It’s late… oh, too late for class. Oops. Again. God damn, this place is a mess. The floor is littered with torn posters for nights out that you snatched from the club walls, convinced they were priceless works of art, and intoning your best high society…

How many of us have not woken to such a scene of utterly bizarre depravity ‘the morning after the night before’? (Not me, thank God, never). So what is one to do… Give in to the so-called forces of goodness and virtue and Never Drink Again? Commit yourself to your course, attend classes, do the required reading, etc? Simply drop out, and get A Real Job?

People, please, try to restrain yourself from being physically sick. I am here to help, and have thus set out a simple guide that even the most hung-over of you should be able to follow: Nine (that’s right, nine) Easy Steps to Maintaining your Sedentary Student Lifestyle without Managing to Fail, and/or Go Completely Insane. (Or simply, NESMSSLMFGCI).


1. The Golden Rule of Alcohol Consumption: Beer before wine, you’ll be fine. Or should that be beer after wine? Or wine before (or after?) beer, have fear? Or could it be no more tears? Beer before/after wine, bad for the spine? Wine before beer, men will chase you with spears? 

Anyway, whatever the rule is, follow it and you’ll be fine. Or, er, not…


2. A great tip for getting extra marks is to insert Bob Dylan quotes into essays. Lecturers love this; as intellectuals, they are very conscious of being with it. Of course the It they are With is from the period when Dylan was at the height of his influence. Many a senior tutor kicks back with a fine glass of merlot to Subterranean Homesick Blues, reminiscing for the sixties, when they spent all their time protesting against the Vietnam war, smoking marijuana and practicing free love. Of course, the lecturer never really did any of this, as s/he was actually in a library for most of the decade. Indeed, almost all lecturers (especially Professors) think they were at Woodstock, and those who really did attend are convinced that they were onstage setting their guitar on fire.

An example of the Dylan method in action: “Yeats complained that Romantic Ireland was ‘dead and gone’; this is comparable to Dylan’s assertion that ‘She was working in a topless place and I stopped in for a beer’ (Obviously Bob is talking about Maud Gonne here).”

If you are a science student, please restrain the urge to quote Metallica.


3. If you must have academic conversations with your classmates, refute every claim they make with: ‘Yes, but Milipedous said…’ Despite the fact that this name is clearly made up, people will not dare to contradict you for fear of appearing ignorant. Warning: try to use a name ending in –ous or similar, not just some words that happen to be in your line of sight at the time; many a pretender has been found out by trying to back up his argument with quotes from the Ancient Greek philosopher Fire Door Keep Closed.


4. Wherever there is a space in an essay or exam you are submitting, insert a semi-colon.


5. Daytime television may seem like a worthy and slightly entertaining way to pass time during most of the college year. However, if in the exam period you find that you can't concentrate because you’re worried about the fate of Shaun the Sheep, or find yourself curious as to what Ellen is wearing: You will fail, my friend! If you associate Deal or No Deal with any feelings except extreme hatred and an overwhelming desire to shave Noel Edmonds’ entire body: I’m sorry, you will never amount to anything.


6. (DISCLAIMER – the author does not in any way countenance the use of any drug, even when medically recommended). Don't do drugs, especially anything that looks like it, or any of its ingredients, could have been scraped from somebody’s scalp. Because it probably was.


7. Similar to the Dylan idea, it is always useful to insert quotes from Albert Einstein into an essay. Einstein is a darling of the intellectual community simply by virtue of sticking his tongue out really well. The beauty of quoting Einstein is that most quotes attributed to him are false, and, as such, you can make him say whatever you want. For example:

Einstein said ‘This refuted the Durkheimian hypothesis, and also, I’m sorry, but Ronaldo is the best footballer in the world.

Warning: Einstein was Jewish – try to make the quote witty and pork-free. For example - Einstein said that ‘Some theorise that the works of Shakespeare were actually composed by Sir Francis B… So what’s the deal with TV dinners anyway?’


8. While it is true that drink and drugs don’t mix well, it’s not their fault, they were home-schooled.


9. Handy thing to have when you know nobody at the party:

-An inordinate amount of alcohol (either to be consumed by self or shared).

-An interesting birthmark (those in the shape of celebrities are especially popular; I myself have a mole on my back which greatly resembles Mozart, in his early years, and it is a fantastic conversation starter).

-Low self-esteem (only applies to girls, alas).

-An encyclopaedic knowledge of the creative output of either Quentin Tarantino or Sylvia Plath. There will be at least one person at the party who is a committed devotee of one of the above. They can generally be found in the kitchen, beside the cutlery drawer, staring at the knives; one with maniacal glee, the other with forlorn despair.

Follow these nine simple steps and your college social life will thrive... Or, you'll make some sort of impression at the very least.