People who walk barefoot around your dorm cannot be trusted. James Olstein

One-uppers: This behavior is especially prevalent in the early months of your first year, but there's always someone who got way more stoned, way more drunk, fucked way more people, turned in their paper way closer to the deadline, etc. We get it!

The person who walks barefoot around your dorm: Anyone who is actively contributing to the bacterial culture of a shared public space cannot, I repeat, CANNOT, be trusted. This isn't your house, Becky!

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Weirdos who make friends with the campus police: Narc levels absolutely off the charts.

Freshmen who are so concerned with not being alone that they plan whole lives with people they meet the first week: This is a primal response to being in a new place, and it needs to be resisted with every fiber of your being. You will meet other people. Do not commit to going to TJ for spring break just yet.

People who are rude to the dining-hall staff: No matter how bad the cafeteria food is, there's absolutely no excuse to take it out on the dining-hall workers who are probably underpaid, overworked, and not particularly pleased by the slop they are slinging, either. Anyone who would be rude to people in that situation sucks.

The friend who asks to copy your essay just a little bit: Plagiarism is a Big Deal in college. If you get caught, you'll have to meet with your professor, then your dean, and then your grandma. Your integrity and reasoning are called into question—it's a nightmare. Tell your friend to fuck off and then tell them to ask for an extension!

Old dudes/grad students/TAs who sniff around first-year students: I'm not inherently opposed to dating older people, but there's an imbalance of power in that dyad that almost never turns out well. There's nothing more disappointing than finding out that hot grad student who studies Proust is actually an emotional baby. Stick to wanking off to the thought of them in the shower!

People who bring Malibu to the pregame: It smells nice, but it tastes like suntan oil and goes down like it, too.

Ditto for any kind of flavored vodka: What, you like puking up fermented Skittles? Spike your alcoholic seltzer water with booze like a goddamn grown-up.

Your classmate who also did not buy the textbook so you're essentially sharing the library-use-only copy: Actually, maybe you should be friends with this person?

Softbois (a genderless concept): You know the softboi—they are into Swedish art-house cinema, roll their own cigarettes, read obscure theory and quote it all the time, and seem so vulnerable and lonely and sad that a feeling of "I can be there for this person" wells up inside of you. I'm not telling you not to go with that instinct and fall madly in love with this person, but what I am saying is they'll likely be shitty at texting you back and will avoid any sort of emotional forthrightness. Your time is valuable! Go for the class clown who's better at communication and call it a day.

The person who never has their own weed because they "really don't smoke that much" but asks if they could maybe roll a joint using your stuff and they'll pay you "like three dollars" but could you also give them some papers? It's a big, scary adult task to find a weed hookup in a new city—I get that, especially if you're underage. But get with the program! You've got to massage those contacts! Weed is legal for anyone 21+!

People who drag you to an open mic: Nothing is a better argument against democracy than an open mic, I swear to god. You'll find neither enlightenment nor good poetry at those things, and anyone who drags you to one has questionable taste.

Anyone you're dating or fucking or flirting with who doesn't make you feel respected: This is a hard lesson that can take a lifetime to learn. Start practicing early.

The straight white man who's in your ethnic/gender studies course and raises his hand to say things like "If race is a social construct, why do we spend so much time focused on it?" So is money, Brad, and it still matters! GTFO!

Your friend's really boring boyfriend: You can never remember his name, and he has absolutely nothing to say or add to the conversation. Keep your eyes low if you see him across the library.

Poli-sci and econ majors: They will probably end up working for an investment bank or, like, Amazon. Classics majors have the intellectual BDE anyway!

Anyone with the same name as you: If it didn't happen to you in high school, it's bound to happen to you in college. Ninety-five percent of the time, the person with your name sucks. I had a first-name twin in college, and she made her boyfriend get circumcised and then broke up with him. An alter ego I never needed to meet!

A charming professor who convinces you to take an 8:30 a.m. Intro to Russian Language class: You'll be haunted forever by the genitive plural and verb aspect.

Girls who try to force you to watch The L Word: We all encounter this demonic show in our own time, and you should not be pushed into it unless you're fully ready.

Hot seniors: This isn't a hard avoid, but it's often heartbreak waiting to happen. Hot seniors are so hot because they aren't gangly, awkward first-year people. They're aloof, which adds to their power. They've had three years of experience and settled into their style, and they are looking outward to their postgrad life. You think that you don't look like a wide-eyed freshman to them, but you do. Approach with caution.

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Haters who tell you not to get that haircut or that piercing because it might look bad: Look, Linda, just because you've settled into complacency with your blunt bangs and two braids doesn't mean I have to! You should experiment with your looks/presentation, and if that means shaving off the sides of your hair, dying it green, and then getting your nipples pierced, do it! It'll make your photos from college all the more hilarious (and terrifying) to look back on.

A cranky young journalist who is trying to process her own college experience through a list of people to avoid: Part of the joy of college is meeting and interacting with people you've never had the opportunity to engage with before. I still crack up thinking about the annoying know-it-all in my History of American Capitalism class, or that girl who hung out in the common room all the time watching TV on her computer with no headphones. As with all things, you should go in with an open heart and an open mind and decide for yourself who you want to be and who you want your community to consist of. I just love you and want the best for you! Now get out there and have fun!