by ROBBY DOUTHITT & r & & r & & lt;span class= "dropcap " & F & lt;/span & our months ago, you had it all. As a senior in high school with plenty of friends, you were at the top of the food chain. You threw your graduation cap in the air with everybody else, excited to begin the next stage of your life. But now, here you are again, a freshman at the bottom rung of the ladder. Strange town. No social net. You need to start making new friends, fast.
Don't be stupid, though. College is hard. You need a crew that you can exploit employ to get you through it. Here's our guide to the basics. Use it.
The Local One of the more essential members of the entourage, the local student not only knows the ins and outs of the city, but also has a mom nearby. You'll get the occasional home-cooked meal and hopefully somebody to do your laundry.
Extra Credit: When local kid's parents go out of town, you can party in a place that doesn't smell like vomit and beer.
Daddy's Girl (or Boy) Look for somebody who wears the same size as you and has an extensive wardrobe. If you're lucky, he or she also has Daddy's no-limit platinum Visa and loves to spend his money.
Conversation starter: The first time you hang out, offer him or her one of your shirts to wear. He or she will feel obligated to reciprocate.
Potentially Famous Kid Find a young star in the theater department. You'll have to sit through some awful renditions of Waiting for Godot, but when he nails a starring role in the new Michael Bay movie, you've hit the jackpot. Hopefully you won't even have to finish college.
Extra Credit: Find somebody who's not only potentially famous later, but also good-looking now.
Don't be so foolish... as to try and befriend the NBA-bound basketball players. They have a million people on their nuts already.
Smart, Amoral Kid College is hard. It's harder if you don't cheat. Find a student who has a major that complements yours and also loves to prove how smart he/she is. If you're a mechanical engineer who's borderline illiterate, find an English major. If you're in communications, handle your core requirements by befriending a math guy.
Conversation starter: (Math major) "Bet you don't know what a puissant variable is"; (Eng major) "Bet you don't know what a Bildungsroman is."
Nursing Major (for guys and lesbians) The ratio of females to males in nursing programs at most colleges is something like 1,000 to 1. Find either the one, or one of the 1,000, then hang on.
Don't be so foolish... as to become a nursing major yourself. Down that path lies "just friend" territory.
Sports Therapy Major (for girls and gay guys) After giving deep-tissue massages to all the basketball and football players, your friend will have cell numbers for most of them.
Don't be so foolish... as to make friends with an engineer. Rookie mistake. While most engineering programs are 90 percent guys, those guys are about 80 percent dork.
The Mediaphile Every dorm has the guy who comes to college with an Xbox 360, a Nintendo Wii and 200-plus DVDs. Why waste your money when you can sit on his couch, playing Halo 3 on his plasma screen? Pick wisely, though, or it'll be Tom Cruise's greatest hits and Smash Brothers tournaments till you bleed out your ears.
Conversation starter: "Know who sucks? Tom Cruise."
The Foreigner You never know when you'll want to visit Paris (or Phnom Penh or Helsinki).
The Beard Guy Sometimes college students pass the time by participating in activities they are not permitted to perform (technically) by law until age 21. Having a friend who appears to be 21 -- when he is, let's say, only 18 -- will help make said activities possible.
The Roommate Default member of any entourage. You'll either get a BFFL or get the creep who sleeps with a humidifier. You may need to manipulate a transfer.
Subtle manipulation with Mad Libs: "I don't even think there is a ____[desired major]____ program here, although there is a really good one at ____[a university in another country]____. You know, in ____[that country]____. I just think you should do what you love in college, that's all."