Sherman Ave Freshman Guide: Dorm Life

26 Aug

The legendary Tupac Shakur once famously stated, “I didn’t choose the thug dorm life, the thug dorm life chose me.” For several reasons, surviving dorm life can certainly be one of the most difficult challenges you’ll face your freshman year. While some things (ex: People vomiting outside of your room and covering it up with printer paper) are out of your control, the proper knowledge and expectation of what lies ahead can help equip you for a successful year.

Hey bro, where should I put my pet hedgehog?

Living with a Roommate
For many freshmen, this will be your first experience living with a roommate. Just pray that you are fortunate enough to live with somebody less heinous than a Sherman Ave writer. The key to harmonious cohabitation is in not motivating your roommate to murder you, which can be achieved by paying attention to the little things in life. We recommend that you:
-Do your laundry before it smells worse than three dead hookers decomposing in the trunk of a Buick in New Jersey.
-Refrain from stealing your roommate’s food, unless it’s something too delicious to pass up. If, for example, your roommate has left a box of Girl Scout Peanut Butter Patties untouched for three days, said roommate loses all legal entitlement to such delectable joy.
-Develop a secret code for sexiling.

If, however, you find yourself unable to live peacefully with your roommate, you can always try to force him or her out of the room to get a dingle (a double acting as a single) for yourself. Although there are a plethora of ways to frighten your roommate until they have no other option but leave for another room, tried and true methods include watching Hulu naked, decorating the room with a Ryan Reynolds theme, and watching them fall asleep while you sharpen your collection of knives.

Dorm bathrooms at Northwestern are used for all kinds of human functions, including, but not limited to, showering, defacating, vomiting, providing/receiving blumpkins, pregaming, shower sexing, reading, shaving, toking, deep frying, hair dyeing, and dance partying. Treat them with respect.

This woman averages one smile every 87 people served.

The Food
Home cooking, like your dignity, is something that will cease to exist the moment you set foot on campus. Therefore, instead of lamenting over how much you miss your grandma’s scrumptious bacon-and-asparagus sandwiches, you might as well start warming up to dorm food. Fortunately, dorm food isn’t as nauseating as it’s often made out to be; all dining halls offer quick, tasty, and sometimes even healthy options. Before long, you won’t even think twice about digging into some buffalo chicken nuggets with a side of miso soup. More importantly, you’ll become acquainted with the dining hall staff, all of whom are friendly in a make-you-uncomfortable kind of way.

Oh, and did we mention hot cookie bar? Riots have been known to break out in the Hinman dining hall while hundreds of students wait in line for staff to deliver the steaming hot trays of cookie goodness fresh from the oven. Imagine the taste of Zion in cookie form.

Yet, the time will surely come when you start to get tired of Jumaanee’s Chicken Teryaki stirfry, and thankfully, there are several alternatives to the monotonous dining hall routine. Norris Student Center, for example, has a cafeteria with made-to-order food that can be bought by points on your meal plan. Additionally, many dorms have kitchenettes, which are excellent resources when not being monopolized by international students. Finally, Evanston has dozens of restaurants that are inexpensive and delicious, including (but not limited to) Chipotle, Five Guys, and Burger King.

Know thine enemy

While the scientific community remains fiercely divided over whether CA stands for “Community Assistant” or “Cockblocking Asspirate,” the fact doesn’t change that the quality of your CA will have quite a substantial effect on your dorm experience. CAs (or, as your obnoxious friends who have been at school since early August might say, “RAs”) are upperclassmen that get free room and board in exchange for pretending to care about whether or not you drink in your dorm room and calling the ambulance when you hurt yourself with your own stupidity.

The bottom line is that there is no hard and fast rule to establishing a good relationship with your CA. Some CAs will be rancid douchemongrels, while others will gladly lend you a corkscrew when you need to open up fourteen bottles of wine for a party in your room. Regardless, though, it is very important that you be on good terms with your CA.

Northwestern’s community safety officers are the fearless sentinels protecting students from the dangerous riffraff of Evanston townies. Proudly looking the other way as black bags from EV1 enter the building or 20 thoroughly pregamed students exit, CSOs are probably the coolest men and women in uniform since Burger King got security guards. A friendship forged with these rugged stalwarts of security can prove invaluable in the future, when you need to sneak the 12 friends from home who visited you for Dillo Day into your room or sign in a less-than-stellar hookup.

Drinking in the Dorms
At this point, you may be thinking, “Well, if we can get in trouble for drinking in the dorms, then we probably shouldn’t do it.” Yet that train of thought is absurdly preposterous, especially because we’re assuming that all of our readers are mature 21-year-olds. Drinking in the dorms is a large part of the freshman experience. However, since getting caught is always a risk, we’ve laid out a few ground rules that we’ve learned the hard way to minimize your risk of being written up.

Hey guys, let's hang out with our Russian friend!!!

RULE #1: Use code words
The easiest way to be nabbed by a CA is by using words that clearly refer to alcohol. Words like “shots,” “handle,” “bottle,” or “drink” should all have code words. It may sound confusing, but it’s not difficult to come up with memorable code words. For example, instead of saying “Let’s chug that fifth of Jose Cuervo,” try something along the lines of, “Let’s overturn those two-tenths of Joseph Quirvey.” And you thought that reducing fractions didn’t have a real-world application.

RULE #2: Be loud when you’re sober
You will be at a great advantage if you can make your CA accustomed to frequently hearing loud, primal noises emanating from your room. One reliable way to achieve this end is by spending much of the beginning of your year engaging in loud activities; we suggest playing FIFA 2011 or jamming to the entire LMFAO discography. When your CA routinely hears phrases like “CHRISTIANO RONALDO IS SUCH A FUCKING COCKAHOLIC” or “SHOTS SHOTS SHOTS SHOTS SHOTS SHOTS!!!” whenever they walk by your room, they’ll become used to the din and will be less likely to investigate when they hear high-decibel shenanigans coming from your room in the future.

RULE #3: Have an escape route
Not a physical one. Although we suppose that might work. But more importantly, have an alibi. For example, if your CA walks into your room and sees eight kids sprawled out on the floor watching National Treasure, they are more likely to think “Oh, they’re probably just feeling the physical side effects of watching Nicolas Cage’s acting” and less likely to realize that you were actually just taking a shot every time there was a historical fallacy. If a CA sees you involved in another activity, it will be much easier to convince them that you weren’t just being raging alcoholics. If worst comes to worst, it’s always good to have someone drinking with you who has a high enough tolerance that they can invent a passable alibi off the top of their head, even whilst hammered (Sir Edward Twattingworth III is generally considered a master of this task).

RULE #4: Keep alcohol in your closet
This is probably the only piece of 100% valid advice you’ll ever receive from Sherman Ave. CAs are legally prohibited from looking in your closet, so that’s where you should store all of your atrociousness.

Dorm life is an essential part of the college experience, and can lead to some of the best memories of your life while living with a building full of friends. By mastering the various challenges of dorm living that await you and navigating the complex relationships that are formed in a building full of undergrads, you can transform your dorm room from a cell of ennui into the greatest place on campus.

Ross Packingham and Evander Jones

6 Responses to “Sherman Ave Freshman Guide: Dorm Life”

  1. A very calm, reasonable person August 26, 2011 at 3:41 pm #

    I heard Sir T-Worth once convinced a CA that a pregame he was discovered hosting was actually a state dinner of massive international importance, and proceeded to write the CA up for interrupting it. Just a rumor, though.

  2. Fifth Floor Hooligan August 26, 2011 at 6:08 pm #

    As for ways of getting a dingle, I’ve heard that peeing on your roommate works pretty well…


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