We wrote you an orientation guide to help you slide smoothly into the world of post-adolescent responsibility. Before you read it, make sure you play a name game or two. Get it? You probably had to play so many name games this week. Ha ha!
Anyway, we hope this helps you get even more oriented and we hope you have fun at Skidmore. Make sure to sharpen your pencils and wear your fancy clothes because if you don’t present yourself as a well-dressed and academically serious student from the get-go you will remain lonely until the day you graduate and be socially under-prepared for the rest of your life.
In college, we have a saying. It goes: Beer before liquor, get drunk quicker. Liquor before beer, you’re a queer. Or something like that. I don’t know. Sayings are hard to remember. The point is, you’re going to get drunk and you’re going to puke. A lot. Don’t worry though, somebody else will clean it up for you. Also, that’s a good way to make friends. “Hey, are you cleaning up puke? Did you know that’s my puke?” “Oh, cool. I’m Jeffrey. Want to play video games?” That’s pretty much how it goes. We have another saying too. It goes: Blame it on the a-a-a-a-a-alcohol. Blame it on the a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-alcohol. You can do anything in college and blame it on being drunk.
Anonymous Confession Board:
SkidmoreUnofficial.com has an Anonymous Confession Board (ACB) where you can talk about how you have a crush on Lucas Frank or complain about your roommate’s odors. Have you seen Ghostbusters II? The ACB is like the river of pink slime that runs underneath the city and makes everyone feel unpleasant feelings. If you post on it, please try to be nice. We reserve the right to delete anything for pretty much any reason. We’re not sure how we feel about the ACB, but people tell us it’s an enormous waste of time, so we keep it around. Maybe someday some people will get married because of one of the missed connections posts. Probably not. Please be nice.
Runners Up: Adderall, Absences, Arson, Anal, Alpine, Apathy
Oh man, you’re going to love bias incidents. They’re the best. Not real Bias Incidents, obviously, where an individual or a group is attacked based on their gender or ethnicity or sexual orientation. That is terrible. When that happens, it is not funny at all and it really makes you think about how messed up the world is and how IT IS THE TWENTY FIRST CENTURY PEOPLE and how are gay people not allowed to marry each other and THERE IS OIL POURING OUT OF A HOLE IN THE OCEAN WHAT THE FUCK and then you think about how lucky you are to even be in the position to attend a prestigious liberal arts institution like Skidmore in the first place when there are so many people less fortunate than you in the world and maybe you should volunteer or something but then you realize that you don’t even know what you would volunteer for so you get high and play Mario Kart instead. That is the kind of bias incident you will not love.
The kind of bias incident that you will love is the kind that gets routinely reported at Skidmore. Skidmore’s criteria for what constitutes a bias incident is as follows: Anything. Literally, anything can be a bias incident. If you report it, it will be taken seriously and there will be an outraged email sent out to everyone. One time, someone had drawn a mermaid on their whiteboard and someone else drew a penis on the mermaid and wrote the word “bigotes,” which means mustaches in Spanish, under the mermaid and this was a bias incident and there was a mandatory (not mandatory) meeting in the dorm to discuss it. One time somebody drew a penis on a whiteboard and wrote “The cockness monster was here” and this was a bias incident. Not all bias incidents have to do with penises being drawn on whiteboards but the best ones do.
Runners Up: Beer, Black Bean Flat Wraps, Broing Out, Buzzer Beaters, Boot and Rally, Blacking Out, Beards
Look, we all know cigarettes are bad for you, right? Also, they don’t make you cool. And the fact that other people are smoking them doesn’t make it any more okay for you to start. And they make your teeth yellow and your hair smell bad. There is not a single good reason for you to smoke cigarettes. That said, you will smoke cigarettes. Even if you didn’t plan on smoking, you will anyway. Sorry. A recent study in my brain showed that 100% of Skidmore students smoke cigarettes, so if you didn’t want to smoke cigarettes you should have gone to RPI or something. Now you’re trapped. One day you’ll just find yourself wandering out of Price Chopper with a carton of Parliament Lights under your arm and you’ll think, What happened to me? What have I become? But then it will be too late.
