Downtown Opelika has a not undeserved reputation for niche boutiques with inexplicable hours of operation. Even the proud few who would be interested in antique barber shop appliances or dip-dyeing their pets find themselves facing closed storefronts at 2:30 in the afternoon. Opelika needs some serious help marketing itself as an exciting destination for students. There’s only one way to get the college crowd flocking to the streets of downtown Opelika: the promise of young love. Downtown Auburn has its appeal, but when it comes to sweeping your sweetheart off her feet, Skybar just won’t cut it.
Here’s how to make your date fall in love with you in downtown Opelika.
Step 1:Take the trip to downtown Opelika. The gesture of embarking on a small but formidable road trip together provides an instant point of bonding, but it could go wrong unless you have a strategy in place before you leave. On your drive over, take whatever detours necessary to avoid the barren stretch of wasteland known as Opelika Road. Have a playlist ready for the ride, preferably a steady stream of indie darlings, peppered with few classics that the two of you can scream-sing to. The 15-minute ride might be the only chance you get to show your date you know every word to the Fresh Prince’s “Parents Just Don’t Understand.” Take advantage of that.
Step 2:Give patronage to the Overall Company. Already wildly popular (at least according to my Instagram feed), its distance from Auburn makes it a retreat. You will probably appear very cosmopolitan as you recline on the patio, gnawing on strawberry balsamic pops and applying filters to pictures of the setting sun together.
Step 3:Hunt through Roland’s Thrift Store. Take your date on a stroll through the darling streets of downtown that end in front of the striped awning of Roland’s Thrift Store. Push your way through a crowd of chandeliers and animal hides to the front counter and strike up a conversation with Roland himself. Not only is he a hoot and a half, but he will undoubtedly make some pointed comments about what a cute couple you make. Laugh it off, all the while shooting surreptitious glances at your crush and imagining what your children would look like.
Step 4:Commit a crime together. A taste of adventure is what makes a date memorable, and rooftops are very accessible in downtown Opelika. Once evening falls, start scoping out the sturdiest fire escapes, and when you find one, offer your date a boost. Good rooftops require a bit of bravery and even less upper body strength. The best rooftops require a grappling hook disguised as a hair dryer. Once you have coaxed your whimpering date into committing a Class A misdemeanor in the state of Alabama, convincing them to commit to a relationship will be a breeze!
The challenge of adjusting to college life can seem daunting, and it’s not made any easier by parents and professors telling you the key to succeeding freshman year is going to class or keeping your grades up.
To really thrive here at Auburn, you’re going to need some more practical advice.
Exchange names with everyone you meet.
The first semester of your freshman year is the last time you’ll have a free pass for striking up casual conversations with strangers, so capitalize on it. Make sure you exchange names at some point in the conversation. There will come a time when you see your new acquaintance approaching on the concourse, and you find yourself faced with two options.
One: You know you recognize them but you’re not confident enough about what their name is to say hello. In your quest to remember who they are, you sustain eye contact for so long that you start to look vaguely threatening and at the last minute opt to avert your gaze and study a particularly interesting cloud formation while you pass them.
Or two: You remember their name, exchange a pleasant hello and continue on your way.
Avoid on-campus dining after hours.
I’m a girl who regrets nothing, except every meal I’ve ever eaten on campus after 8 p.m.. This is a snare that’s all too easy for new folks to stumble into. It’s after 8 and you haven’t gotten dinner yet (or you made the mistake of only buying one taco at the taco truck instead of a dozen). You step outside the dorm to assess your options. A tumbleweed rolls by. The Denny’s sign flickers menacingly in the distance. I’ve spent too many lonely nights weeping silently into a platter of Waffleinis to let you make the same mistake.
Give up the quest for an ‘interesting fact.’
During your first week of class, every one of your professors will subject you to the ruthless ritual of class-wide introduction. Their favorite tactic is to ask you to come up with an ‘interesting fact’ and then, I assume, watch with sadistic pleasure as you spiral into an existential crisis. Up until this point, you thought you led a fairly interesting life. Now you can’t seem to remember a single anecdote or personal quirk. High-pressure situations like this have often caused me to reflexively lie to my entire class (“I play club soccer,” “I can tie a cherry stem with my tongue,” “I was originally the third head of TLC’s conjoined twins Abby and Brittany,” etc.,) but then you have to worry about keeping up the facade for the rest of the semester. My advice is to admit defeat, share your favorite flavor of ice cream and melt quietly into the background until this merciless charade comes to an end.
Read more:The Auburn Plainsman – Freshman Read on
Here are five mistakes we will all stop making this year (we hope).
Getting lost in Haley From freshmen to fifth years, there is not one among us who can claim to understand the layout of Haley Center. No matter how many classes you’ve had there, you still routinely find yourself wandering through its dark recesses praying you don’t encounter a Minotaur. This is the year you finally nail down that complex mnemonic device (four…for Foy…), or maybe just memorize your route to class and never deviate from it.
Making proximity friendships At the beginning of every fall semester, you’re guaranteed to meet some people you won’t know by spring. These are called proximity friendships because they arise from convenience, not compatibility. It stands to reason that you might find friends you share more with than that guy lurking around the lobby of your dormitory at 2 a.m. Join organizations, volunteer or find a church where you can meet like-minded peers. This year, you’re not going to settle for Steve just because he lives next door and owns a Blu-Ray capable television.
Tripping on the concourse The concourse is uneven, but I don’t have to tell you that. You have scuffed shoes, scraped knees and your own searing public humiliation as evidence[…]