Ryan Chartrand

With just a few weeks left of school, I feel like it is important for me to reflect upon the four years that I spent at Cal Poly. Now that I am graduating, I feel like I should look back on the time I was here and think back on what I learned, as I can now use these things for the future.

Since you have been a loyal reader all school year long, I am fully ready to give you the tips that you need to know to make sure that your college experience is as good as it can be.

The reason most of us are here is for, well, the academic aspects of college1. Fittingly, I’ll start off with one of the biggest things I’ve learned in college: to work really hard on at least one essay that you write your freshman year. This will do a few good things for you. First, it should earn you a good grade on your paper. Everyone loves the “A” that leads you to call your mom and then display on your dorm room mini fridge.

The second and more important reason to work hard on that first essay will prove to be very fruitful over the years. That reason is that once you have that nice, polished essay, you now can use this paper for as many other English class assignments that you can. Yes, that’s right. Every essay assignment that you can possibly stretch that one paper for you should. It was already proofread once, with comments from your freshman-year teacher, so milk it for all it’s worth2.

My next tip to give you that I learned over the years is that nobody wants to hear what you say in class. Pretty much ever. Sort of take it as a rule of thumb that the larger the class, the less popular you will be if you raise your hand and ask your professor questions.

There should also be a rule here that you must never raise your hand to comment on anything within the last 10 minutes of class. Normally, this is when the professor is wrapping up, and truthfully, many times is trying to get out of class as much as you are. So, raising your hand is not only going to piss off your classmates, but also piss off the professor. Talk to your teacher after he lets everyone leave if you really have to ask whatever question you have.

The third thing is directed towards you ladies. That would have to be to not feel like you have to play into fashion trends. This is not me telling you not to believe the media3, but rather, I think it is important to stop and actually look at yourself in the mirror before going out wearing some of the more “fashionable” things.

For example, my great aunt Sylvia is a pretty stereotypical New York to Florida Jew. Think Mike Myers’ old character on “Coffee Talk” from “Saturday Night Live.” Basically, she is the personification of the word “gaudy.” I love her for being family and all around she is great, but that doesn’t mean you have to wear the same sunglasses as her. Yeah, I’m talking about the huge black ones that cover up your face.

I’m not sure why older people wear these glasses, but I’ll guess the glasses have something to do with sun protection. You are somewhere between what, 18 and 22? Just stop wearing the glasses. I won’t love you like my great aunt Sylvia if you do. If those glasses are for sun protection, maybe you should just stop spending so much time in the tanning salons instead.

On the topic of fashion, guys, popping your collar isn’t cool unless being called a “total douche” is cool to you. If that is the case, then pop your collar as much as you want.

Lastly, I’m going to talk sports. See, I can talk sports, but that is because I feel like I’m somewhat knowledgeable about them. I wouldn’t talk sports, and you shouldn’t either, if you have no idea what is going on with them. As a safe way to go, you should probably not try to pronounce any name you aren’t quite sure how to say4, and you probably shouldn’t talk every two seconds while watching whatever sport. Just simple things to make the world a better place.

Well that does it for another Guide to Life. I hope with these important tips, your life here at Cal Poly will be a good one. Love and peace and I’ll see you all for one last time next week.


  • 1 Oh sorry, except for you, college boy, who just wants to chill with your broskis while sipping brews or whatever.
  • 2 I actually have been repurposing every article this year from a column I had back in elementary school called, “Michael’s Guide to The Huge World (FART).”
  • 3 Since I myself will be when I graduate.
  • 4 I.e. don’t try talking about hockey.

    Mike Heimowitz is a journalism senior and Mustang Daily humor columnist. Tell him what you’ve learned in college at mikeheimowitz.com.

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