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Saturday, March 02, 2024

Dear Freshmen,

I was once like so many of you: bright-eyed, bushy-tailed and eager to start college.

Now, here I sit, cynical and surly, about to start my (possibly) final year of undergrad. Let me regale you with a true story.

My first night on campus was spent wandering around with my friends, checking out all the awesome stuff (OK, not entirely true), when all of a sudden, someone leaned out of their car window and yelled "WELCOME TO FLORIDA, CHEESEDICKS!"

Shocked, stunned and slightly saddened, I realized that I had been lied to, as my penis was not made of cheese (I think, but I'm not an expert).

This is what college life does to you. It lies to you, draining your innocence until you end up an angry husk of a human being. However, I hope that some of you can make it through better than I have, and I'll do my best to help by letting you in on some of the lies you will be told during your (hopefully) four year stay.

Lie No. 1: You will continue dating your high school sweetheart long-distance.

If your significant other isn't going to school in the same town as you, consider the clock ticking - and quickly. Sure, you might think you have it under control, Skyping each other every night, constantly texting - those private phone conversations. Problem is, you're about to meet more people in one week than you met during all of high school, and you're going to realize that not being able to make out with any of these people sucks. Once you realize that this problem is caused by someone else you're not able to make out with (since they're hundreds of miles away), you'll return to Gainesville from Thanksgiving break a few pounds heavier from food, but feeling lighter overall.

Lie No. 2: Your bachelor's degree in liberal arts will mean something.

Consider the story of my roommate: He graduated last spring with a bachelor's degree in English. He just spent his summer working graveyard shifts at Dunkin' Donuts. There wasn't any space for him to hang his diploma because the walls are covered with instructions on how to fill the jelly doughnuts safely. His supervisor never graduated high school. But hey, things are looking up for him: He got a better job as an office secretary.

Lie No. 3: You can have plenty of fun before you turn 21.

The most egregious lie of them all. Sure, Gator Nights can be fun (but only when there's stand-up comedy in the Orange & Brew), but legally drinking is where it's at. Sure, you might know someone old enough to buy you booze, but you're only getting the cheap stuff. Don't worry, though, drinking cheap booze will only make drinking good booze feel even classier once you turn 21.

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