Crib Sheets: 9 Crazy Helpful Tips for CofC Freshmen

Guest Contributor

Welcome to "Crib Sheets!" It’s Grit’s week-long Back-to-School series with blogs covering everything from how NOT to look like an idiot as a CofC newbie to a note from a grade-school teacher—this one is to parents, on how to avoid being annoying and terrible. We'll hear from Look Linger Love’s Chassity Evans who has a round-up of her smartest classrom looks, plus a bunch more! Stay tuned all week. Even Grit editors aren't sure what our bloggers have in store (sidenote: can you imagine if we were teachers? "Um, class, just uh... do what you want and turn it in by Monday. Whatever it is... math, P.E. What's the diff?")


Here's our first CS post, by guest blogger and CofC senior Diana Biffl (her full bio is at the bottom):



College of Charleston Basics: Freshmen, If You Can Grasp These 9 Simple Things, You're Ahead of the Game...  




{ Don’t cross the Cistern } Well, unless you’re trying to stay here awhile. This is an age-old legend, but I can’t leave it out. There’s a brick pathway across the Cistern. Walking across this path before you graduate will add a year to your time as a student at the College. Some people want to walk across five or six times, but if you’re like me and don’t want any more debt—avoid it.


Daily Kos


{ Don’t laugh if someone trips. } Tripping on the old bricks at CofC is just a part of everyday life. We even have a name for it: The Charleston Shuffle. Everyone has at least one nasty wipe out (just think of it as a rite of passage), so don’t laugh at others when you see them trip, because you’ll be next. I promise. These bricks aren’t strangers to karma.


SEC Sports Fan


{ Don’t complain that we don’t have a football team. } It’s just a sign of respect here. Obviously, we all have noticed that the pigskin is lacking at the College—but we love this school, football or not. Don’t bring it up. Go to a basketball game, hold up a giant Styrofoam brick, and shut up. If you’re still mad? Be a Cock at USC.


Post & Courier


{ Don't underestimate Lowcountry rain. } Seriously, watch out. It rains here, and when it does, the streets don’t handle it well. While it can be fun to kayak up and down your street, you need watch where your car is parked and where you’re walking. Flood zones are everywhere and can total your car. Avoid the Market at all costs, unless you’re looking to go for a swim. Also, on Calhoun, Coming, and other high-traffic streets, walk as far away from the street as possible—I’m talking walk on top of bushes if you have to. Otherwise, you will get drenched when cars drive by. I’ve spent my share of unhappy study hours soaked from head to toe. Wet jeans suck, so stay clear.


ABC News 4


{ Don’t drive. Walk. } Parking here is impossible, incredibly frustrating, and chances are no matter where you park, you’ll probably get a ticket, a boot, or worse yet, towed. Not only would I rather pluck every single one of my arm hairs out than park here on most days, but I wouldn’t want to miss out on the incredible details of this city. You’re doing yourself a disservice if you’re driving everywhere. Walk around Charleston. Discover it. Get lost; for the first time, getting lost will be enjoyable. I have lived here three years, and every time I take a walk I find something new. Isn't that why you're here?


ABC News 4


{ Crosswalks are for newbs. } I’m not trying to applaud law-breakers here, but this is just a fact. The quickest way to know if someone isn’t from Charleston? See if they actually wait till the crosswalk shows the little white man before they walk. Charleston locals jaywalk like it’s their job. Disclaimer: IF YOU WALK WHEN CARS ARE COMING YOU’LL GET HIT. DON’T BE STUPID.  I WON’T TAKE THE BLAME.




{ Check out the Communication Museum. } True, the historical communication, music, and movie-playing devices in this adorable house across from CVS are fascinating, but it's also a secret venue for musicians to play. This is a FREE place to see some incredible talent. The two times I’ve seen people play there, I just happened to hear music leaking from the house as I walked by. I’m a curious, slightly-nosy person, so I stepped right inside, walked up a narrow stairway, and joined about 18 others in a small room to enjoy some acoustic originals played by a dreamy guy sitting on a stool in the front of the room. Stepping in this room was like walking into a whole new reality; I felt like I was in on some secret cool-kid music society. So on your next late night walk to CVS, pay attention.



{ You’re going to have a crazy roommate (or several). Deal. } There’s just really no way around it. Whether they are up late screaming at their boyfriends on the phone, cheating on their boyfriend in your kitchen, hiding your pots and pans under their bed, charging you money to borrow their toilet paper, doing drugs in your bathroom, or waking you up at all hours of the night to ask you where the aluminum foil is—they suck. My best advice is to stay nice. Remember you have to live with these people, and normally causing drama just isn’t worth the awkwardness and resentment that you’ll have to endure afterwards.  But don’t let them put your well-being in jeopardy. For example, if your crazed roomie is doing drugs at your place, tell them straight up to do it somewhere else, because if your roommate gets caught, chances are you’ll be in trouble too.


Finally, and I hope this goes without saying: DO NOT BE THE CRAZY ROOMMATE (Really. Try try and try again not be THAT person. There are already plenty to go around.)


{ Diana Biffl, 21, is a College of Charleston senior double majoring in communication and theatre performance.  She went to high school in Fort Mill, South Carolina, was born in Buffalo, New York, and raised in Canfield, Ohio; however, it is Charleston that this uncoordinated student calls home. Between classes, her job working for the College, preparing for auditions, and applying to graduate schools, Biffl is always on the run, and that’s the way she likes it. This way-too-free-thinker has high aspirations after college, dreaming to become an actress, a Rolling Stone journalist, a competent guitarist, and a penguin-owner. After spending her first three college years attempting and failing to choose just one direction for her life to lead, she’s made the decision not to decide, and try it all—using the opportunity-filled Charleston as her platform to greatness. }