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Tuesday, December 07, 2021

What they didn't tell you at Preview

If you've made it to this page by now, you probably want to slug a small child for all the Orange and Blue fapping that I've allowed to take place in this New Student Edition. I know you don't give two squirts of R. Kelly's piss about Gator Nights or the smorgasbord of student clubs that provide good, clean Christian fun - you want to know the best place you can pound booze and get away with sexual harassment without the long dick of the law getting in your way. I know I sure as hell did.

What I'm about to tell you will probably make the polished mall mannequins in polos who charmed the pants off of your parents in Preview squirm like Antonio Cromartie at a paternity hearing. In fact, I'd put even money on the dean of students (she's the one on page 7 whose name sounds like a Cherokee warlord when you say it really fast) coming down to my office with a blunt object and pull a Joe Pesci for corrupting the youth.

When my parents dropped me off at my dorm the Saturday before Summer B, I didn't make a beeline for Library West to stretch my neurons or go to Ben Hill Griffin to give my burnt offerings to Urban Meyer (whose dynamic-as-drywall delivery is now captivating millions of college football fans worldwide). That would have been the safe and responsible thing to do. I did what any 18-year-old with a skewed moral compass and a pulse would do: herd up a posse of bros and go out for a night on the town.

In the ensuing hours, I did what what many distinguished sociologists have classified as "going absolutely bonkers." For those of you playing the home game, that's when you have the spontaneous need to guzzle anything within reach, hit on women completely out of your league, water all the bushes in College Park with your willy and wake up the next morning on the floor of your friends' dorm wondering how Mike Tyson broke into the room and challenged me to a heavyweight title match the night before.

I proceeded to follow the same procedure with minor modifications and more vomit. Personal responsibility was at an all-time low, and my ability to kick reality in the balls was peaking. I thought my college experience couldn't possibly get better. Thank God I was wrong.

From that first "walk-of-shame" to walking across the graduation stage and executing an incredibly Caucasian Lambeau Leap into the Student Body president's arms (he's the one on page 7 with the All-American smile), I've learned enough to cover eleventy Bright Futures Awards (adjusted for 2011 inflation: about three and a half).

But most of these lessons didn't come in lecture halls, fancy presentations or $200 textbooks. Truth be told, most of them came from waking up feeling like "why-in-the-hell" next to "who-in-the-hell" in a pile of "what-in-the-hell" firmly situated in "where-in-the-hell." It doesn't matter how many gold stars you collected from your teacher in high school or who voted you "Most Likely to Succeed Jesus Christ in the Holy Trinity." You're going to screw up really, really badly. Some of your friends are going to devolve into some of the most unrecognizable beatdown-worthy degenerates on this side of the Mississippi. This place is going to completely rape your comfort zone and not even offer you breakfast in the morning.

So fight back. Don't run away from the strange and the awkward - embrace it. Don't be afraid to stick up that middle digit once in a while when "they" try to tell you what's expected. If someone is acting very clowny, don't be afraid to call "bullshit." Social conventions are for the small-minded and the insecure. In the words of T-Paine, you have it in your power to begin the world anew.

So don't f**k it up.

C.J. Pruner is the editor-in-chief of the Alligator.

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