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Don't Phone Home 

In college, the last person you want to talk to is Mom

One of the wireless companies has a radio commercial for its "family share" plan featuring a mother squeaking that it lets her keep in touch with a daughter away at school. She can hear all about her tests and even the new guy in her life! To those who have just embarked for college, I have one thing to say: Do Not, I repeat, DO NOT give your mother permission to call you anytime she feels like it.

You've entered what should be the biggest no-parent zone of your life. Sure, you need your parents before and after college, but other than tapping them for a steady gush of money during the four to six years it takes you to earn your B.A., your contact with them during your undergraduate career should be restricted to guest appearances on major holidays. This is your crucial chance to find out who you are as someone apart from your parents, and to do that you have to live for awhile as if they basically don't exist. Besides, if done right, your years of higher learning will be chock full of rich moments that would be ruined if Mom were suddenly on the line. You may think you've already seen, screwed, and snorted it all, but unless you've been away at some highly permissive and decadent boarding school, you haven't put a toe yet in the vast pool of carnal opportunity that awaits at the typical college.

Never again are you likely to be as surrounded by hordes of potential hook-up partners -- you'll be practically tripping over them as they cram campus parties with sloshed, open faces, or saunter, scantily clad, along the paths -- or lie stretched out on their beds "studying" with their room doors ajar. Colleges, packed as they are with young, yearning, available bodies, are the great epicenters of coupling in American communities. If you're not having sex routinely while attending one, you're not getting your tuition's worth.

In case you're a little fuzzy on the deflating effect the words "Hi, honey, it's Mom" might have on your upcoming escapades, let's spell out what some of those peak episodes might be. You don't want Mom calling. . .

1. The first time that, Thank You Jesus, you finally get laid. Fewer kids arrive at college virgins than used to, but there still must be a few. This rates as one of life's all-time monster moments of relief, and you don't want it interrupted by Mom calling to ask how your psych exam (which you cut to finally get laid) went.

2. The rainy day you and a friend screw like bunnies between the school chapel's pews. My boyfriend and I were disappointed to learn that this sacrilege was so common it didn't even rate in the "wildest places you've had sex on campus" contest.

3. That glorious, head-spinning instant when two giggling girls ask you to join them in a three-way.

4. The lost afternoon you're finally drunk enough to let the guy down the hall who's been pestering you to just let him "make you feel good," give you a blow job. A lot more people than you think have experimental brushes with homosexuality, and it often takes place at college.

5. The magical night you walk in on the Wesson oil orgy your roommate, knowing you need to relieve some tension, has thoughtfully gotten going while you were cramming in the library.

Not all of education's memorable moments include sex, of course. Many involve the other major coed pre-occupation, drugs, which are as varied and plentiful as sex on any campus worth its endowment. You definitely don't want Mom calling when:

1. You've just lit the Thai-packed bowl of a three-feet-high bong filled with red wine as a filter. You gonna be high, the "Oh shit" kind of high, and you gonna be high quick. Mom might take your garbled speech to mean that you've had a brain seizure, and send Dad to pick you up ASAP.

2. You're bending over to snort a line of something. You don't know what it is, but in the collegiate spirit of things you'll sniff first and ask later.

3. Anytime, and every time, you're tripping. This is really serious, kids, maybe even more serious than any of the sex moments. I used to post a note to my roommates over the phone before tripping that let them know "QC is available to no one." There isn't a creature on God's earth that you want to talk to on the phone when you're hallucinating, least of all your mother. She might not take kindly to your agitated claim that skulls with horns are spilling from her voice and attacking your head.

OK, so school isn't just about sex and drugs. It also holds the kind of moment when someone of whatever gender looks into your eyes, and you feel they get you, really get you. That's the biggest rush of all. Don't let a call from Mom asking how the cafeteria meatloaf was dash it.

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