Dearest CollegeMags,

You’ll soon be discovering that most students fall into one of two categories when it comes to their courses.

First, there are those who are so secure in what they want to be when they grow up and have their blinders on so tight when it comes to choosing courses that will ensure they will one day achieve their “dream”, that they are essentially scurrying around campus all day in their doctor/nurse/accountant scrubs. We get it! You have self-awareness and a plan and you’re better than everyone else!

We do not fall into this category.

No, dear college self, we are in the second group, those students who at some point around second semester sophomore year get it in their head that it’s time to explore.

You’re thinking, “I’m in college! Why must I be bogged down with requirements and plans and having any hope for a job! Let me take strange classes that have nothing to do with anything, let me LIVE, damn it!”

OK, slow your roll there. I’m not saying exploring is bad. There is just a smart way to go about it and a stupid way. First time around, we chose the stupid way. I’m here to correct that.

Here’s the thing: you CANNOT take Physics 255. I know, it has some awesome title like “Astronomy and Our World” and you love stars and shit. But to put it simply: Physics 255 is the devil’s course.

First of all, a word to the wise about course titles: they all have bullshit names that are specific enough to entice you but general enough to not really give away how terrible the class is. It’s the only way for professors to survive, really, because newsflash: college kids hate taking classes.

Secondly, astronomy and astrology are not the same thing. Spare yourself learning this the hard way. If you can believe it, this course has actual PHYSICS work in it. Like, you need to buy one of those plastic compass things and do mathy type stuff. I KNOW. And you don’t ONCE have to go outside and look at the stars as a homework assignment. It’s pretty soul-crushing.

If you really want to explore the stars, take a couple of shots of vodka out of a plastic handle and go lay down on the quad. And get your horoscope out of the newspaper every morning. That’s all we really wanted from that course anyway, right? Problem solved.

So, please, explore all you want. Just don’t take Physics 255. Also, taking Geology 105 was a pretty big mistake. You’ll quickly realize that the real reason people call it “rocks for jocks” is because it rhymes and people love rhyming. Any course that has a final exam in which you have to walk up to a box of rocks and identify what each one is, is not a class for us. Skip that one too, OK?

We actually do discover how to “explore with caution” in our junior year. It is called “Walk for Fitness” and it is a glorious 1 credit class where you literally walk around campus for 90 minutes.

And that is exploring both existentially and physically, so everybody wins.