Campus Security, known affectionately as “Campo,” is already angry at you. And really, who can blame them? Most of them are former (real) police officers who are now stuck writing drinking tickets for spoiled rich kids. They (probably) went through years of intensive training for this job, learning to say phrases such as “You guys can’t stay here,” “Who’s house is this?” and “Seriously, you guys need to leave, now,” and the least you could do is SHOW A LITTLE RESPECT. Just kidding. If you show a little respect, they will think you’re being sarcastic and yell at you even more.
I’d love to tell you how to successfully evade Campo, but I’m afraid they might be reading this and—HEY! SOMEBODY IS THROWING A BINGE DRINKING PARTY IN PINE C! Okay, guys, now that Campo is gone, the way to get around them is—Wait, guys? Where are you going? No, no, there’s not actually a party in Pine C, that was just a trick to get rid of Campo. Wait a minu—ah… shit.
Runners Up: Cocaine, Classes, Coffee, Country Corner Café, Chlamydia, Cover Bands, Crying, Cycling Together
Woah, wait a minute you guys. I just had this awesome idea. You’re going to be freshman, right? So you’re going to know a lot of other freshmen, right? And the freshman are all going to want to get high but they aren’t going to know where to get weed from, right? They’re going to be all like, “Where do we get weed from? We’re just freshmen. We don’t know anybody.” So that’s where you come in. You find an upperclassman who sells weed, and you buy it from him and sell it to the freshmen at inflated prices. THIS IS AN AMAZING IDEA. NO ONE ELSE WILL HAVE HAD THIS IDEA EXCEPT FOR YOU. Just kidding. Everyone else has already had this idea. Don’t sell drugs. Also, I know college might seem like a magical dream world at first, but if you get caught selling drugs you still have to go to jail. And by go to jail, I mean rat out the upperclassman who sold the drugs to you. But still, bad stuff.
College is a time when you get to be exposed to all different types of people and have your system of beliefs and your preconceived notions about how the world works challenged constantly and you are confronted by hugely varying points of view and political faiths and ideologies and it is MAGICAL and your mind is opened like a beautiful flower of knowledge. JUST KIDDING. You’re at Skidmore. Do you like white people? We have white people. Do you like apathetic liberals? We have those too. Do you like other types of people? Ooh… About that…
Runners Up: D-Hall, Dozing Off In Class, Doing It, Dizzy Bat, Douchebags, Door-Holding, Dirty Dancing
Landing squarely in third place on the list of things you do in college (behind drinking and worrying what your friends think of you) is eating. Unlimited meal plans, a generally delicious dining hall and a terrifying amount of free time (not to mention a terrifying amount of marijuana) means that our humble Murray-Aikins Dining Hall will be the arena for the majority of your social interaction over the next several weeks. You will quickly learn that despite the seemingly egalitarian layout, seating is clearly delineated by social group. I’ll let you figure it out for yourselves but be warned: Not even theatre kids want to sit in the theatre kids section.* Most places in town will deliver food to the front door of your dorm and vending machines will be covered later, but feel free to start worrying about your weight immediately.
*Just kidding, theatre kids!
Esperanto is a “politically neutral and easy to learn language” created by some dorks in the 1950s and a place on Caroline St. that sells pizza that tastes like beer. They also sell this thing called a Doughboy which is essentially a tube of dough clogged with cream cheese, chicken nuggets, and a secret blend of spices (salt and pepper). It probably sounds really gross right now but when you’re too drunk to microwave popcorn and Doughboy Sauce is dribbling down your chin onto your “party clothes” it’s going to taste like the best thing in the whole fucking world. Esperanto also delivers until way too late and won’t judge when you come to the door smelling like Crystal Palace, American Spririts, and the bathroom of a Scribner house. (518) 587-4236.
Runners Up: Existential Crises, Elevator Rides
Fake IDs and Finding People to Buy You Alcohol:
Do you have an awesome cousin who is over twenty-one? Did he give you his old expired driver’s license? Guess what. It’s not going to work. You look nothing like your cousin. Give it up. The bouncer at MARE is not fooled. The guy with one tooth who works at the Getty is not fooled. The cashiers at Walmart are DEFINITELY not fooled and they are going to call the cops and have you arrested.* Just saddle up next to some lonely looking older person and offer to be their friend in exchange for alcohol. Ladies, this will be easier for you so make sure to share the fruits of your labor with some fellas.
