College life tips for surly shut-ins

While the campus survival guide may have prepared you for life on campus, it was written for a general audience. I know there’s a subsection of Oakland University’s populace that prefers the quiet, stoic solitude of being left the hell alone

I know. I’m one of those. And we’re not what you call “joiners.”

“But Brian,” I can hear you murmuring as you roll your eyes, “aren’t you the managing editor of the newspaper, a radio DJ, and on that show where people gripe about stuff?”

And I’ll reply, “Shut up. Do you want to know how to get around campus or not?”


Lesson One: People will try to sell you things

Personally I don’t mind when people try to sell me physical objects. Have a look at the picture accompanying this article, and you’ll know I’m no stranger to baked goods.

But sometimes people try to sell you ideologies. This can be bad.

When I first came to OU, I was an amateur in the ways of avoidance. I’d go the long way around a building to avoid the heavily trod areas, to avoid being accosted by overzealous pitchpersons.

I became wiser with time. Sometimes I’d pretend to be on the phone. The phone conversation would have to be dire, and uninterruptable. “What? You can’t find either of her feet? Did you check under the couch? Dogs like to put things there sometimes.”

Soon after, the phone dodge became old. So I would stake out the barkers from afar, waiting until they were busy with other students. Then I would slip behind them, unnoticed.

Lately I have embraced my inner ninja. By adopting a rigid posture and a steely expression, I am able to glide in front of them without being bothered. Practice this, my friends, and you too may walk between the raindrops.


Lesson Two: Charging your things

Like most colleges built before 2005 (so pretty much all of them), Oakland University is not built to handle a large amount of power-sucking devices like laptops, mobile phones and tablets.

Long story short: You’re going to run out of battery life, and sometimes outlets will be at a premium. You’ll notice when you eat at Chartwells, for example, the seats next to the power outlets are the first to fill up.

While the temptation to unplug that Pepsi machine might be great, I think quite a few people – including Pepsi and OUPD – might have something to say about it.

If you look hard enough and don’t mind sitting on a floor, you can find out-of-the-way outlets all over campus. But I came up with a better trick. I tricked this group of people into thinking I was a decent journalist, and they gave me an office where I can charge anything I want. Try that if you can.


Lesson Three: Parking is terrible. Get over it.

You know why parking stinks at OU? It’s because you’re at a college. That’s why.

Go ahead. Find me a student at any college in the country that just loves the parking situation there. If you find one, have ‘em shoot me an email.

Also, if you’re one of those people who follow me around campus so you can have my parking space, be prepared for a long trek full of random zigzags and frustration. But I already wrote about that last year.


Contact Managing Editor Brian Johnston at managing@