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Thursday, December 21, 2006
Have the time of your life!

By Jemele Hill
Page 2

OK, Michelle, the hard part is over. You got into college. Now loosen that grip on the acceptance letter you got from Stanford for a minute, and pay close attention.

You are about to embark on your finest, most rewarding journey -- the college years. If done appropriately, college can be just as gratifying as winning your first LPGA event and making your first cut on the PGA Tour.

Michelle Wie
It's time to have some fun off the golf course Michelle!
Well, almost.

College will be your chance to find out who you really are. College is a different world, but a good world. It's a place where Captain Crunch is considered a food group, and it's where you learn to separate your clothes into two categories -- dirty and pass-out funky.

Now, obviously you won't be the typical freshman because you're already a millionaire, you've got an entourage that's as big as most of your lab classes, and you'll be one of the few girls on campus who haven't shown off some silicone in the latest installment of "Girls Gone Wild."

But you'll need some help in navigating college life, because as an international celebrity you're not used to figuring out much on your own. Your parents and your money have sheltered you from normal experiences. College will give you the opportunity to escape the pressure you've dealt with since you were 13.

Now I could bore you with useless information about how to best organize your notes, how to pick the really good highlighters, and the pros and cons of several different majors. But I'd rather give you the vital information -- the top 10 Ramen Noodle recipes, and how being held at a 45-degree angle while hitting a beer bong not only makes for a good buzz but gives you a most impressive nosebleed, too. So in the spirit of Christmas, Michelle, I'm giving you a guide to college that will not fail you.

• First things first: Ditch the handlers. Mom and Dad won't like it, but the whole point of going to college is figuring out how to live on your own. And you'll never figure that out as long as someone is always around ready to wipe your … nose.

• Don't be the stereotypical rich kid at college. Don't buy pizza for the whole dorm. Don't buy out the bar. Don't buy everyone's textbooks. Trust me, you'll be much more entertained by seeing how creative college students can be when they have 75 cents to last them the entire month of October.

Do become a stereotypical college student. Live in a dorm. See how many consecutive days you can eat Wisconsin cheesy chicken. Learn how to avoid meningitis. Plot a fake suicide with your roommate so you can see if it's really true you get an automatic 4.0 if your roommate kills herself. Make aardvark noises if your suite mate is keeping you awake with really loud sex. Take a philosophy class and ponder the being of being. Use a dryer sheet as deodorant. Stay up for 36 straight hours and then try to take a final. Fail a class. Learn a foreign language -- but not a useful one like Spanish or French. Learn Finnish.

Michelle Wie
Michelle's sure to have plenty of suitors at Stanford.
• If you're going to use your celebrity status, use it for cool stuff. Use it to jump the line at clubs. Use it to punk your professors into giving you a 4.0, even though you never showed up for the midterm or final and missed their class 22 straight times. Use it to steal the boyfriend of the sorority chick that's been hating on you. You know, the important things.

• Join a student organization that matches none of your interests whatsoever. In college, you're supposed to get to know different kinds of people and learn useless skills. Student organizations help you with both. I did some preliminary checking on Stanford's Web site and I found an organization that would be perfect for you -- the Mariachi Cardenal de Stanford. It's an organization for student mariachis, and the best part is you have to take Music 157: Introduction to Mariachi Ensemble. That's the kind of class that, when your parents see it on your transcript, they will bludgeon you with a heavy object.

• Sell your plasma. I know you've got a ton of money, but no college experience is complete unless you sell some element of your body for a completely frivolous pursuit. The going rate for plasma on most college campuses is $20 to $30 per session. I once funded a spring break trip to Florida and sponsored a child in Uruguay with plasma money, but that's a story for another day. But can you imagine how much someone would pay for Michelle Wie's plasma? You could charge 60 or 70 bucks, easy. This could be a gold mine if that golf thing doesn't work out. Besides, the one thing they always teach you in college is to always have a backup plan.

One request before you head to Stanford, Michelle: I get the feeling you haven't been exposed to much outside of a golf course, so memorize these movies before you go: The "Friday" trilogy, "The Big Lebowski," "Office Space," "How High," "Harold & Kumar Go To White Castle," "40-Year-Old Virgin," "Old School," "Anchorman" and "Wedding Crashers." One can never be too prepared when it comes to college.

Trust me, Michelle, this will be the time of your life. You've got more than enough time to be serious. You need time to be goofy and carefree. Because as you have already seen, growing up isn't what it's cracked up to be.

Jemele Hill, a Page 2 columnist and writer for ESPN the Magazine, can be reached at jemeleespn@gmail.com.