*This is the only piece of actually useful advice in this entire thing: Don’t buy beer at Walmart with a fake ID.
Runners Up: Felching, Fresh Meat/Men, Fuck Buddies, Fireside Chats, Fallstaffs
The king of Skidmore is named Phil Glotzbach. Nobody is quite sure who he is, but rumor has it he is a giant with a long, flowing beard who lives at the top of the tallest tower in all of Saratoga (Jonsson Tower). Now that you go to Skidmore, it is your responsibility to make jokes about Glotzbach. “Does anyone know where the art building is?” “I don’t know, why don’t we ask Glotzbach?” Ha ha ha. People say that if you are really lucky you can spot Glotzbach eating lunch near Emily’s Garden, but this is just a myth. Sometimes Glotzbach will send you emails that you don’t read. Sometimes Glotzbach will give speeches that you don’t attend.
Runners Up: Guest Lecturers, Getty, Garbage Rooms, Gazebo
Hating Your Roommate:
Hating your roommate is the college version of hating your parents. Just like parents, roommates come in two flavors. They will either always be around asking you questions and demanding to know where you are going at 11pm on a school night, or they will never be around when you need them and leave you to cry alone in your room at night while they are out binge drinking and cheating on Mom their high school girlfriend. Don’t worry though. Talking about how much you hate your roommate is a great way to make friends at parties and if you work your angles right you can totally set yourself up as some sort of victim and attract that pale girl in your Freshman Seminar.
There are a lot of reasons you might have come to Skidmore. Maybe it was because you heard there’s a good art program. Maybe it was because you wanted to play lacrosse but you knew that you wouldn’t make the team at a school that is actually good at lacrosse. Maybe it was because you got rejected from Vassar, Wesleyan, Bowdoin, Brown, and Haverford. Maybe it was because the campus is kind of pretty and your tour guide made some good jokes and you just don’t care that much. Or maybe you really, really, really like horses. Yeah, that’s a thing. To be honest, I don’t really have anything to say about the girls (it’s all girls) who are super into horses. I mean, it’s a significant part of Skidmore’s identity or whatever, so it seemed like it was worth mentioning. Our mascot is the Thoroughbred. That’s a horse. But it’s not like it affects your (my) life in any way. Sometimes you’re in a class with a girl who occasionally shows up in riding pants. That’s about it.
Runners Up: Hazing, Hipsters, Holding in Farts, Haupt Pond (Jumping In), Haupt Pond (Laughing at People who Jump In), Hunt, “How Did I Get Home Last Night?”
Intramural sports are a great way to get some exercise and have fun at the same time. Also, they are a great place to have people you’ve never met yell obscenities at you. If you’re a business major, they’re a great place to yell obscenities at people you’ve never met. Everybody wins!* If you played sports in high school, this is your chance to show your new peers how awesome you are at getting drunk, dropping easy pop-ups, and throwing your glove in rage and embarrassment. Skidmore offers a wide variety of intramural sports, such as volleyball, dodgeball, softball, being called a pussy, flag football, drinking, and pretending you have to work on an art project so you don’t have to go to your terrible intramural game and get yelled at by strangers.
*The team of business majors wins.
Runners Up: Internet Porn, Indie Kids, Ice Cream Socials, Isolation (Feelings Of)
You may have noticed that Jonsson Tower has balconies, and the more astute of you may have noticed that the doors to these balconies are locked. Rumor has it that one time a kid ate some mushrooms and then fell off the balcony and got hurt or died or something terrible like that. If you get caught sneaking onto your balcony your RA will get really red in the face and call Campo and you will get kicked out of school and never be able to get a job and die alone and uneducated. Whoever it is that makes these decisions probably doesn’t care that you were just having a cigarette, or making a phone call, or trying to see the sunset better. Don’t worry though. Put a few pictures of your balcony on the ol’ Facebook and tell all your friends from high school that you are totally allowed out there and make them all get jealous and question their decision to go to Shitty University Without Balconies. If they come to visit and want to “chill on the balcony” just tell them you “lost your key at this sick party at Mac B” or that “it’s too cold outside, dude.”
