The Stranger's 2010 Back to School Guide

What No One Else Is Going to Tell You About Drugs, Drinking, Sexual Positions, Stupid Majors, What the Music in Your Dorm Room Says About You, and More

Comments

1
Any college kids reading this article should also know this: The Stranger staff is only aware of three neighborhoods in Seattle: Capitol Hill (that's where they work and party), the International District (that's where they live and eat) and the University District (because all the cool movie theaters are there). They can also tell you about art galleries in Pioneer Square and downtown, and occasionally will mention Ballard because they like to eat there after a long bike ride.

But if you want to know about other neighborhoods near you, like Wallingford or Fremont or Roosevelt or Ravenna, you'll have to read online neighborhood blogs, cobble information together from Yelp, or possibly even read the Seattle Weekly.

Also, do not trust their opinions on dogs, the downtown tunnel, or Critical Mass, and be especially suspicious of anything that emerges from the deranged brain of Charles Mudede.

Their advice on drugs, porn and gay rights, however, is golden.
2
Hey, speaking of seeing art for free (or, at least, cheap): if you're 19 or younger, get yourself signed up for a Teen Tix pass. It gets you into tons of local art venues (theatres, dance halls, Seattle International Film Festival, awesome performance art at On the Boards, fancy music at the Symphony, fancy lasers at the Laser Dome) for 5 bucks. Go to seattlecenter.com/teentix to sign up. It's free.
3
Meh. I feel like this is the same, recycled back-to-school issue I've read for the past four years. The Mercury's is better.
4
Seems Meth was unfortunately left out of the guide to drugs... But please put this in the category with herion, with the addition that it will make your teeth fall out.
5
one of the the best deals for all students in seattle who interested in arts and music is the student rush. ticket price are at a big discount.

when i was a student, years back i saw the rings cycle at the opera house for almost nothing.
6
Are the kids still doing meth, like we did when I was a wee small college freshman? Might be worth mentioning under "drugs" that it does not in fact make you better, smarter, prettier, and more fascinating no matter how it feels at the time. But it might get that 30-page paper done in time. If you don't accidentally end up scrubbing the bathroom floor with a toothbrush instead of writing up your notes.At least, that's what I heard from this guy I know.
7
I read this and laughed my butt off. There is some really good advice in here, put forth in a way that I just couldn't stop reading.
Great job!
8
I don't know why, but the "our way or the highway" attitude of this paper grates on me sometimes. Apparently not enough to stop coming here and posting though.
9
It's nice that this year you printed that "hipster" is a lazy generalization. That's progress.

Next year maybe work on some more of the lazy generalizations.
10
Oh people... quit bitching! It was a fun read!
11
SAVE OUR LIBRARIES!!! PLEASE!!!
WWU is losing its incredible Music Library after all these years, due to state budget cuts!

Is it just me, or are students nowadays paying more for LESS?
12
Great read... granted I'm 28 and from LA.. but what does that tell you about your audience? Hint: I don't know...
13
Heads up: Your information about Gatsby will not get anyone into bed with an English major. It will get them smacked and/or laughed at. Gatsby is killed by a man who thinks Gatsby killed his wife. Gatsby never gets to fuck anyone - he just moons after Daisy (somebody else's wife). The rest of the info about Gatsby's parties and such is correct, though.

My Gatsby hang-ups aside, fantastic article.
14
Heads up: Your Gatsby info won't get anyone into bed with an English major. Gatsby is killed by a man who mistakenly thinks Gatsby killed his wife. Gatsby never gets to fuck anyone - he just moons after Daisy (somebody else's wife).

My Gatsby hang-ups aside, thanks for the hilarious and informative article.
15
Ironically, it makes you look like an ass by telling people what they should believe in order to avoid looking like an ass. Close mindedness is very unbecoming from any angle.

