J.J. Jenkins is a journalism freshman and Mustang Daily freshman columnist.

I’m giving up on girls for the year.

Well, that’s what I told myself about a hundred times over fall quarter.

Coming off back-to-back years knowing that I’d be bolting the state after graduating, I avoided long-term relationships throughout high school (or so went my excuse for my abysmal track record). So, I was ready to work my magic on the ladies of Cal Poly entering the school year.

Even the ratios were working in my favor. I picked the perfect major — the journalism department has about a 30-to-70 male/female split — so it looked like even I could make a pick-up line work.

However, early setbacks delayed potential relationships.

The first night was predictably a mass scramble for potential matches in Cerro Vista. Out of respect for the blondes surrounded by eight guys who were “really interested” in why the females were majoring in microbiology, I declined to participate for the most part.

I figured if I happened to walk into a one-on-one conversation, I might pull out some slick moves.

The night dwindled and I just happened to walk out of the main lobby with an attractive girl, so I introduced myself and started up a conversation. I tried not to overstay my welcome and end up in an awkward silent goodbye like some of the engineers found themselves in (seriously, step up your game guys), so I caught her name and departed.

A quick Facebook stalk later (yes, I am ashamed) revealed why she had been slightly standoffish, as “In a Relationship” blared across her profile, sending a clear message to wishful suitors.

Now, they say just because there is a goalie does not mean you cannot score, but orchestrating a breakup in my first week of college did not sound like an appealing way to make the first marks on my  “blank slate.”

However, I do have a few thoughts about having a relationship coming into college. Actually, just one: do not have a significant other.

It sounds harsh, but having a long-distance boyfriend or girlfriend your freshman year is like going to a singles bar to people-watch.

In any case, if you and your boyfriend or girlfriend are actually soul mates, I’m sure you’ll find a way to reunite post-college, but in the meantime you have to sample the buffet (courtesy of Paul Wesselmann, for those of you who were paying attention to his speech in Mott Gym during Week of Welcome).

So I moved on and went on to meet plenty of people during the first few weeks of the quarter, and subconsciously noted who I would be interested in getting to know better. The only problem with going to a big college is that, for the most part, you do not just happen to run into your crush in hallways, giving you a convenient excuse to set up a lunch date.

Therefore, I resorted, as we all do, to texting and Facebook chat.

One of the many problems with wireless communication is the odd habits people have when they text or chat that send odd signals to the person on the receiving end.

I believe it’s time to set some ground rules so both sexes are on the same page when it comes to non-personal communication. First and foremost, smiley and winkey faces send mixed signals. It’s nice to know that you are happy, or whatever emotion a smiley face denotes, but the overuse of them starts to become flirty.

For instance when I got a text that read, “Ya let’s get lunch! ;),” it provided me two separate things to focus on. Clearly the person wanted to meet with me, which is good, but the winkey face at the end adds an unnecessary tone of mystery.

If she was winking in real life after that sentence, then you would probably think lunch was not the only thing on her mind. Maybe I’m being too picky, but at the very least, try to stay below a 4-to-1 text to winkey face ratio — or else I’m going to start thinking you wink more than Sarah Palin.

Smiley faces are sweet and usually do not provide as much confusion as the potentially scandalous wink, but four texts in a row with the symbol are going to start to make people wonder. The same goes for adding unnecessary “y’s” when saying, “heyyyy.” One will suffice, I assure you.

Eventually, September faded into October and into November, when I made a fatal freshman mistake called No-shave November. It might as well have been called No-Action November.
I thought a lumberjack beard might up the charm factor from my baby face, but it turns out that I may have been misinformed.

Maybe coming from the Midwest gave me the false impression that beards were attractive, but California girls seem to prefer a Buster Posey over a Brian Wilson. Fear the beard definitely became my MO that month.

Now entering winter quarter, my face is as soft as ever and I plan to decline the Facebook event invitation for Manuary. So, if you are interested … I live in a recycling bin in the Graphic Arts building.

Feel free to find me on Facebook, ladies.

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