By staff writer Et Nola

From time to time, we here at PIC delve into the chest cavity of the college experience and rip reality from its pulsing, cold-blooded heart. It’s not all fun and sex games that end in someone feeling awkward and unsure what to do with the leftover llama, two dozen halogen light bulbs, and assorted Hondurans still jammed into a bathtub mixture of Cool Whip and Astroglide (but oh, the possibilities…).

No, sometimes college is about making the hard choices—(insert your favorite clichéd joke here). When those choices involve which courses to take next semester, you’re bound to deal with some form of academic advisor, guru, or Sherpa (should you be visiting Nepal or not, they make excellent additions to any Asian menagerie). No matter whom your advisor, the choices they influence could very well shape the shape of what shapes sit beside you in class. There’s also a chance you can learn something interesting or whatever.

Unfortunately, not all academic advisors are created equally. In fact, many of them are genetically-altered demonic spawns from the 6th plane of Hell, which, coincidentally, sits directly between Housewares and Electronics. Not all advisors are inherently evil. Some advisors appear congenial folk. Some actually use the word “folk” to describe people. Try not to get that advisor. But since your last name usually determines which advisor you’ll be awarded, it may be best to just prepare yourself for the worst case scenario. Here are the most common:

1. Your advisor has no idea who you are and why the hell you’re in their office.

Whether this is an awesome icebreaker or grounds to rethink your institution, inform your advisor who you are and why you’re there. Also, prayer helps (pick your favorite deity or try something new!). If the “advisor” remains clueless, it is legal to pistol whip them, provided you came to class prepared and brought enough pistols for everybody. Remember: Sharing is caring.

2. Your advisor isn’t actually your advisor…anymore.

Perhaps you changed departments. Maybe they did. Whatever the case, take advantage of the new person and make a new ally in the world of getting you the hell out of school. For the misanthropes out there, feel free to earn the Academy Award for Best Mind Games Performed Upon an Unsuspecting Advisor. Tell them your major is changing…evolving. Inform them that you need to find a curriculum that fully addresses the study of religious undertones in waste management disposal. Get creative.

3. Your advisor hands you a list of recommended courses and doesn’t actually ask for your input.

This happens more often with undecided freshman and rigidly outlined programs, such as engineering and double-penetration. Honestly, I’ve got nothing to say. Sucks to be you sometimes. Well, unless you check off a “To-Do” list in the morning. In which case, “Get A Life” should be added.

4. Your advisor knows what they are doing.

Alright, this isn’t a bad scenario, but you should prepare for the surprise. Sometime during your college experience, you’ll come across at least one advisor who is ready andcapable of helping you. When you awake from the shock-induced coma, be sure to tell them what’s on your mind, particularly the academic-related stuff.

5. You don’t have an advisor.

Between the new pornographic research complex (or “residence hall” in “Administrative-Speak”) and the fresh sod planted on the hackey-sack quad, institutional expenses preclude you from being assigned an advisor. Maybe it’s just that nobody loves you. Whatever the reason, if spend enough time inquiring in the office of student affairs, someone will appoint you an advisor. Or have you killed and used as a med school cadaver. Depends on which is more in demand.

6. Your advisor is visually stunning…or “so hot right now.”

Who are you? One of the few times you should be focusing on your future instead of ass are during these meetings and (possibly) while reciting your wedding vows. Let go the desire to deputize your “Pants Police.” Besides, I’m sure as we all learned long ago, the hottest administrative staff works in Alumni Affairs…naked. Say what you want, but if you want graduates to put back into the university, you must have a staff willing to put out to the alumni. Take my tip, colleges. The first one’s free.

7. Your advisor is more stressed out than you are…about your schedule.

This one has happened to a few friends of mine. If you happen to be a fourth-year sophomore, this might happen to you. Basically, your advisor is one withdrawal/unsatisfactory/failing grade away from asking you to look into being a hobo. That way, you can drink as often as you do now, without the fear of pissing yourself at an inappropriate time (it’s a fact that hobos are authorized to piss-at-will). Also, hobos have the benefits of corner offices, flexible hours, and the security that comes with being unemployed.

8. Your advisor actually hates you.

Face it, your advisor isn’t the only one who thinks this. You’re a jackass. It boggles the mind why you aren’t the poster child for late-term abortions. Cheer up. If you didn’t get the coat hanger back then, you can still hang yourself now. Wait—this is about advice. Let’s go with: “Be sure to jump from ten stories or above so you don’t live to bitch about the pain. Nobody likes a sissy.”

Should you find your appetite for academic advice appeased, I congratulate you. You’re now well on the way to not thinking about your future ever again. I mean college lasts forever…wait? Crap. Oh, God, I don’t want to get a job! Son-of-a-bitch advisor has me graduating in three years! Fuck that, I’m getting a coordinate Masters in Geology and Music Theory. I can’t leave early. I’ve got Kegstand/Flip-cup Championship titles to defend! On second thought, screw seeing your academic advisors. Between Jack, Jim, and Makers, you’ve got all the advice 20 years and American White Oak barrels can give a collegiate. Cheers.