But an entertaining read nonetheless.
16
You had me until you talked shit about Goodspaceguy. Seriously, have you read his bio?
17
Any advice for kids who are planning on working hard and studying something useful (engineering? medicine?), or is this edition just for those attending four years of summer-camp on mom and dad's nickle?
How about useful advice, like how to politely but firmly tell your 'friends' to fuck off - you are studying for an exam in an actual difficult subject like fluid mechanics or organic chemistry - and not just some "History of Dance" bullshit?
Dear Science aside, is the editorial staff aware that there are "non-joke" fields of study out there? I get the impression that the "Drop Out Now" section is wistfully offered in the present as advice not heeded in the past by the majority of the Stranger staff.

But hey, at least they're entertaining sometimes. Jump, you little monkeys! Make us smile!
18
Is it just me or is this a guide on how to be a hipster?
19
I think it's pretty hypocritical for an article which lauds the importance of being queer-tolerant to refer to bisexuality as
20
NO! DO NOT TAKE IBUPROFEN FOR A HANGOVER! Alcohol + painkillers (this goes for Tylenol too) will absolutely KILL your liver. Seriously, please put some sort of note about this in your article-- college kids' livers need all the help they can get.
21
@18 uh-oh. Someone's being inarticulate and lazy!

But I'll deal with you later. I've got to get back to generalizing other Seattle neighborhoods in one sweeping sentence.
22
Fuck you, liberal asshole.
23
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Community_R…

Bankers are either greedy or stupid, right?

Leftist policies started the recession. It was coming a long time before Bush, but it's cute your political knowledge extends back all of ten years.
24
@17, People who study science and engineering in college do not generally end up writing for The Stranger. They just come to the Slog while they are at work and post comments making fun of the liberal arts majors who write for The Stranger.
25
Seattle Bus Finder is NOT the best bus app: costs $5, has no maps, looks like something designed by a computer.

The free OneBusAway iPhone app is simpler, snappier, and better designed. Or just use onebusaway.org on any mobile phone.
27
'One Bus Away' is the best bus app. Live tracking of all busses at each stop, if they're on time, ahead of schedule, or running late, and it's free.
28
Are you F$#king kidding me. Your political observations are quite interesting. Let me start by saying I am NOT a Republican or "conservative" which is the same as a Dem being a "progressive", both parties realized how much they suck and had to create new labels for the public to still follow their policies.
Anyway, in one sentence you talk about not getting a tattoo of "Communist and Lovin It" and then you go on to use EXACT communist tactics by telling people they will do this and that because if you dont your not a reasonably logical person residing on the left of the isle. Absolutely disgusting, and everything you named that Obama has done is a farce, the war still is being waged, just wait to see what the health care reform has done, and STABALIZING whose FU#KING economy, China's???? Next time you try to brainwash young kids at least get some points that are A. True and B. somewhat unbiased! Let me repeat, IM NOT A REPUBLICAN, just an educated American who hates this kind of narrowmindedness, your be better off writing an article on what Michelle is wearing to the next ball then actual political views!!!! Or maybe just go to FOX news along side of all the other biased liars!!! HA!
30
Loved reading this extensive guide.
31
Vote Obama AGAIN? You've got to be kidding me and its you that sounds clueless based on that advice. Don't you want kids to learn from previous mistakes? I guess if the advice is designed to get you laid (because you clearly share the opiniion of the local idiots) then you're probably offering great advice. And ripping Nader? It's narrowminded views like this that are a summation of all that is wrong with those who want to be the voice of the locals. Hilarious drug/sex advice for sure!
32
To everyone...the advice about majors is spot on. Defintiely take either:

-hard science,
-math,
-engineering,
-history
-or english.

Everything else is complete bullshit that will make you a pompous, unfuckable dork for the next 8 years before you get wise. It WILL NOT make you smarter or more sophisticated. TRUST ME!!
33
Study what interests you. Too many people go through college taking what they think they should only to regret it later. The students who study what they want may or may not regret it, but they at least enjoyed their academic experience.
They’re spot on though about suggesting people who don’t want to go stay away. There are many other worthwhile endeavors besides just college though college is very worthwhile.
34
Gotta put my art history degree to use here. Neither Borromini nor Bernini was a Mannerist. They're distinctly 17th century; Mannerism was a 16th century phenomenon. But alas, there's no love for the likes of Bronzino, Giulio Romano and Parmigianino these days...
35
The different sexual positions had me in stitches.

