I want you to know that I needed a whole pack of candy cigs to get through this letter, cause I am a soldier and this school is the trenches. 

My advice on how to get through four years at UR? You can be bent over for two reasons at this school — either you’re laughing so hard you can’t breathe, or you’re getting fucked over — I recommend the former. There are four phases you will cycle through like a battered teddy bear in a washer. For some strange coincidence, they are also connected to the phases of frat parties.  

You’re in your first year, amazed and freed from the constraints of your childhood bedroom, and posters from your childhood bedroom you probably rebought at the poster fair, completely on your own. You go to the frat quad each weekend, eyes glued to 10-dollar neon light stripes, dancing to Clarity by Zedd for one time too many. Your friends are either going to be the besties you will hide a dead body for or they’re gonna be the dead bodies from how hard you’re going to cook’em in a bar to a stranger 20 years later. And then the first midterm will swing around, and you will be on the pendulum that is midterms at this school. Never-ending. 

Then you’re a sophomore. You feel older and more established, but everyone is looking at you like you’re a kid who doesn’t have a mortgage. You still go to frat parties because only one of your friends has a fake, and the Uber trip to Nashvilles is not worth it with the $15 under-21 cover. You’ll be going through the motions, class, food, clubs, sleep, and friends, and then summer internships will enter your mind space. That’s when you realize that you’re not just in hell, but Dante’s first level. 

Junior year you self-actualize, which is actual hell. The frats just seem weird now and if you drink one more can of river water they call Genesee Beer you will chuck. This is where mental breakdowns happen, along with many CARE reports that will sprinkle down on you like a leak in Brooks Crossing. You’re thinking of the future and what’s next — life isn’t going to class and doing homework — it instead has these crazy concepts such as loans you need to pay off and a turbulent job market. But you have your squad or at least the person you would go to jail for. Everyone’s going through it— you’re all going to bundle up into the clown car, make far too many concerning jokes, and figure it out. You will at least stop at Jay’s on the way back home for snacks. If you’re special, you’ll unlock a new skill and be able to shot gun a Celsius can without any ramifications. 

Senior year — what’s a frat party when you have four dollar slices at Swan Dive and enough vodka to make your mom cringe? You do not have your life figured out at all, but that’s okay — fuck it, we ball! You’re going to realize that life is just improv, and the kids who did improv club have a leg up over all of us, which might be God’s funniest joke. 

UR is one of the weirdest places in the world, with people who have each given me as many gray hairs as I have shirts from campus giveaways. UR is this bubble where you will be so burnt out you are an outlet in Gleason Library, but along the highway to hell you have gained friends that will last you a lifetime and a plot to start an insulin cartel that is going to solve the healthcare system you cooked up at 3 a.m. in a dorm room after too many vodka-crans or whatever your friend probably ‘stole’ from Hillside. Just make sure to buckle up and laugh through it, and you’ll be fine.

My last words and testament at this institution are as follows: technically it’s not stealing from Hillside if you stay within the $100 they already charged you for ‘future’ stealing. It’s called a prepaid transaction. 

Love, 

Mel



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