everything you’ve got. This isn’t high school anymore; adventurism is no longer limited to finishing your boyfriend off five minutes past curfew. This is higher learning, baby – broaden your horizons!

Make a “study buddy” out of the devout religious studies major. Share post-coital revelations with the hunger-striking hippie. Impress the downtown adult store staff with firsthand knowledge of the Butt Bumper Deluxe. Don’t let your roommate walk in on you; let her walk in on you tangled in naked Twister… bondage-style. The sky’s the limit, my fearless friend!

There’s truly no time like the present. After all, it’s not until after college that nymphomania is considered a disorder.