Also, in that last paragraph about different traps in Seattle, you forgot to mention the LaRouche douchebags that typically set up a table out front of the University Bookstore. However, I can say that the reading literature they hand out is a hilarious read.
36
I thought this article was a truthful, yet somewhat opinionated introduction to college life. Not everything in here should be taken to heart, especially the section on political views. Other than that it was a very humorous article and it was clear the author(s) has had some fantastic (and pretty wild) personal experiences.
38
Well, gee thanks for telling me how to think. /sarcasm. Some of your advice is cool, but college is supposed to be about exploring all kinds of ideas and arriving at conclusions for yourself. Why the hell even bother with an education if all I had to do is read some article by some little snot who is going to do all of my thinking for me? My advice for college is be truly openminded, not faux openminded to only the ideas that are pre-approved by some PC hipster.
39
Wows, there seem to be a lot of people taking the absolutist dictates, blatant (and acknowledged) generalizations, and obvious sarcasm as Serious Business. Ask Google about "metafiction", then read again and have a good laugh.

@29: You can't possibly be *that* educated if you think Communism is the same thing as Totalitarianism or simply Telling People What They Should Do. The article isn't trying to be unbiased; it's a guide, by definition someone's opinion of how things should be done. And it's hilarious, if one understands wit, sarcasm, irony, and half-truths delivered mostly-straight with a wink and nod.

Aww, shit, I forgot I'm not supposed to feed the trolls. :-/
40
can we ban "hipster" in this comment thread plz
41
Does someone want to double-check that little sentence synopsis of The Great Gatsby? Because this admittedly-pretentious former English major is positive that a guy who THINKS his wife is fucking Gatsby (she was actually fucking Tom Buchanan, that son of a bitch) shoots Gatsby to death in his pool. If you're trying to hit on English majors at parties, you have to appear to know this, or else we will secretly disdain you.
42
Re: drug use and calling 911: The paramedics and EMTs MUST uphold your privacy (thanks HIPAA), and will not/do not have any incentive to talk to law enforcement about your drug use. Even if they find drug paraphernalia on your person, they won't pass this info along to the cops, nor will they want to (we hate cops just like the rest of them!). So be safe, CALL 911.
43
Dear Incoming College Student,
Welcome to the wonderful world of perpetual debt slavery!
44
"Being addicted to smack is like having each cell in your body individually suffering from the most severe heartbreak you can imagine—and the full-blown addict would steal a morphine suppository out of their own grandmother's asshole if they had half the chance."

That may be the best thing I've ever read in the Stranger. Full stop. Every anti-drug lecture I've ever heard in my life pales in comparison.

Also, "It's not about political correctness. It's about not being a tool." is so beautiful that I am immediately appropriating it for my own use the next time someone uses PC as an insult.

But the real capper is (if you own an album by) "Toby Keith: Your dick smells like goat butt." Truer words were never written.
45
Ralph Nader would have made a good president.
46
I dug this article! Thanks
47
@43: Great. It was even worse than I imagined, and I already figured I was pretty fucked as it is.
48
Serious students should skip the TwitterBook style synopses and go straight to the free online CliffsNotes.com
49
Serious students should skim the TwitterBook style synopses and then go to the free online CliffsNotes.com for extra credit.
50
"NO! DO NOT TAKE IBUPROFEN FOR A HANGOVER!"

Calm down, Mr. Danger, Danger, Danger! I disagree because, it's the morning after, not the middle of the raging drunk. A hangover.

Of course, if you're still good and drunk in the morning, I would wait a few more hours too, and just do the greasy food/loads of water/electrolyte thing, holding off on the ibuprofen or naproxen-sodium (Aleve) for a while.

