Along with many high hopes freshmen carry to their first weeks of college, one of the most promising seems to be the possibility of a new love life. Nonsense, you say—I was canoodling quite successfully in 5th grade! This is silly. Freshmen don’t know how to do anything, much less mate. Fortunately, one of our resident Bwog sexperts has collected wisdom from many corners (ie: members of the Blue and White e-mail alias) to breathe hope into this jungle of hormonal dissonance.

datingSlow down. In this infamously nit-picky city where narcissism thrives, many prefer being single over being caught “settling.” One respondent cautions: “You will hate / ignore your orientation friends within a month. Don’t lie – you’re just using them as seat-fillers at dinner so that you don’t have to confront that nagging feeling of isolation. Therefore, it is in your best interest not to tell them any big secrets or to conceive any of their children.”

Dump the sweetheart. If we can be sure of anything, it’s that retaining a long-distance flame is always more work than it’s worth. Lack of times and physical intimacy inhibit including someone far away into your immediate life. Writes one contributor: “It doesn’t matter that your significant other at home is markedly more attractive than anyone you’ve yet seen at Columbia. Dump them.”

Cross boundaries. College is a prefect time to bend your gender and sexual identity. Even if you are already sure of who you want to bed, ask yourself what attracts you to others and why—it will probably help you understand which types of girls/guys you’d like to date.

It’s true: pimpin’ aint easy. Warns one student: “For guys: If you think you can hook up with a lot of random Barnard girls the first two weeks before “settling down” and not having it come back to haunt you, you’re wrong, as Barnard is a lot more inter-connected than you might think.  If you insist on doing so, at least use a convincing pseudonym so they can’t find you on facebook.”

The walls have ears! “Yes, your floor can hear you,” writes one commenter.

Don’t sweat the Walk of Shame. It’s inevitable for anyone who plans to get laid here, but as long as you are comfortable with yourself and your personal decisions, it shouldn’t be more than a little awkward. Here’s the play-by-play: You sneak out of your ephemeral partner’s bed and creep out of the room only to find one or two floor mates greet you with giggles. Flushing, you move along and walk across campus. A jogger sees you at 6 AM in your evening clothes and hollers as you pass. You quicken your step and hand your ID card to the security guard, who’s seen too many like you to care. So you enter the elevator hoping not to see anyone you know, but alas! You see your good friend, who is also treading the walk of shame! Camaraderie and bemusement follow, and you finally reach your home base. C’est tout!

Avoid shriveling. Even in the heat of the moment, it is important to remember to practice safe sex. Condoms, contraception, and HIV testing are available at Health Services as well as at Planned Parenthood. “Remember to receive (sober!) consent from your prey – eh – partner,” advises one student. It’s true; consent is damn sexy. Communication makes sex more fun!

Run with the right crowd. If your primary criterion is attractiveness—and let’s face it, college students are superficial—there are better and worse places to look. Economics and Art History majors are generally your best bet among the disciplines, while Greek brothers and sisters are reliably attractive. And if you feel like you’ve exhausted the offerings here, the average NYU student will beat the average Columbia student any day.

Take it outside. You may find yourself either siding with or debating appealing classmates, especially in smaller classes, where it’s possible to foster a friendly and even flirtatious rapport. If you’re brave enough, ask to continue the discussion outside of class, perhaps over a delectable plate of JJ’s crispy chicken strips.

Common sense reigns in inter-personal relations, but in high-stress, lonely times it is easy to forget things that came so easily in comfortable environments back home. Really, your best bet is just to relax and be yourself. Oh, and visit Carman pretty often.

Updated on 9/13/2015 at 3:41 PM to protect writer’s anonymity at their request.