Advice for college freshpersons

By Jase Graves, Special to the Katy Times
Posted 9/5/21

Many parents (including my wife and I) are currently in the process of moving their precious partly-grown child-people (and some of their credit cards) to institutions of higher education for the …

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Advice for college freshpersons


Many parents (including my wife and I) are currently in the process of moving their precious partly-grown child-people (and some of their credit cards) to institutions of higher education for the first time so that these students can gain vital professional knowledge and skills, including how to get those pad thingies back into sports bras correctly when they come out of the dryer.

Based on my vast lack of expertise, other than my own college experience back in the 1990s when it was cool to dress like a disheveled version of the Brawny paper towel dude, I have a few tips to help incoming college freshpersons (especially my eldest and most expensive daughter) adapt to spending their parents’ money away from home.

Before embarking on this new adventure, college students need to secure a few key items, including an industrial-strength toilet brush and plunger set. Because typical college students consume a steady diet of pizza, Kraft macaroni and cheese, and microwaved nachos, the plunger is sure to be put to regular use. And although the toilet brush is unlikely ever to be employed for its intended purpose, it makes a handy back scratcher during extended potty/cell phone time.

Once college students are settled in, they should try to get to know their professors on the rare occasions when said students actually attend class. In fact, it’s advisable for students to visit the professor during office hours when the professor is probably bored and watching reruns of “Little House on the Prairie” on Amazon Prime. During these meetings, students have a chance to distinguish themselves through small gestures of kindness, like offering to hose off the professor’s electric­ vehicles­ – or children.

If students want to make an especially positive impression, they could volunteer to give the professor’s cat its pills. When the professor is averaging grades at the end of the semester, it couldn’t hurt to be recognized as the student who risked a thorough eyeball clawing so Miss Whiskers could be worm-free.

Because the weekly grind of sleeping through classes and starting the weekend on Tuesday afternoon can be extremely stressful for a college student, it’s important to let off some steam every once in a while. However, any leisure activities must exclude the following at all costs: sex, drugs, facial tattoos, sex, drinking, public nudity, sex, watching “Outer Banks,” dressing up like stuffed animals, sex and sex. Other than these strictly prohibited activities, enjoy!

One worthwhile extra-curricular pursuit that I’ve strongly recommended to my daughter is regular church attendance. Let’s say she’s invited to an “Animal House”-style toga party by a young man who needs a good kick in the baptistry. As an alternative, she should go down to the local First Church of the Immaculate Covered Dish for Sunday services, throw on a choir robe, and have a party near the pulpit. I’ve assured her that plenty of cool and interesting guys will be there, including the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

Despite my words of advice and all of the preparations we’ve made, I must admit that I’m still a little nervous about sending our daughter off to college. She’ll face lots of challenges as she decides how to most efficiently squander our life savings.

Seriously, though, at least her mother and I can find comfort in knowing that she’s well-equipped for college life with a high-quality toilet brush and plunger set.

Graves is an award-winning humor columnist from East Texas. His columns have been featured in Texas Escapes magazine, The Shreveport Times, The Longview News Journal, and The Kilgore News Herald. Contact Graves at