Acetaminophen (Tylenol) taken with with booze is another liver-killer too, maybe the worst.

I also knew a guy who would drink a full glass of water in between every drink. He swore he never got a hangover using his "water trick," and there's some evidence to support the idea.
51
The descriptions of Seattle neighborhoods say everything that needs to be said about this article, and The Stranger staff in general.
52
You said the housing crash happened on Bush's watch. Actually, it was Democrats Chris Dodd and Barney Frank, chairmen of the Senate and House banking committees, respectively, who pressured the banks to make high-risk loans to people who couldn't afford to pay the loans back. The housing bubble and crash were primarily a Democrat induced failure.
54
Ignoring details, this issue is good.

The kids today need their hands held. It might as well be by a Stranger.
55
Shitting on sociology as a major - how novel.
56
The kids today need parents. pay attention Lord.
57
Great! All this city needs is more addicts taking up space from Westlake Mall to Cal Anderson Park. Perhaps the stranger should advise them on how to reserve their spot in muskatell meadows next to the courthouse...
58
I like this article but it's kind of silly for them to bitch about lazy generalizations of hipsters a few hundred words after they lazily generalize about the albums in your dorm room.

@52: That is a deeply, profoundly stupid thing to say. Focus less on partisan politics, son.
59
You guys are right--we totally got the end of The Great Gatsby wrong. A correction/explanation/excuse is here, and the text above has been fixed.
61
this is priceless and hysterical!
62
I am glad that everyone has responded positively to this fun article.

Oh wait...
63
Amusing article. Wish I could afford Uni. Everyone chill the fuck out. That is all.
64
The person who wrote this has a really big ego.
65
Reading again, I have been duped by both the 'do you like local hip-hop' and 'do you want a book?' lines. Bastards.
66
Reading again, I have been duped by both the 'do you like local hip-hop' and 'do you want a book?' lines. Bastards.
67
The Stranger needs to stick to its forte:art.Politics they know not enough of to be endorsing anybody!Shrubama over Nader?Pfftt!!Eat the State! is more reliable than The Stranger!Perhaps Mudede and a few other staffers have any political sense,the rest need to step off!
68
Throw you guys a bone and you blow Gatsby's ending. Like I'm gonna remember...I trusted you!

Parents can be embarrasing.
69
Thanks for this article... very interesting, and gave me some good ideas on advice to give my senior high school students (toned down and minus sex/drug references, of course).

However I do find fault with the following:
1) People "just don't care" if you're out these days? Have you been paying attention to the news, and the kid who just killed himself over that webcam video? Pretty sure injustice and homophobia remain rampant among college kids.
2) I cannot. BeLIEVE. you advised to try coke, period. So irresponsible. Honestly who are you kidding, no one should ever try that drug. EVER.
3) Instead of telling kids what their "albums" mean (uhh.... who buys albums anymore?) you should've made a list of important bands/singers to discover in college. That was one of my favorite things about freshman year; everyone had music playing all the time and I discovered so many wonderful artists of all eras and genres.

Now THANK you for the paragraph on college majors -- where do people think they're going to get a job with a sociology, communications or political science degree? I'll tell you where: the bank or a car dealership.
70
Concerning your advice on not using drugs before classes:

I smoked weed before every single class and exam of my Linguistics major, and got an A+ average.

