Net: Hello, boys and girls. We’re sure you have your Hardy Boys lunch boxes, your new pink lip gloss and color-coded Trapper Keepers for each class, all ready to go. We’re excited. Welcome to our neighborhood. Here’s today’s mail.

From Peewee: On behalf of the entire University of Minnesota community I would like to welcome all new freshmen to this wonderful (if excessively large) campus. I am confident you will find it to be the same bureaucratic nightmare that all who have come before you now know it to be. Currently you are reading the “Network,” which is the only part of the Daily worth more than toilet paper. Net: Say it loud, say it proud. “Network” is where we students can vent our frustrations at the world in an anonymous forum. Net: WITHOUT messing up your bathroom stall!
However, before all you freshmen fire up the modems in the dorm computer labs to submit your own gripes, I would like to tell you about a few topics which you should avoid. Net: WE DID NOT HAVE AN AFFAIR WITH THAT WOMAN!!!!! These subjects have already been beaten to death in previous years and believe me, there is nothing new you could possibly add to them.
1. Which is better — CLA, IT, or GC. Simple fact is we are all gonna be minimum-wage losers after school, regardless of degree. Net: Not true. You have to give IT grads their due. The fact is, none of us are going to get LAID after school, regardless of degree — that’s the hard part to accept. If any of us were any good we’d be in an Ivy League school. Net: Some of us prefer more proletarian settings, Peewee. Throw off your chains.
2. Minnesota vs. Wisconsin. If Wis. is sooooo cool, why are you attending school in Minn.? Net: One word: Reciprocity.
3. Packers vs. Vikings. The Vikes can’t win a Super Bowl, and Reggie White is ugly. ‘Nuff said.
4. How the Greek community is Bad. Randoms hate frat boys and we frat boys hate you randoms. Net: Don’t even ask what a “random” is. So let’s just leave our mutual hatred alone and unspoken. Net: Why not? It’s how families get along …
Of course, there are still many topics upon which you can pontificate — Aramark, the pain-in-the-ass University bureaucracy, how much books cost, Miles Tarver’s mustache, etc. …
Oh — and one more thing: To all the freshmen who are hanging up all their brand-new posters they just bought from Disc-Go-Round — now I know when the weekends roll around and you all have nothing to do, you may decide to get into a big group and go wandering the streets of Dinkytown trying to find one of those wild college parties that you’ve heard about and seen in all those movies. Net: “Sorority Babes at the Slimeball Bowl-a-Rama” springs to mind. Before you sojourn out, however, let me tell you something: Parties on this campus are rare, and when they do spring up they are far too valuable to waste on little kids who cannot hold their liquor. Net: We waste them on upperclasspeople who can’t hold their liquor instead. In vino, veritas.
So instead of roaming the streets, vainly trying to find some beer and tail all the while waking all of us up at 3:00 in the morning, stay in your dorms! Net: Actually, that’s sound advice. Dorm friendships truly are ones that can last, and your change for a safe, meaningful interaction that might actually amount to something is much better if you just hang around with your door open for a while. I cannot emphasize that enough! It may suck, but hey — you are a freshman and that’s the way life is. Only we upperclassmen, and those who have fake ID’s, are going to find something wild and alcohol-related to do on the weekends. It is the natural order of things. Net: Call it “reverse evolution.”
Furthermore, when an upperclassmen tells you are acting like a dork, it’s not because they are nerds or don’t know how to party, it is because you ARE a dork. No offense, but all freshmen are stupid. Net: And we hate everyone who makes generalizations. It is an age-old rule. Myself and everyone who came before me was an idiot when they were a freshman, and now you are one too.
Don’t worry — it will pass, but until it does listen to the older students — they’ve already been there and done more things than your juvenile minds can comprehend.
Later kiddies, and remember — if you see an upperclassmen coming toward you, get outta the way!

From Crestfallen: On behalf of the smirking circulation staff at Walter Library, let me issue a hearty welcome to all new students! If you find excessive heat, humidity and dust as being conducive to your studying, Walter Library is the place for you. Net: We know that many of you new students are part of our cockroach recruiting program, so please — make yourselves at home. Please be aware, however, that if you frequent the library regularly and continuously bombard us with dim-witted questions, you will be placed on the Walter Library Enemies List. Net: Whatever. Only Kenneth Starr frightens us now.
One must also beware of the second-floor wasps that the circulation staff have been unable to subdue despite numerous exterminations Net: Yes, it’s true. White Anglo-Saxon Protestants are more under fire in academe than ever before using our baseball bat and/or rolled-up copies of the Journal of the American Chemical Society. But as for me, I no longer have to fear the annoying regulars, nor the stinging wasps, because I’m off to Europe for the year. Net: Actually, Europe is crawling with stinging wasps. The whole damn nation of Australia travels there half the year. Farewell Tristessa, and so long Stinktown!