Welcome to college. You have just begun what many will tell you is the best four to eight years of your life. From the Boar’s Head Dinner to classes to D-Day, your life will be filled with memorable experiences. Living on your own and having your room across the hall from a guy or girl can present unique situations. When it comes to members of the opposite sex, some things are very different in college. Allow me to share with you some advice that I’ve picked up along the way.

Girls – One of the first things learned during orientation week is that anything can be a pick-up line. What might seem to you like an innocent invitation can be anything but. Anything that gets you into his room alone, especially if you’re drunk, can be an attempt to get you into bed. If you’re interested, by all means go for it, but if you’re in the position where it’s a recent ex-boyfriend’s roommate then exercising some caution could be a good call.

Take in mind that you can also use this trick. Meet a guy at a party who you want to take home? Ask him to watch a movie. Especially since most of the rooms are configured so that the only comfortable viewing of your computer is from your bed. If your room isn’t arranged that way, you should have a talk with your roommate and change it. The movie part is easy, just go to the DVD library in the Multimedia Center and get a guy-friendly movie. My favorite options are “The Usual Suspects” or any Bond movie with Sean Connery – guys are also OK with “The Best Chests in the West part 10.”

Hall sex is always a bad idea. Even if he’s cute, even if he’s funny, even if you’re convinced he’ll your future husband – don’t do it. I’ve never seen it result in something good and in many occasions it’s resulted in something awful. When choosing between hall sex and Pol Pot’s Cambodian regime the choice is easy: Pol Pot.

Lastly, don’t forget that the walls and doors are thin. Play some music. What is more discourteous – having sex loud enough to hear or masking that sex with some Jessica Simpson? It might be a push so play music but maybe err on the side of – insert quality band – as opposed to Boston’s greatest hits or some Backstreet Boys.

It’s considerate, and it also spares you from potential embarrassment – if you’re into getting whipped during sex, you probably don’t want the hall to know about it, or maybe you do. I once heard a story of a guy who heard what seemed like someone getting beaten up in the courtyard below. When he looked out the window he couldn’t see anyone outside. Only then did he realize that it was one of his brother’s girlfriends, and she was even using a pillow to muffle herself. They make silencers for guns, not sex, and pillows are only a partial solution. This boy’s fraternity brothers later set up a tape recorder outside his room as a prank. Don’t let this happen to you.

Guys – For most of you there will be a lot more opportunities for hook-ups now than there were in high school. Don’t take every chance you get unless you want to become a guy who girls avoid. While experience can be sexy, a slut is not.

We understand that guys need to get with women in order to verify that they are in fact Alpha Males, but no one ever saw a silverback gorilla lead the herd with herpes. Additionally, your friends will make fun of you, or worse, you’ll end up with straw all over your room from a Halloween one-night stand with a girl dressed as a scarecrow. Even if she’s willing to go to fifth base, it might do you some good to know what thinking with your other head will do for you sometimes.

Don’t get whipped. Many men receiving consistent ass will give in to their girlfriend’s every demand. By no means am I advocating that you never give in to her, but if you’ve spent the last seven nights in her room watching “Sex and the City,” it might be time to say good-bye to Carrie and the girls and see your roommate or the light of day again.

If you’re interested in the girl you hooked up with last night then you should contact her within the next few days. A guy friend once told me that he had a 24-hour rule after even making out with a girl. Remember, the worst thing she can say is “no,” and if you’ve already stayed over, you’ve eliminated a fair amount of the “what if” factor so long as you can remember her name.

All of this having been said, just have some fun. This is your first chance at quasi-adulthood and your last chance at having the excuse of just being a kid. If all else fails, there is always another person and another weekend.

Kaplan-Shain can be reached at ikaplan-shain@campustimes.org.

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