When it gets really cold the Junior Class throws a huge party in the gym. All the girls wear really fancy dresses and red lipstick and all the guys wear blue buttondown shirts with vertical stripes and mis-matched ties. Everyone is drunk, like, way more drunk than they should be, and they all rub up against each other and walk in big circles around the dance floor trying to make eye contact with that cutie from Economics 206. Junior Ring, along with its equally debaucherous Autumn equivalent Moorebid Ball, is notorious for causing alarming numbers of overeager freshmen to make a trip to Saratoga Hospital to have their stomachs pumped. This is not a stereotype you as a class want to perpetuate. I’m not trying to get all preachy on y’all but maybe, like, write a note to yourself or something reminding you not to get so drunk that you need to go to the hospital?
Runners Up: Jews, Jello Shots, Jobs (Campus), Jobs (Hand), Jerking Off toFacebook
Being snobby about “good beer” is a great way to let people know you are boring. Beggars can’t be choosers, and until you vomit up peach schnapps on your 21st birthday you are required to accept alcohol in any form it is available to you. Your go-to source for both carbohydrates and alcohols will be Keystone Light. ‘Stone comes in kegs, bottles, and cans but is best enjoyed lukewarm from a solo cup. Get used to it. College is the only place in the world where you can show up with alcohol that nobody likes and still be welcomed with open arms, so take advantage of this.
Runners Up: Kegs, Keg-Tapping, Keg Stands, Keggers, Keg Races, Kegerators
The library is a good place to have sex. Also, there’s some books and stuff.
Runners Up: London Freshmen, Loneliness, Lucy Scribner
Thanks to the totally unsensationalist reporting of Saratoga Springs’ local newspaper, The Saratogian, and the totally non-arbitrary rankings of The Princeton Review, Skidmore has racked up quite the reputation as a den of sin, clouded in thick, acrid marijuana smoke. The truth is that Skidmore, ounce for ounce, probably doesn’t smoke that much more weed than say, any other east coast college. If you smoked weed in high school, or if one time at summer camp you snuck out onto the archery range and split a nickel bag between nine people, you probably already know what to expect. For those of you who are, thus far, underexposed to the effects of the devil’s weed, here are some things you should know. Sometimes your hallway will smell like dirty socks, sometimes there will be a booth of kids in the D-Hall eating a lot of chicken patties dipped in mayonnaise, and sometimes people will show up to your Intro to Philosophy class wearing sunglasses and say really, really stupid things. All of this is probably, but not necessarily, caused by recreational marijuana use.
Runners Up: Moorebid Ball, Masturbating Silently, Making Out, Mooching Money Off Friends, Mommy and Daddy, Mail, MARE
If you have learned anything from adults over the past few years it is that college is going to be HARD. Lots of work, twenty-page papers every weekend, rigorous standards, etc. All the slacking you did in high school? You’re not going to be able to get away with that shit in COLLEGE. THIS IS NOT A DRILL. High school was a drill. This is not one. This is the real deal. College is no walk in the park, sonny.
Well, actually, it is. If the park is a dorm room and walking is napping. The point is: it’s not that hard. Classes only meet twice a week, you don’t really have homework except for some reading that you can get away with not doing, and you’re just not going to be very busy until finals week when you will be pretty busy but you’ll get through it (as long as you’re an English major. Everybody’s an English major, right?) So what will you do with all the downtime? To make a long story short, you will sleep. Make sure to thank your parents for putting another mortgage on the house.
The Northwoods Apartments is a confusing place where old people live. They have granite counter tops and modern lighting fixtures and you art majors can safely assume that, unless you move back in with Mom and Dad, they are the nicest apartments you will be living in for several years. Because of this, invites into Northwoods are rarely extended to reckless underclassmen. Maybe you will get invited there because you are attractive and female, maybe you will get invited there to pick up weed from that guy who says he sells headies but never picks up his phone, maybe you will get invited there out of pity, or maybe you won’t get invited there at all. The hierarchies of college are best left unchallenged and you are advised to limit your party searches to Scribner.
