By Matt Benoit
This time of year, many of you are no doubt caught up in the mind-numbing, teeth-grinding, fingernail-biting, hair-pulling, and possibly even eye-gouging anxiety of deciding which colleges to apply to.
There’s a lot at stake; after all, this is your future—a totally gnarly future chock full of all-night toga parties, flaming jello shots, mindless orgies, and…whoops! Ha, ha, ha, of course we are only kidding, as we did not realize mom and dad were reading this column.
That last part should be changed to “chock full of all-night study parties, caffeinated, non-alcoholic beverages, lots of hand-holding, and otherwise rational, perfectly legal activities.”
Now, some people say these college years will turn out to be “the best years of our lives,” but I’m not entirely sure about that. If this is true, it would lead me to believe that my life after college will turn out to be a spiraling abyss of shattered dreams, continual letdowns, and repeated failures in every facet of my existence. I can’t wait.
So that’s why I’m here to help you define a few key points to keep in mind when applying to colleges. You should and probably do have a lot of questions to answer in deciding which university is right for you, so let’s begin:
There are, of course, many steps in applying. To help pay for your education, you’ll want to apply for scholarships, which today are about as easily obtainable as a sexually-transmitted disease.
There are scholarships for being of a certain ethnicity, being in a certain major, being from a certain location and having a dog named Gertrude McPoodlePuppy—there are probably scholarships for applying for scholarships. My high school actually offered a scholarship to students whose family members owned a Harley. I wish I was making that up.
Besides being decided on a major at this point, it’s also important to consider your minor, which is important because—if you are a still a minor—you’ll have to have someone else buy your booze for you.
Now, I could drone on about all the academic requirements, but who cares, right? I mean, the university may ask you clarifying questions about your transcript (i.e. “Why is your GPA to the right of the decimal point?”), but all you have to do is just make some good excuses (i.e. “That MUST be a typo!”)
After all, there’s always other, perhaps more criteria to consider, including:
1) Are there places other than your dorm room to drink lots of beer, have sex, or get high?
In some cases, the answer is no. Take Central Washington University in Ellensburg, for example. If you stand in the middle of the street at midnight (and trust me, you can—there is virtually no traffic) and listen carefully enough, you can actually hear tumbleweeds conversing with one another.
In fact, the city’s official tourism slogan is: “If it weren’t for this university, only about 15 people would live here.”
2) What kind of mascot do they have?
It is important to think about what type of lively character you will have representing your school and supporting your athletic teams during home games. Whatever they are, the type of mascot will usually have the word “fighting” in front of it, even if the school is full of pacifists. Here are just a few to mull over:
-The University of New Mexico is home to the legendary “Fighting Quesadillas.” On really hot days, the mascot’s cheese will melt and bubble. After athletic victories, the team’s coaches are “showered” with a celebratory nacho cheese bath.
-The University of Idaho’s mascot is a giant potato named Spud that likes to get baked after games.
–The University of Alaska is home to the “Fighting Lipstick Pit-Bulls.” Their mascot is Sarah Palin, and the school’s motto is “Going Rogue.” I have it on good authority that, if you really squint really hard towards the horizon, you can actually see Russia from the third-floor chemistry lab in the science building.
–The University of Puget Sound is home to the Geoducks, which, as we all know, closely resemble clams with prescriptions for Cialis.
-Last but not least, there is UC Santa Cruz, whose mascot is—no joke—a banana slug. The mascot is not allowed to get near perspiring basketball players for obvious reasons:
SPORTS ANNOUNCER: “Wow, Bob! Looks like the SC mascot’s really having a meltdown over there! They really shouldn’t have made him hold the player’s sweaty towels!”
Another consideration is a school’s “alma mater” (Latin for “drinking song”). This, of course, is a musical composition full of beautiful verses that pay tribute to your educational home, and which nobody ever remembers how to sing properly and usually butchers at sporting events after a few beers. Here is an example:
A place of higher knowledge
For every lesson taught
There was that beer I bought
Where I got along
With that great water bong
Where I paid the tuition
But getting tail was my mission
You see how this works. Anyway, I don’t think I need to belittle you with anymore advice. In closing, I want to wish you only the best of luck.
After all, it won’t be long now before you’re wandering through the isles of some esteemed bastion off academia known as a college bookstore, purchasing overpriced textbooks and other literary-inspired products like the Ernest Hemingway-brand dandruff shampoo (“A FAREWELL TO DANDRUFF”), or John Steinbeck-brand fruit juices with flavors like “WHITE GRAPE WRATH.”
This, my friends, is your time. And, if you’re lucky, someone else’s money.