Translated by George Hyde
Here I am, sitting on George’s head as he types my thoughts. It’s 1:42 in the morning, and neither he nor I can sleep. I’m feeling this odd sense of deja vu. This was how my last beginning-of-the-semester article started, wasn’t it?
Oh, I’m sorry. Most of you have probably never read The Northern Light before. Perhaps I should introduce myself.
My name is Klax Zlubzecon, and I am an alien brain parasite slug. No really, I am. I was sent by the great Slug Empire to scout for life-inhabiting planets, and I crash-landed here. I managed to hop onto the head of a reporter of this newspaper, and after a while, I wanted to vent my opinions of planet Earth. The editors at the paper were surprisingly okay with this — considering that, you know, I’m a mind-sucking alien and all — and that’s how an alien brain slug landed a job at a collegiate student newspaper.
Bet you’re never going to read that sentence anywhere else.
So now that I have introduced myself, let me give some advice so you can have a great time at this wonderful and very strange campus.
First piece of advice: Do not mention the words “sports center” to anyone unless you want to start an argument.
Second piece of advice: DO NOT MENTION THE WORDS “SPORTS CENTER” TO ANYONE UNLESS YOU WANT TO START AN ARGUMENT.
Third piece of advice: Get involved on campus. My pet translator wrote an article about joining clubs that I’d highly recommend checking out. You’re doing no good to yourself by sitting in your residence hall and watching Netflix all day, which is something that my translator admittedly does. Get up, find a group that you’re interested in joining and join it. If you’re lucky, said group might even pay you for some work — groups like, say, oh, I don’t know, The Northern Light (nudge nudge, wink wink).
Fourth piece of advice: Do not be fooled by how easy classes are at first. This is something you should already know if you were in high school, but it applies doubly here. Classes here are going to whip you around unless you know what you are doing. You are going to need to study and study a lot, and with very few exceptions, there are no such things as “easy credits.” We at UAA expect you to take your education seriously, and if we as an alien empire have any hope of enslaving you humans at any point, we expect you to be serious as well.
Fifth piece of advice: Have fun. I know that sounds like it flies in the face of everything my servant just typed in the above paragraph, but you’re here to find something that you love doing and learn about it. That’s the entire point. Learn how to do something that you want to do for the rest of your life. Yeah, some classes are going to be a drag, but take them with a song in your heart and a skip in your step, knowing that they’re important to what you dream of doing. Just about everything my translator does at UAA is in service to what he loves doing, and the same should be true for you.
Sixth piece of advice: Plan well. Have your adviser on speed-dial. Ask about what classes to take in what order and sign up for next semester’s classes as early as possible. You’ll be able to tell from the rampant advertising campaigns that UAA wants you out in four years, and while my translator recently wrote an opinion piece questioning the realism of those campaigns, you should still be planning your collegiate course in a way that gets you out as expediently as possible. Getting out more quickly means getting a job more quickly — at least, as quick as it gets in today’s economy — and getting a job more quickly means you’re doing what you love more quickly, as well as earning some fat cheddar more quickly to pay your bills more quickly. I don’t know if you can tell from that last sentence, but getting out more quickly is a good idea.
Seventh piece of advice: Quality over expedience. On second thought, if said quickness comes at the cost of grades or quality work, take the time and make it count.
In fact, I’ll just make that my eighth piece of advice. Make your time at UAA count. Your memories are going to last as long as you do, or at least until more slugs arrive on earth and suck on more brains. College is important no matter which way you look at it, so make your time here count. You’ll be a better person in the long run.
And finally, my ninth and last piece of advice, and the way I end every one of my articles:
RESISTANCE IS FUTILE. EMBRACE THE SEAWOLF SLUG.