Runners Up: No Parents, Norton Anthology of Fiction, Not Knowing Anyone At This Party
Skidmore has many student organizations, also known as clubs! There is a politics club where you can talk about politics! Probably! There might be a food club or something for people who like food! There is definitely a Frisbee club for people who like beer and yelling! There is a sailing club for people who like traveling long distances to find a lake! There is a club where people hit trashcans as if they were drums in the campus chapel! There’s a radio station for people whose pants are way too tight! There are all kinds of clubs! Whatever your interest is, you can find a club for that interest! If your interest is making friends, then you can just join some random clubs indiscriminately! Pretty soon there will be a big fair where all the clubs have tables and ask for your email address! They will email you forever!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Runners Up: Off Campus, Open Relationships, Ordering Pizza, Oral, owa.skidmore.edu
People Singing in Groups:
Something that people do in College is form into groups and sing Beach Boys songs. This is called “A Capella.” Sometimes you need to go to an auditorium to hear a capella groups or sometimes they just ambush you in your common room. Word of advice: The fewer friends you have, the fewer a capella concerts you will be guilted into attending. If you’re good at singing maybe you should join one. It’s probably the closest thing to Greek Life you’re going to get around here.
Runners Up: Peer Mentors, Peer Pressure, Pets (Always a Bad Idea), Price Chopper, Pre-Orientation, Pre-Pre-Orientation, Plan B, Passive Aggression, Pusssssaaaayyy
Yes, there is a quad. Yes, people hang out on it and play guitar and smoke marijuana cigarettes and throw frisbees. Put your shirt back on and get over it. It’s only warm enough for one month out of the school year anyway. When it snows make sure to build snowman or whatever you idiots do.
Runners Up: Questions (People Who Ask Too Many in Class)
Coming to college with a relationship is like coming to a buffet with a bagged lunch. Get it? Because your loving high school girlfriend—like a bag lunch—is gross and ugly and nobody wants her, and girls at college—like a buffet—are beautiful and appetizing and will probably give you some kind of disease. On the plus side, if you have a significant other, you can spend all your free time video chatting with him/her, which will definitely not annoy your roommates at all. Also, you’re going to cheat on them. Ladies beware: Skidmore is famous for its three types of men, commonly known as the Three G’s: Gay, Gross, or Girlfriend. Good luck finding a knight in shining armor.
Runners Up: RAs, Red Zone, Reefer Madness
Shotgunning is when one of your friends takes his room key and punches a hole in a can of beer and then everyone yells at you while you pour beer all over your face and shirt. Also, shotgun is something that you say in order to claim the front seat of the car when one of your friends is driving to the mall. Also, a shotgun is a type of firearm that sprays a number of small pellets, known as shot. Make sure you learn the difference between the three types of shotguns. If you don’t, the consequences can be disastrous.
Runners Up: Squirrels, SEC, Stables, Sleeping Until 2PM, Singles (Not Having One), Singles (Being One), Standing Outside a Party Smoking Because You’re Sooooooo Cool
Trying New Things:
College is all about trying new things, like studying philosophy or taking acid. Seize the opportunity. Remember that kid you were in High School? Throw him away! Make up a whole new person! Lie about everything!
One thing that is common for girls to try in college is making out with other girls. Don’t even worry about it. It’s, like, a totally normal part of the college experience. Feel free to do it in front of us if you want. We don’t mind.
Runners Up: Titties, Tang Roof, Taxis, Teacher Evaluations
Uncommon Grounds is the coffee shop in town that everyone goes to because they have the best coffee. JUST KIDDING. They have average coffee. The reason people like “going to Uncommon” is because they have leather couches that you can sit on with your laptop and everyone will see how smart you are. “Look at that guy!” they will say to each other. “He is sitting on a leather couch doing homework and drinking coffee! COFFEE!” Uncommon is also a great place to see people you met once and stress about whether or not you are supposed to say hi to them.
