There aren't many places where you can be an alcoholic for four (to eight) years, sleep with more people than Tiger Woods, and be considered completely ordinary, but this is one of those places. In the real world, you'd be directed straight to rehab or end up in some sort of intervention, but not here. No, this place is for the select few. It's for those willing to sacrifice years of their lives to the educational pursuit of life experience; where a book's lesson is no match for a Sharpie picture to the face or a lonely trip to Planned Parenthood. This is college.

1. Learning from the Best

God forbid you actually appreciate it while you’re at college, but you should consider yourself lucky to have the opportunity to learn something new and useful every day from people that (usually) know their shit. The Internet’s no replacement for a well-versed psychology professor explaining the reason your roommate’s such a douche is because his dad never played catch with him or an experienced physics professor enlightening you as to the real rationale for an airplane staying up other than “it’s magic.” Contrary to popular belief, Nobel Prize winners don’t frequent every corner, and, in fact, there are tons of really stupid people everywhere.

2. The Authority Figures

Sometimes you get professors that are a pain in the ass, the ones who won’t give you any slack, or don’t know what they’re talking about. At least you only have to deal with a semester of their shit, and then you can change your major or just avoid their classrooms. If you’re lucky enough to land a job out of college, you’re stuck with your boss until you can find another one. If he’s bad, you’re in for a hell of a year.  Let’s face it, you also probably won’t be bothered for peeing on a statue in the quad when you’re 20, but you will in a park when you’re 30.

3. A Real Escape

While in college, the words summer, Thanksgiving, Christmas and spring all have endings happier than those at a Thai Massage parlor: the word “break.” These wonderfully positioned vacations allow you the correct amount of R&R for a well balanced year. Unfortunately, as soon as college ends, everyone loses their minds and five plus months of off time a year is the pipedream of a formerly content co-ed. Good bye beer bongs on far away beaches and girls in bikinis showing their peaches. Enjoy those multi-week vacations now because you’ll soon crave a simple three-day weekend mostly because then you know the next work week is only four days long. If you truly can’t handle a couple of weeks of vacation a year, it’s rumored you get more than six months in France. Parlez-vous français?

4. Socialite Heaven

There may be no better place or time to meet new people you’ll actually get along with than at college. There are thousands of students that are about the same age, have similar interests, comparable backgrounds and schedules, and usually live in relatively close proximity to each other. You can be a jock, nerd, geek, goth, poser, prep, dork or some crazy combination of them all and still manage to find a group of people who understand your special sense of humor. If you can’t make friends at college, you should give up now and find a cozy cave in the mountains. There’s no better way to put those student loans to work than to converse carefully with your favorite species of bear.

5. Fantastic Freedom

Spider-Man Smashes The Alarm Clock

A bit too hungover from last night’s shenanigans? Can’t be bothered to get out of your soft, warm, fluffy, cloud-like bed and just want to take another hit and roll over into a blissful, dreamless sleep? Too bad, your boss doesn’t give a shit. Not showing up may fly all right for class, but once people start paying you to get your lazy ass out of bed, “I had a long night” is no longer an acceptable excuse. In the real world, people get up at 7 a.m., even 6:30 a.m. to get to work by 9 a.m. Enjoy getting more than five hours of sleep while it lasts; and say goodbye to overindulging Wednesday nights; you can’t baby your hangover any more. In the real world the only way you make your own hours is if you start your own business, and doing that takes more time and determination than completing a four-year degree. Choosing what you want to learn and when you want to learn beats being told what to do and when to do it on a daily basis.

6. An Abundance of Green Stuff

You’re in college, so you have a) earned a full scholarship, b) your parents are footing the bill, c) you’re working yourself through school, or, d) you’ve taken out these amazing things called loans in which they give you money but you don’t have to pay it back until school ends, which is like, in forever! Most students are some combination of the four, but suffice it to say, unless you’re a hard C, you’re probably not too worried about your bank account right now, which is something you probably won’t fully appreciate until school is over. Nothing can stop a student from enjoying the finer things in life like shitty beer, pizza and Ikea furniture. And in 40 years when the student loan statements are still coming and your degree doesn’t pay off like you intended, you’ll question your decision.

7. Groups, Teams and Organizations

College lends itself to great opportunities to play sports, join clubs and participate within large organizations matching your eclectic interests. For most of these activities, having fun and learning a thing or two is the basic premise, and you don’t have to pay exorbitant amounts of money, if any, to join in. Try being a part of something similar outside of college, and suddenly your wallet and patience become heavily taxed. The people all seem to have gone crazy, and the price of a previously free T-shirt skyrockets. Student government and politics are fun, but the real thing? An expensive pain in the ass filled with people wanting to see your sexts. Playing one of the myriad intramural sports at school provides hours of fun and costs a few bucks, but playing outside of school is often expensive and limited. Take delight in these easily accessible outlets while you still can.

8. The Bucket List

College isn’t only where the bucket list enjoys its formative years, but it also experiences its most productive time. Whether you’re checking activities off the sex, drug, music, travel, learning or the vaunted “other” list, it’s where firsts come to die. Learning through movies and books is no longer en vogue. Now, it’s all about experiences. Go on a panty-raid, sleep with an entire team in one semester, hit up your favorite band’s concert while rolling, invite your two hottest friends into a threesome, pee on the continental divide, road trip to as many music festivals as humanly possible, figure out how many people can pass out on one couch and, of course, spring break in Vegas with your favorite people. Just remember, if you don’t feel comfortable doing it in college, chances are, you shouldn’t be doing it at any stage in your life.

9. The Sex

Never in your life again will you find people so hot, young and horny. College is a place for experimentation and frivolity, but life is where you apply your experimental findings. By the time you enter the real world, you’ve spent your undergrad years discovering what you like in bed, and how to get it. And you start having sex with people who are more experienced than they were in school. You also become attracted to different qualities in people. Hotness becomes secondary to career aspiration or perceived parental ability. Sparks fly in a whole different way.

10. The Parties

After graduating college you’ll find that parties kind of lose their luster. Sure some will be fun; you may get invited to ones with open bars and finger food, but never again will you be packed in a frat house with 300 other nearly naked people playing beer pong. You enjoy parties for no reason other than to get girls into lingerie, and parties that consumed the entire block. In the real world, you have to go to parties hosted by your boss, bridal showers and other events you’ll never be sure if it’s appropriate to drink at. In college, when you get hit on by a sexy older man in glasses and a tweed jacket, it's your hot professor. In the real world, when you get hit on by a sexy older man wearing that, you wandered into the wrong neighborhood. You know that fineass professor you have all dressed up in the sartorial garb of academia and practically dripping with libido-enhancing intellect? Well, get it while you can, because in the real world, when you’re approached by a well-dressed older man, you’re either in a pimp’s hood, architecture firm or a nursing home.

11. Brain Dumping

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In the real world, you use 1 percent of what you learned in school. If you ever had a sneaking suspicion you’d never actually use the stuff you learn in school, well, you’re totally right. Unless you’re fortunate enough to major in something like architecture or journalism, prepare to forget everything you worked for four years to learn. What you will learn when you get out of school is a whole bunch of life lessons about yourself, how you relate to other people and what your true talents are. You don’t live in the real world. Take advantage.

12. The Bubble

Life. It gets real. Too real sometimes. Your parents exude a monumental sigh of relief because they’re no longer obligated to pay for you. There’s bills, health insurance, car payments, etc. You have to start saving money. People start dying. Your friends start getting married and having kids. You watch your parents grow old. Real grown-up shit. That’s what makes school so magical. It’s a bubble of protection from life. Enjoy it.