As we wade through college it’s easy to build a comfortable niche with familiar friends. As bored eyes explore the new faces in the lecture hall, one should be open to new people. Let me introduce you to my good friend Molly. She’s pretty popular on campus. Many of you are familiar with her, or at least that dude Adam she’s always with. Trust me, if you haven’t met Molly, you know someone who has.

Of course I’m talking about Ecstasy! It’s what everyone’s been raving about. This “love drug” is aptly dubbed an empathogen. It induces feelings of empathy toward others. Being on E opens the user up to new channels of awareness within, and outside of, the self. Usually this takes the form of a euphoric sense of realizing a deeper connection to just about everything. Relationships, emotions, friends and strangers all may suddenly take on a deeper dimension. The body and mind are energized with appreciation for the simple happiness of feeling good. Feelings of floating may occur. Imagine you are gently riding the swells of an unending expanse of ocean under brilliant sunshine.

Music and dance are the usual bedfellows of a good E trip. Wordless emanations of waves that pulse through the body and resonate in the head are irresistible. The body must move and there is no better time than when rolling. It is easy to forget all preconceptions of the drunken humping called dance that is a staple of an I.V. hookup. The usual gates of self-consciousness dissolve along with those of judgment. Body and soul become free to move just because it feels so great.

Many have heard those silly horror stories of weed being laced with PCP. Those are to be laughed at as the joint is passed. It is important, however, to listen to what might actually be in those pretty little blue balls. Ecstasy is notorious for its impurities, so be careful picking what you pop. Methamphetamine, amphetamine and caffeine are all additives that are found in pills. Lazy, poorly skilled or dastardly chemists will cut pills with cheaper substitutes for Molly. Some may prefer the longer lasting, energizing, uplifting high of pills with Meth in them. It can be a good pick-me-up for an all night crazy, sexy, flowing dance party. Just watch out for the more intense jaw clenching, inability to sleep, tweaking out and a much less gentle come down. Being a drug connoisseur, I’m always on the hunt for pure MDMA. This can be a bit more expensive and is more likely to come in a powdered form.

Listen to your friendly neighborhood intoxicant purveyor, and also other clients, regarding to the content and high of a pill. Often, a specific “brand” is marked by the alchemist through their unique design. A good dose of “vitamin E” can be found in all colors with Buddhas, smiley faces, flowers, etc. etc. pressed into them. If you meet a pill you like, stick with it. I personally hold Bart Simpson pretty close to my heart.

Don’t be sucked into the rave scene. A good rave can be fun, but can get monotonous quickly. The important parts of a rave — the music, people and good vibes — can all be found elsewhere. Skipping out on society in general can be rewarding as Mother Earth beckons. Mountains, forests and beaches are all optimal settings for an ecstatic journey. Nature and life may suddenly become inexplicably brilliant and inviting as the brain opens up to new consciousness.

There is much scuttlebutt about Molly. We have been lied to about people developing holes in their brain. There is no need to worry about regressing to the IQ of a third grader or developing Alzheimer’s by age 30. The drug does raise body temperatures; so if you are at a rave, stay hydrated. Still, drug war propagandists and our parents demonize drugs until misunderstandings, exaggerations and outright lies become ingrained in our psyche. When experimenting with psychoactives, it is important to search beyond hearsay for answers to questions like, “What will it feel like? Is it safe? Can I take it with (fill in the blank)?” As well as the oft-inquired “What will it do to me?” As far as the body is concerned, it may find some relief from the sea of alcohol many livers are forced to swim down each week in I.V. Making new friends with Molly could be just the break you have been waiting for.