The Good:

  1. Your TA’s are actually the ones that grade everything you do. Remember that and plan accordingly — they like coffee, too.
  2. Show up to class 10 minutes early, introduce yourself to the professor and thank him or her after class. It makes a huge difference when it comes time for letters of recommendation, which you’ll need soon enough.
  3. Be honest with yourself. If you are not an early riser, don’t sign up for an eight A.M. class. Wait and take a later time the following quarter.
  4. Find what interests you and pursue that. The world only needs so many biology and chemistry majors (but that’s not to say we don’t need those, too).
  5. Don’t settle for B’s and C’s. Make the changes you need to excel and stand out from the thousands of other students here.
  6. Maintain a 3.6 GPA to apply for (or stay in) the Honors Program after your first year. Priority registration is like having your birthday party every couple months and it will look great on your resume.
  7. Find your niche. No matter if you’re the Math Whiz, the English Champion, the Physics Nerd (not a negative term — intelligence is sexy here!), the History Buff or the Political Visionary, there is a place for you on this campus. Embrace your talents and admit your weaknesses.
  8. A strong transcript is important, but hiring managers and grad schools look at résumés, too. Start building your skill sheet now.
  9. Take notes by hand. You learn much more effectively by writing things out than by typing them. If you don’t believe us, ask science.
  10. Be a campus celebrity. Unicyclists, singers, moonwalkers, painters, Tai-Chi practitioners, funny backpack-wearers and beatboxers are all welcome.
  11. All-nighters will do you and your grades more harm than good. Don’t believe us? Science has my back, once again.
  12. Study consistently over the quarter and you’ll avoid the finals week meltdown. Quarters tend to fly by, and suddenly you’ll realize that you actually can’t catch up on all that reading.
  13. Take a break every couple of hours and make sure you have a balanced diet of more than coffee (even during finals week). Stay healthy and your grades will, too.
  14. Prepare for the future, just don’t let it compromise your now.
  15. As cheesy as it sounds, you are never alone. If friends aren’t giving you the support you need, there are more resources than we can name that will help you through any situation you may be having. Watch yourself and your friends carefully and ask for help if you see any signs of unhealthy behavior.

The Naughty:

  1. You need a friend who can buy you alcohol, and ASAP — fakes get you nowhere in I.V. In fact, use that fake at Albertsons and you just might get yourself a nice little ticket.
  2. Show some damn restraint when it comes to shots. If you’re new to drinking, learn your limit and when it’s time to stop. There’s no better way to get kicked out of a party than by throwing up, and you really don’t help yourself or your friends by getting alcohol poisoning.
  3. Vodka and tequila are the way to go for shots … unless of course you enjoy getting really, really sick when you drink, in which case, Fireball and Jäger will suffice. Feel free to throw some Franzia into the mix while you’re at it.
  4. Alcohol is packed with calories so exercise accordingly. That freshman fifteen sneaks up on you, and kegs are mostly to blame.
  5. Don’t sleep with your neighbors! You will see them every day this year. Although, let’s be honest, you’ll end up seeing anyone you sleep with. And it’ll be on a day when your face decides to break out again, trust me. Get ready for it.
  6. For the love of God, please don’t be that person who develops kleptomania when they go out. I know it’s fun to wake up with a purse full of random come-ups, but the awkwardness that arises when you finally get caught is so not worth it.
  7. If you smoke weed, do it respectfully. It’s easy to get excited that you have no supervision anymore and go crazy, but you pay for everything in one way or another.
  8. Don’t be stingy with your alcohol. Share with your friends so they’ll share with you.
  9. Dress wisely for Isla Vista. Guys: Layers! You might find someone who wants to borrow a jacket at some point, too. Girls: When you put on that black bandage skirt, remember that the walk home will be much colder than the walk to I.V. (thanks to the alcohol blanket) and you never, ever need heels. P.S. Ask a guy for a jacket if you need him … excuse me, one.
  10. Drink before you leave. It will be safer and probably of much better quality that way. Plus, there’s the benefit of the aforementioned “drink yourself a North Face jacket” effect.
  11. Frat parties are not always the best parties; keep your eyes open for other options.
  12. Don’t you ever carry a bottle/cup/container of any kind outside of your dorm/house! Don’t do it.
  13. Sitting on the curb is fantastic … if you’re trying to get arrested. Don’t do that, either.
  14. “Biking under the influence” is a real citation that can really ruin your night. So is “indecent exposure,” so think about where you pee in I.V.
  15. Hold yourself and your friends accountable for each other. You don’t need to be a math major to know that if you leave with six people, you should come back with the same six people.