A back to school Not-To-Do list by red-faced Prairie Dog and Planet S writers


For the last month we’ve all been bombarded by back-to-school guides: articles, advertisements and more offering “helpful tips!” on how to navigate the minefield that is post-secondary edumacation. That’s all fine and good but while students — especially noob students — are having their heads filled with what they should do, they should also definitely be thinking about what they should NOT do.

But what things those are? WHAT THINGS?

Since by now you’ve settled in and “Back To School” season has morphed into “Midterm Terror” month, let’s go over this stuff before it’s too late. Our grown-up (hah!) writers all pulled some dumbass boners in their student days. Here’s a few stories about ’em. Don’t do these things! /Chris Kirkland

Don’t Be Dumb In The Direction Of Your Alarm Clock

I had many a foible in my university days — like making the fatal mistake of trusting those unbelievably shifty, chronically faulty floppy disks (Does anyone else remember those things? Gawd they were designed by an evil person). I’m so glad they’re obsolete.

One of my biggest snafus was in preparation for my last exam in my second year. The night before the exam, while I was reviewing my notes and textbooks one last time, (see how responsible I was?), I started to nod off, and in my sleepy stupor I set my alarm clock.

The exam was at 9 a.m. and I set my alarm for 8:15 (since I lived on campus t that was plenty of time). I woke up feeling refreshed, thinking, “Wow, I woke up before my alarm!”

I rolled over and the clock said 11:28 am.

!!!!!!!!!!!!!????????????? :O :O :O

Disheveled and embarrassed, I ran to my classroom. Thankfully my prof saw the sleep, terror and desperation in my eyes and let me do a make-up a few days later, after docking a few grade points of course.

The lesson: have more than one alarm, and/or get a friend or family member to give a wake-up call. Oh, and don’t set your morning alarm for 8:15 p.m. Sigh. /Kathy Gallant

Don’t Poo In Gross Bathrooms

This isn’t so much a single embarrassing incident as it is a legacy of personal neglect of bathroom standards for many years. The University of Saskatchewan campus is a sprawling place, full of new complexes, historic buildings and underground hallways — and scattered everywhere among this labyrinth are lovely, majestic little facilities, lonely and just waiting to serve you for your evacuations.

I’m sure the University of Regina is similar though obviously not as good (LOL, rivalry).

Sadly I ignored these treasures, instead heading directly to the disgusting, overcrowded bathrooms found in the campus’ most bustling areas. You know them: sopping bathrooms with toilet paper flung everywhere, unflushed toilets, overflowing garbage cans and someone blaring an iPod while masturbating in a stall.

For far too long I dragged myself into these bathrooms not knowing what horrors awaited me. The results were predictably dismal: I once slipped in a bathroom puddle and then spent the rest of my day hoping no one would notice my urine-soaked pant-leg.

That was it.

University is hectic, and one needs a proper rest stop. Thus, I found a special bathroom, far away from the uncouth, floor-pissing masses. It became more than just a bathroom — it was like a second home, a place to relax and recharge.

I shan’t give away my secret poop stop, but I will say this: find your own, and exult in it. /Nathan Raine

Don’t Iron Clothes

Coming from a small town to attend university in the big city at 17 can be a traumatic experience, as so many people in the big-land-based, far-flung-population province of Saskatchewan know only too well. My strategy to minimize the stress was keep doing the same things I was used to at my paternal home — and one of those things was to make sure that my clothes were ironed.

I can’t fully understand my obsession with ironed clothes, but there you have it. As a result, my parents paid a relative to iron my clothes every weekend. Consequently, for a full year, once a week I took a load of wrinkly clothes across town (a 45-minute commute) to my relative’s place, so I could wait for about three hours and then come back with my perfectly folded wardrobe.

It took me forever to realize that this was insane. But I did eventually and from that moment on, my other small-town habits also fell by the wayside: making my bed, attending church, going out only on weekends and eating veggies with every meal (okay, maybe I should’ve kept the last two habits).

Heck, I don’t even own an iron now. /Jorge Ignacio Castillo

Don’t Put Yourself Under Juress

Everyone stays up all night to write term papers (some us like that lifestyle so much we pursued newspaper careers). Of course the problem with staying up all night is that it makes you stupid.

How stupid? SO stupid.

I once stayed up all night typing an essay on an electric typewriter (I’m old, so old, not quite John Gormley old but still pretty old). Because I was exhausted, I didn’t notice my brain had changed the correct spelling of the word “during” to the more creative “juring”. A friend named Travis (who names their kid Travis?) caught the error and mocked me. I fixed the screw-up with white-out, but the shame still burns.

But sometimes I still stay up all night making tpyos. /Stephen Whitworth