As the new year unfolds and I watch the freshmen walking by, only one thought comes to mind: “Holy shit, was I that small once?” After reassuring myself that of course I wasn’t — none of us were THAT small, right? — I began to remember what it was like to be in their shoes: lost and confused and completely uncomfortable in my own skin. I thought back to all that I knew and to all that I had hoped to know at that point in my academic career, reflecting on my own years at UCSB and more specifically, what I’ve learned here. I’m not talking about the rote information I’ve memorized, the lectures I’ve attended or the chemistry that has been laughably mumbled at me by a man who I suspect actually died several years ago. No, I’m talking about the lessons you can only learn by experiencing college — the kind that teach you something about yourself so valuable that it will stick in your memory until your dying day. So now, I shall share with you some of the things I’ve learned here in the hopes that my wisdom will aid you throughout college and wherever life may take you.

It is not funny to tell bulimic-looking girls that you are adding “weight gain” supplements to their smoothies.

The employees at Student Health will reprimand you should you decide to treat your own wounds using things you found while waiting for the doctor.

Laptop keys cannot resist the suction of a vacuum.

You’re not going to find your laptop keys in the vacuum bag. That shit is gone.

Even if it is turned off, being plugged in while being rinsed is enough for an electric shaver to electrocute you. Turns out it wasn’t “just a fluke” the first time.

If you’re going to leave someone a note on their car criticizing their parking job, make sure they’re not still in the car.

Most women will not write things said in the heat of the moment on the wall and sign it, even if you ask really nicely.

Never laugh at how funny someone’s voice is while he’s giving you an eye exam.

Aerosol cans of PAM are not strong enough to deflect blowgun darts. On a related note, a pierced can of PAM can lubricate your entire kitchen in just under four minutes.

Your psychology professor will not allow you to distribute LSD to the class, even if your arguments are sound.

If you ask to see a girl’s boobs and she says, “Maybe you should ask my boyfriend,” you should not actually go ask her boyfriend.

The rabbis at Hillel will not allow you to order Dominos delivered to the Passover Seder.

When boarding a flight, the proper response to “Do you need help finding your seat?” is not “Do the seat numbers still start at the beginning and go up by ones?”

No amount of screaming, begging or cursing will get a PC game to run on a Mac.

You are not allowed to offer coffee for the third-graders you may tutor under the guise that their test scores have been lacking lately.

The proper term is “African-American,” not “dark black.”

You are not allowed to carve your name into the Temple of Poseidon or the Parthenon. You can’t run inside and take pictures, either. But you can trick a security guard into letting you keep pictures you took in the Parthenon.

The “Fight for Invisible Children” foundation is not amused by donations of “Invisible Dollars.”

Shitting out a window and pissing out a window are two COMPLETELY different skill sets.

It is impossible to roll a playing card into a cigarette and smoke it properly.

“Do not take with alcohol” also means “do not take with water after drinking alcohol.” This especially applies to Ambien CR, which can turn your dorm building into a huge boat.

“Thank God you’re better at this than you are at beer pong” is not okay to say during oral sex, even if it is totally a compliment.