Five oddities every undergrad's sure to encounter.
The Diseased?: On the shadowy end of your hallway lives a guy who, by all indicators, must have a disease or something. The evidence stacks up like coats at a house party, and though everyone's afraid to ask him, the general consensus is that he's either highly diseased or a graduate of Professor Xavier's School for the Unloved Mutants. There's just something about his scrawny frame, his inflated and unbalanced skull, and his prolonged blinks which make people leery to use the same shower he's used (and probably shed radioactive skin particles in). You try to be nice to the guy, but it's hard to concentrate on a conversation when he's maniacally stacking Coke cans on his window sill and combing the carpet for a missing piece of lead. As long as you don't lend him your loofa or anything, you should be fine. It's advisable, though, to return to your room immediately if you see glowing eyes in the hallway late at night.
Bald by 25: You gotta feel bad for the guy who showed up to freshman orientation with a hairline so receded that it looked like the bat symbol. You feel even worse when you realize he's got five years, tops, before his scalp's as shiny as Patrick Stewart's, and he could conceivably score an assistant professorship at Professor Xavier's School for the Unloved Mutants. Imagine the anguish the guy must feel when he's standing in Walgreens with a box of Rogaine in his hand, aging so quick that he might be just a semester away from covering his couch in plastic and losing faith in his prostate. He can preserve his youth by wearing a ball cap, but using it to hide his shame is like Yao Ming trying to slip into a Klan meeting incognito. Poor guy.
Home Schooler: After 18 years of invasive parenting and cult-like interaction with his twelve siblings, the Home Schooler must make his first unsupervised journey away from the weird-smelling safety of his home. He shows up to college with high white socks pulled to his kneesactually, screw it, he's just wearing one huge tube sock up to his throat like a sleeping bag, with a compass around his neck, a blonde mustache and an Eagle Scout hat. Instead of X-Boxes, shower caddies and other dorm-ish things, he brings fishing lures and individually wrapped slices of American cheese to eat late at night while reading books about wolves. He struts an air of supremacy, but once he has his first class away from the kitchen table he realizes that Mom's mind-bending algebra lessons don't hold a flame to the mechanics of a well-engineered public education. He's the updated social equivalent of a leper, and by the end of the first term his well-braided ethical fiber has frayed into a tangle of pseudo curse words and long aching glances at girls that look like his little sisters. Welcome to life, pal.
What the Braces?!: You meet a cute girl. She has this little sheepish grin, she listens to every last syllable as it leaves your lips, and she's really quiet actually, come to think of it, she never speaks. Ever. It takes one really, really good joke to get her to laugh, and when she does, suddenly every light source in the room is reflecting off this girl's nasty grill, frying your corneas and setting small bugs on fire. She has braces. Considering that everyone had them in seventh grade, braces really aren't that weird, but when a person's grown and developed, there's something genuinely upsetting about them. This cute girl that you once felt real affection towards has now opened her face-portal, revealing the perverted machinery of dental oppression, the very scaffolding on which Ugly is built. Your body becomes uninhibited, and while your punch line is still lingering in the air you can't help but lurch forward and spew all over her adorable blouse, graciously drawing attention from the hideous braces.
Gym Rat: Most people visit the gym with a clear goal in mind. Usually it's either to get in shape, to improve physical appearance, or simply to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Then there's the guy who just loves to lift. Yeah. Does he need a reason? Let me answer that with another question: Have you seen him with his shirt off? Of course he doesn't need a reason! Watch him crush two apples in his palms, effortless, so frickin' strong. Watch him place an owl between his forearm and bicep and CRUSH ITS BRAINS OUT! Yeah baby, so ripped. Sleeveless shirts in winter. You want me to read a book for class? You kiddin' me? The only book I read is the food pyramid, and I don't even listen to that 'cause no one tells me what to do! You hear that? NO ONE! All you scrawny wieners out there best take a seat and prepare to be STUPEFIED by my lifting routine! Look at all these pounds, they mean nothing to me, I know no boundaries! I have a legitimate shot at becoming governor some day! I am the man!