Runners Up: Ugly T-Shirts, Unibrows, Underwear (Not Having Any That Is Clean), Uniqueness
At several points during the semester you will find yourself staring bleary eyed into the soft glow of these machines. They are a fantastic one-stop-shop for mixers, munchies and moments of frustration. They will eat your money, they will run out of Sprite, and they will be repeatedly unplugged by meddling Anti-Coca-Cola groups looking to make a point about the human rights violations your sugar intake is funding. We recommend the well stocked pair in the breezeway of Howe/Rounds. Also, the vending machines may seem like a good place to initiate conversation with the opposite sex but be warned, a relationship built on a mutual appreciation of Purple Gatorade and Snickers only leads to disappointment.
Runners Up: Virginity, Vomiting, Veganism, Voting in School Elections (Not), Vomiting (More)
Deep in the bowels of Northwoods there is a magical white tower covered in graffiti and surrounded by the broken bodies of long-ago sacrificed 40ozs. If you, or someone you know, likes to eat mushrooms and stare at colorful things and talk about how “everything is connected” you should check it out. There is also a ladder that hangs just out of reach. Don’t even bother trying to climb the tower because you will just look foolish and probably scrape your knee or something.
Surprise!!! Winter starts in three weeks. Skidmore totally tricked you guys into thinking the campus is always beautiful by carefully scheduling prospective student weekends in the spring and fall but the truth is campus actually resembles a dirtier version of that ice planet from the second Star Wars for most of the year. Deadly ice patches pop up out of nowhere, cigarette breaks start to require wardrobe changes and everyone wraps themselves in androgenizing gore-tex cocoons. Yay.
Runners Up: Weird Kids, Work, Woodlawn, WSPN, Wishing You Went To Wesleyan, Westchester County, “What’s Your Major?”
X-Men 2 is a movie that you might watch with your roommate while you’re bored one day. You could do worse. It’s a pretty good movie. Good plot, good action. Solid choice. Yeah. There’s not a whole lot that starts with X.
Runners Up: Xanax
Your Living Situation:
Did you know that the Princeton Review said that Skidmore has “Dorms Like Palaces”? This is because the people who work at the Princeton Review think that palaces are office buildings from the ‘70s with bad carpeting. But whatever. The dorms are aight. You probably live in a double. Actually, you probably live in a triple. Them’s the breaks, kid. Living in a triple is like starring in your own version of Survivor but with less prize money and more arguments over who keeps using your shampoo. If you are in a triple and you haven’t already formed an unbreakable alliance with one of your roommates you are probably fucked. Come February when the shit hits the fan your roommates are going to gang up on you and make you feel like a terrible person. Don’t even bother unpacking your things because they will probably pressure you into moving out right in the middle of mid-terms and you’re not going to have much extra time seeing as how you’ll be super busy meeting up with that guy who sells Adderall in the basement of the library.
Runners Up: Yelling at Roommate, Yucky, Yoga
The Zankel Music Building is a big building where people play music. Duh. It is the newest building EVER! It cost like thirty zillion dollars to make, so it probably has really great acoustics or something. I’m not sure how music works. Maybe it has a bunch of grand pianos made of gold. Whatever it has, it must be GREAT. The building was paid for by Arthur Zankel who was a patron of music. Too bad he wasn’t a patron of getting better food at Burgess.
Runners Up: Zero Tolerance
Letter From the Editors:
Dear Business Majors, Art Majors, English Majors, Theatre Majors, People Who Ride Horses, People Who Drink Beer, People Who Are in Annoying Clubs, Glotzbach, and Everybody Else We Made Fun Of,
We’re sorry for making fun of you. Not really. But let’s just say we are. We hope you didn’t take it too seriously.
Freshmen, we also hope you didn’t take this too seriously. We hope you have a great time in College and that you all lose your virginities. To us. But not all of you. Somewhere around sixty percent of you, if you know what I mean. You know what I mean. Oh God, this is going really poorly. Basically, we just wanted to take this page to apologize and also because we messed up the layout and ended up with a blank page and we needed to put something on it.
Have fun in College! Don’t get fat!
The SkidmoreUnofficial.com Editorial Team