Curtis Dahlgren
The 13th grade: It's killing us
By Curtis Dahlgren
April 12, 2021

"Few in their after years have occasion to revise their college opinions." – Thomas Jefferson


"Scientists have discovered a tiny creature that lives in the lips of a North Atlantic lobster that it is unique in that its brain completely disappears at the onset of adolescence and doesn't reappear until adulthood."

Eighteen-year-olds in college aren't mature adults, and academania takes advantage of that fact. This is a book review of "How to Survive Your Freshman Year" by "Hundreds of College Sophomores, Juniors, and Seniors Who Did."* Just in time for spring break, it covers every topic from what to bring to school to what not to bring home, such as bad memories (it includes advice from dropouts who didn't make it through 13th grade). The chapter "Parties 101" contains this quote:

"Don't party before tests. It really does impair your ability."

DUH. Just because you got admitted to an elite institution doesn't necessarily mean you're the brightest bulb in the Christmas tree lights. NOT YET. A few more quotes from the book:

"Stay away from the boys on the athletic teams; they think they're really cool, and they take advantage of the freshman girls." – Georgetown

"It may look like the girls who are out partying are the ones getting the guys. But they're not really. Also, the nice boys are not on sports teams." – Georgetown

"Don't date anyone on your dorm floor, and don't date three guys at the same time who are all on the soccer team together." – Cal State, Fullerton

"My sister is a freshman. I told her not to hook up with a lot of guys, not to get a bad reputation, because you can't shake it. It follows you everywhere." – Georgetown

"Don't date people from your dorm, especially if you're just hooking up after a party. There will be a breakup and therefore awkward moments. You'll step into the elevator and they'll be there and everything goes silent." – James Madison Univ.

"Do not have one-night stands with anyone in your dorm. You won't want to see them the next day. I recommend dating." – Emory Univ.

NOTE: Even most kids who CARE about it, don't realize that "adultery" doesn't just apply to married people and extra-marital affairs. Benjamin Franklin and others have said "Sin isn't harmful because it's forbidden; it is forbidden because it is harmful." An extreme example:

"Don't do anything with a girl who's not making rational decisions; that's a good way to get thrown in jail." – U. of Rochester

After a ten year absence, I registered at the University of Wisconsin-Madison as a recreation major (aren't they all), and on the first day of landscaping 101, the professor attacked my religion, blaming the book of Genesis for pollution of the world ("subdue the earth").


© Curtis Dahlgren


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Curtis Dahlgren

Curtis Dahlgren is semi-retired in southern Wisconsin, and is the author of "Massey-Harris 101." His career has had some rough similarities to one of his favorite writers, Ferrar Fenton... (more)


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