Some courses need you think outside the box.
71
on the ibuprofen/hangover issue, research supports that the only thing better than not drinking in the first place to cure a hangover is to take B vitamins, probably best as a B Complex. your body gets depleted of b vitamins while partying and cosuming alcohol, and nothing will lift you back up the next day better than having some dumped back into your system. drink a couple big glasses of water with a B Complex (available at basically any place that sells vitamins) before crashing the night before and i can guarantee unless you polished off a fifth by your lonesome you'll feel markedly better than if you'd not.
72
on the ibuprofen/hangover issue, research supports that the only thing better than not drinking in the first place to cure a hangover is to take B vitamins, probably best as a B Complex. your body gets depleted of b vitamins while partying and cosuming alcohol, and nothing will lift you back up the next day better than having some dumped back into your system. drink a couple big glasses of water with a B Complex (available at basically any place that sells vitamins) before crashing the night before and i can guarantee unless you polished off a fifth by your lonesome you'll feel markedly better than if you'd not.
73
on the ibuprofen/hangover issue, research supports that the only thing better than not drinking in the first place to cure a hangover is to take B vitamins, probably best as a B Complex. your body gets depleted of b vitamins while partying and cosuming alcohol, and nothing will lift you back up the next day better than having some dumped back into your system. drink a couple big glasses of water with a B Complex (available at basically any place that sells vitamins) before crashing the night before and i can guarantee unless you polished off a fifth by your lonesome you'll feel markedly better than if you'd not.
74
on the ibuprofen/hangover issue, research supports that the only thing better than not drinking in the first place to cure a hangover is to take B vitamins, probably best as a B Complex. your body gets depleted of b vitamins while partying and cosuming alcohol, and nothing will lift you back up the next day better than having some dumped back into your system. drink a couple big glasses of water with a B Complex (available at basically any place that sells vitamins) before crashing the night before and i can guarantee unless you polished off a fifth by your lonesome you'll feel markedly better than if you'd not.
75
I liked everything except the part where you told the middle-class kids to drop out and be poor so that poor kids could have a shot at being middle-class. Fuck off, I like being middle-class.
76
Super great, hillarious piece! Nice work, as always.

I do want to point something out: I don't know if any of you actually studied journalism [at least at UW] but to get a journalism degree, you don't take a couple editing classes and read poetry - you have to complete courses in foreign language, science, mathematics, international studies, government, newspaper layout, design, graphic art, to name but a few. Not many other degrees require and offer such a diverse set of studies. Students with journalism degrees have a wide world of oppurtunities - they are not relegated to only one set course.

77
Super great, hillarious piece! Nice work, as always.

I do want to point something out: I don't know if any of you actually studied journalism [at least at UW] but to get a journalism degree, you don't take a couple editing classes and read poetry - you have to complete courses in foreign language, science, mathematics, international studies, government, newspaper layout, design, graphic art, to name but a few. Not many other degrees require and offer such a diverse set of studies. Students with journalism degrees have a wide world of oppurtunities - they are not relegated to only one set course.

78
Super great, hillarious piece! Nice work, as always.

I do want to point something out: I don't know if any of you actually studied journalism [at least at UW] but to get a journalism degree, you don't take a couple editing classes and read poetry - you have to complete courses in foreign language, science, mathematics, international studies, government, newspaper layout, design, graphic art, to name but a few. Not many other degrees require and offer such a diverse set of studies. Students with journalism degrees have a wide world of oppurtunities - they are not relegated to only one set course.

79
Super great, hillarious piece! Nice work, as always.

I do want to point something out: I don't know if any of you actually studied journalism [at least at UW] but to get a journalism degree, you don't take a couple editing classes and read poetry - you have to complete courses in foreign language, science, mathematics, international studies, government, newspaper layout, design, graphic art, to name but a few. Not many other degrees require and offer such a diverse set of studies. Students with journalism degrees have a wide world of oppurtunities - they are not relegated to only one set course.

81
Super great, hillarious piece! Nice work, as always.

I do want to point something out: I don't know if any of you actually studied journalism [at least at UW] but to get a journalism degree, you don't take a couple editing classes and read poetry - you have to complete courses in foreign language, science, mathematics, international studies, government, newspaper layout, design, graphic art, to name but a few. Not many other degrees require and offer such a diverse set of studies. Students with journalism degrees have a wide world of oppurtunities - they are not relegated to only one set course.

89
Er, your site sucks when it comes to posting comments. I ended up spamming you too many of my one comment. Just a note: when you press please post comment button, it keeps giving me a weird error message in red letters ,,, ??!
90
So you're saying that Sociology is worthless but Literary Theory, spending all your time learning about Post-Structuralism, is somehow productive?