Welcome to college, the gateway drug to the rest of your life! We at The Stranger are going to spend the next several pages telling you what to do, what to eat, where to go, what to drink, who to screw, who to definitely not screw, and so on. (Everything not covered here—including what majors not to major in, how to sleep with your professor, what the music in your dorm room says about you, how to deal with a hangover, and more, PLUS a shit-ton of college-specific sex advice from Dan Savage—is included in our brand-new book How to Be a Person: The Stranger's Guide to College, Sex, Intoxicants, Tacos, and Life Itself, in real and virtual bookstores now.) But before we begin, let's take a moment to consider the most important single piece of advice that we can give you, no matter who you are, what you like, or where you came from:

Do stuff. Do lots of stuff.

When we were sitting down in our editorial meeting, talking about what we wanted to tell you, many of us talked about what we regretted not doing when we were in college—not going to that odd fluorescent-lit office to apply for a study-abroad program, not joining the student newspaper, not going out for that sports team, not asking that cutie down the hall to get naked and fool around. The worst thing you'll hear from any of those propositions is "no, thank you." And if you hear "no," don't freak out and get pissy—just move on to the next thing. (And you might be surprised by the ratio of "yes" to "no." The more often you ask/apply/try out, the more times you'll hear "yes.")

Right now, the vast array of options might seem intimidating. It might seem much more attractive to sit in your dorm room with your bong and huff your way into dreamland. That's okay. Do a little huffing and a little dreaming. But if you've got a brain in that skull, you'll eventually get bored. We can't tell you what you'll find when you crawl your way out into the world—and that's the beauty of it. You're going to have your own adventures and make your own fun.

Have fun, be smart, and be honest. And DO STUFF. recommended