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The Daily Cardinal Est. 1892
Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Choose your own adventure: College edition

Someone once said that college is an adventure and only you hold the map that shows the path to success. That ""someone"" was an ex-con turned motivational speaker who completed two hours of his court-ordered community service by speaking at my eighth grade graduation. Despite his teardrop tattoo and missing fingers, I took the advice of Henry ""T-Bone"" Watkins to heart; he was genuine and emphatic and said anyone who didn't listen to his advice ""IS GONNA GET STABBED.""

Now that I've nearly completed my four years of college, I can say unequivocally that T-Bone was right. College is an adventure, and sometimes, despite your best intentions, you end up choosing the wrong path. In all honesty, I wish college had been like one of those ""Choose Your Own Adventure"" books I used to read as a kid. I can't begin to count how many times the main character fell down a bottomless pit, got eaten by a pack of lions or was haunted by a ghost for all eternity, all concluding with those two dreaded words: ""THE END.""

But instead of accepting my fate, I would always use my thumb to keep the previous page bookmarked and resurrect my intrepid protagonist an infinite number of times before he finally escaped the unescapable maze, became the king of the Serengeti or solved the mystery of the haunted amusement park.

In hopes of leading you all down the right path (and giving you a few chances to escape an unfortunate fate), I've created a ""Choose Your Own Adventure"" tale for an average weekend at UW-Madison.

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(Note: From personal experience, the ""thumb technique"" does not work on university police. Please refrain from trying any and all fate-defying techniques when dealing with them.)



You wake up with a start, the memories from last night as hazy as your vision. The sun's rays glinting through your blinds are like swords poking your tired retinas. A knock at the door shakes you from your stupor. Quickly throwing on your sweats, you open the door to find Jackie, the girl upstairs from your stats class, and Adam, your buddy from down the hall in Witte 8B.

""Hey, you ready to head to class?"" Jackie says, brushing the hair from her face. ""I think they're going to review for our exam on Monday.""

""Hell no, dude! ‘The Price is Right' is on!"" Adam says, scraping at a stain of unknown origin on his shirt. ""I picked up a 30 of Keystone for the ShowCASE Showdown!""

Looking from the rather delicious-looking cleavage Jackie's rocking on the left to the rather refreshing-looking Bloody Mary Adam is blatantly rocking in the dorm hallway on the right, you have a decision to make.

If you drink, skip to ""Day Drinking""

If you go with Jackie, skip to ""Class""



""Sorry, I think I'm coming down with the flu,"" you say to Jackie. ""I'll probably just hit up the library tomorrow instead, since there's no football game.""

Looking slightly disappointed, Jackie leaves. You grab Adam's Bloody Mary and down it.

""The price is wrong, bitch!"" Adam yells, cracking another beer. ""Loaf is lining up some Cuervo shots.""

After attempting to take a shot every time someone bids $1 or wins a car and shotgunning a beer every time a contestant tries to listen to the entire studio audience to guess the correct price, you, Adam and Loaf are hammered at 11 a.m. Suddenly, there's a knock at the door. ""House fellows, open up.""

If you open the door, skip to ""Open Sesame!""

If you keep the door closed, skip to ""Fuck off!""



""Hold on, let me grab my notebook,"" you say to Jackie.

""Whatever, nerd,"" Adam says. ""More brewskis for me and Loaf!""

In class, your headache intensifies. The professor is saying something about demand curves, but your wandering eyes are demanding some different curves. Jackie seems to notice your not-so-subtle glances but appears not to mind. Nice! After class, you head back for some beer and ""Mario Kart"" with Adam. After a few hours of this, combined with the shots you took for finishing last on Rainbow Road, you're pretty drunk. Suddenly your phone rings. It's a text from Jackie. ""Studying at Helen C. for a few hours, you up for a study date?""

If you tell her yes, skip to ""Library""

If you tell her no, skip to ""Party""



You open the door to find your roommate Nick barely hiding his vaporizer.

""Just kidding, losers!"" Nick says. ""Time for some vape hits!""

After an afternoon of this, you're completely messed up and decide to head to your room. You order some Pokey stix from Ed's, throw on ""The Hangover"" and call it a night at 6:35 p.m. Maybe you'll make it to the library tomorrow after all. THE END



There's no way you're answering the door with all this contraband sitting out. You've already got a couple write-ups, and you don't need any more.

""Don't worry, dude, they can't come in if the door is locked,"" Adam says as Loaf attempts to hide under his bed.

Then comes the second round of knocking. This time it's the police. Turns out taking Poli Sci 104 does not make you an expert in constitutional law, and the police enter your dorm room, writing you all tickets and taking you and Adam to detox. THE END



""Hell yeah library date!!"" you text back. All you need to do is finish this last game of ""Mario Kart."" And maybe take one more shot. And maybe a quick toke of Loaf's bong to cut the buzz and mellow out. Finally, you head out the door, forgetting your notebook and sweatshirt. You make a quick detour to Taco Bell for three volcano tacos before getting kicked out by the rent-a-cop for standing on a table and screaming ""I'm full!""

Somehow you make it to Helen C. and, finding your legs have ceased to function, begin the torturous crawl up the stairs to the third floor. You spot Jackie at a table and shuffle over.

""Let's put the ‘mate' in ‘study date!'"" you say in your sexiest voice possible.

""Why do you smell like a Mexican whorehouse?"" Jackie says, wrinkling her nose.

With one sniff of your shirt, everything hits you like a ton of bricks. The booze, the weed, the tacos... and just like that, you puke everywhere. As Jackie runs out of the library screaming, you think about how awkward class is going to be on Monday. THE END



""I already studied this afternoon, I'm headed to a party though at 420 Gorham, you should come by if you get tired of studying,"" you text back. Soon, your crew heads out to the party, and you're feeling pretty good. They've got a bunch of wop, and everyone is getting pretty wild. Suddenly, someone jumps you from behind. It's Jackie, and she's a little tipsy.

""I only suggested we go to the library because I think you put the ‘stud' in ‘study,'"" Jackie says, running her hand along your chest. ""Want to play some beer pong?""

After winning a few games of beer pong, you decide to head back to her apartment to ""watch"" ""A Walk to Remember."" For once, it appears that you'll be happy that your night has reached THE END.

Do you wish the ""Choose Your Adventure"" stories you read as a kid had fewer dragons and more Cuervo? Tell Kevin your story ideas at

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