I may bring eight different pairs of shoes, seven bath towels of varying plushness, and three different scents of contraband candles to college, but I’ll be damned if I bring more than one chalice to drink out of (is that redundant?).

When my mother gifted me a $5 Scorpio astrological mug from TJ Maxx in 2018, I had no idea how far it would take me. There’s something comforting about mugs—they elicit memories of warm beverages on cool days, snow-covered walkways and crackling fireplaces, and, in my case, $12 vodka mixed with dining hall orange juice on a Friday night. Mugs are arguably the most versatile imbibing vessels—they can even stand alone as decorative pieces. So, if you’re like me, and you find yourself with one mug and a whole lot of ambition (and a dazzling personality, great hair, a gluten sensitivity, and a touch of untreated IBS (but hey, nobody’s perfect)), then keep reading for some insider secrets.

Mug Uses:

  • Imagine this: you have to be on campus for work at 10 am. You wake up at 9:52 am parched and panicked. Your one reusable water bottle is dirty, and you have three seconds to get out the door. What do you turn to? Your Notorious RBG mug sitting atop your desk. Fill your goblet up with water, chug it, and make it to work on time feeling both hydrated and empowered.
  • It’s Friday night. You’re having your friends over to your coveted Sulz double (with air conditioning!!) to pregame the illustrious Beta party happening in a few hours. Oh no, you only have two plastic cups, an empty Kombucha bottle with some probiotic sludge swimming around at the bottom, and—oh wait, what’s that? Your handcrafted dinosaur mug with a brachiosaurus neck as the handle? The one your grandmother got for you at the special Franklin Institute exhibit in fourth grade? Someone pass me the Nikolai.
  • You just got a new succulent from some event happening outside of Milstein that probably involved an oversized Jenga game. Congratulations! Post a pic on Instagram with the caption “Plant Mom” and throw it on your windowsill. Except oh no, it fell, the soil spilled, and you need to re-pot it before your dreams of motherhood are squashed forever. It’s your lucky day, though, because your “My Life is Ogre” Shrek mug is sitting mere inches away from the fallen cactus, ready to provide a new home. You’ll live to see another day, you dry spindly creature, you.
  • For some ungodly reason, you’ve acquired a fish. The fish’s fishbowl has to undergo a routine cleaning. Where the fuck are you supposed to put the fish during this time? Your Justin Bieber mugshot mug is looking pretty good right now. Scoop some water out of the bowl, pour it in the mug, plop in your fish, and boom. Swaggy.
  • You’ve been watching too many Tik Tok tarot readings, so you decide to conduct your own little metaphysical experiment. Write the letters of the alphabet on pieces of paper, fold them up, and put them in your mug. Pull them out two or three at a time to reveal the initials of your soulmate! Note: this works best when using an “I can’t help being sexy, I’m an Aries” mug or a “Hilarious Aquarius” mug.
  • You’re living with roaches. The least you can do is make them feel comfortable. Fill your generic Ikea mug up with some room-temperature water and make a swimming pool for your roommates. Roaches love the backstroke.
  • It’s Friday night (or Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday, and/or Sunday night), and you’re relaxing with a smoke. You’re about to ash all over yourself—no tray in sight—but then your glazed eyes land on your “Weed is the answer but I can’t remember the question” mug resting only a foot away. Twenty minutes later, after you’ve mustered up the energy to get up from your bed, walk one step, and sit back down, the ash in your mug. Crisis adverted.
  • If you are so inclined (and talented), you can use your mug as a candle holder. Melt wax, mix in some essential oils, throw a wick in there, and make your very own scented candle. Just do NOT do this in the dorms, for it is very dangerous, irresponsible, uncool, lame, wrong, evil, and bad.
  • Clip your nails into the mug so that they don’t fly all over your room. There’s nothing worse than stepping on something sharp and realizing it’s your own toenail from three weeks ago. Talk about self-sabotage.

I think some people use mugs for coffee or something like that? I guess that could work too.

mug! via Bwog Staff