A couple of weeks ago I wrote an open letter to Chad "OchoCinco" Johnson, welcoming him back to Miami and updating him on some things that have changed in the 305 since his departure to Langston, Oklahoma in 1997. I was excited to write the piece because Chad is one of my favorite sports figures in recent history. I mean it -- he's a Miami native that was a beast at the height of his career and has tremenda personalidad. The fact that the Dolphins had added him to the roster revitalized in me an interest in the team that had been dwindling into oblivion. Then el muy singao le metio un cabezaso a la jeva, y me cago el articulo pa la pinga.
In lieu of this debacle, I decided to leave Chad alone. He has enough people telling him what to do. Instead, because FIU and UM officially begin classes next week, I'm offering my advice to the myriad of freshman who will be starting college for the first time this semester.
Congratulations! If you've just graduated high school, you are about to begin the first phase of your adult life. The next four years will be full of self discovery and social maturing. If you're un viejo that just got his shit together and decided that he's too old to be living in an efficiency behind his abuela's house in Hialeah, felicidades, but you're probably going to Miami Dade College and school doesn't start for you until the 27th, so feel free to keep putiando y comiendo mierda until then and read this next Friday.
If you're an out of state student, and this is your first experience away from the nest, you picked the best city in the United States to test your academic dedication and discipline. This is a city where excess and debauchery are not only celebrated, but encouraged. This is not a traditional "college town" by any stretch of the imagination, but while no South Florida school made the Princeton Review's list of "Top Party Schools" in America, you are now a resident of the number one party city in the nation. We're also number one in medicare fraud and ass implants, but I digress.
Your Tio Pepe wants you to succeed in your academic endeavors, so I've put together a little list of crucial things to keep in mind to help acclimate you into this new phase of your life as a college student in the magic city.
El Che Es Un Comepinga
If you're from Miami, this is no secret to you. But to many new or misinformed college students, the urge to express their sudden admiration for a romanticized view of this mass murderer is almost a cliche. A mi la pinga if you finish your four years of college and conclusively decide you're a communist mamao who wants to dread your hair, smell like a bag of mojones, and live in the woods for the rest of your life. For the time being, you're living in Miami, and wearing a shirt with that piece of shit's face is offensive to the majority of people in this city. Respect that shit.
Student Loans Are Not Free Money
Just recently, student loans surpassed credit cards as the number one debt held by Americans. It's very tempting to take that little surplus check you get after you pay for your classes and spend it on a few bottles at Club Space. But while the rewards of doing so may include feeling like a bootleg Lil Wayne for a night (and, if you don't look like a troll, perhaps a threesome with some mid-level culonas), the financial burden you'll feel later will have you comiendote un cable for quite some time. Be financially responsible. Accept the aid you need, and return the rest. You know what whores love more than bottles and pills? Good credit!
Para De Comer Mierda and Figure Out What You Want To Do -- Fast
To piggyback on the last point, it's important for you to realize that college is not cheap, pipo. It's normal to change your mind and switch majors a couple of times early in your college experience, pero don't make that shit a habit. With that said, know what you're getting into. You don't want to be the sapingo that spends $60k on a liberal arts degree. Don't overeducate yourself por gusto and think about the earning potential of the degree you're seeking. Don't be afraid or ashamed to switch schools if the job you want doesn't rely on the prestige of the school you're attending. For example: If you aspire to be a registered nurse, a BSN at UM will cost you a whole lot more (roughly $36k) than getting an ASN at Miami Dade College (about $8k), yet you'll earn the same amount of money when you enter the workplace. Research the field you want to enter and figure out if all the money you're spending at a private university is really worth it. Oh, and make sure the school you're attending is accredited!
Resist the Urge to Marry Someone for Papers
Miami is full of opportunity and delicious ass, and sometimes, those two things intersect. If you're an American citizen, don't be surprised if some outrageously hot foreign student offers you a few thousand dollars to marry them to stay in the country (especially if you go to FIU). It's a three-year commitment, and trust me, it's never worth it.
Stock up on Condoms
Guys, yo se lo rico que es singar sin condom, but in Miami, going "raw" on someone is like taking a bite out of a forbidden fruit. The US Census found that Miami is number one in HIV cases in the nation. Scary, right? Good! No seas comemierda y tapate la morronga when you take that sucia with no shoes on at the club back to your dorm. And ladies, cudiate el bollo! Never trust another person to have your best interests in mind. Si te gusta dar la papaya, carry your own stash of condoms with you wherever you go. Clinics in most universities have free condoms available for students. If not, Out of the Closet, a socially conscious thrift store with several locations around the city, does.
Bueno, ahi lo tienen. I was fortunate enough to grow up in Miami at a time when you could become a millionaire with a little street smarts and the right connections, pero times have changed. You're in college now, jode, y disfruta pero deja la puteria un poco y ponte a estudiar que la cosa esta de pinga.
Follow Pepe on Twitter @PepeBillete.
Keep Miami New Times Free... Since we started Miami New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Miami, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Miami with no paywalls.