Congratulations, friend. You made it to Ivies Weekend.

You have endured the relentless onslaught of problem sets and three-to-five page essays. You have persevered through the 8 a.m. classes, the 80-minute lectures, the five-hour Friday afternoon labs, and the all-nighters. You bravely beat back frostbite, the common cold, the uncommon cold (syphilis), mono, ringworm, carpal tunnel syndrome, and a knife-wielding ruffian in the basement of School Street Apartments.

But with the advent of Ivies comes the true test of a Bowdoin College student's survival skills. I am confident that by Sunday, the traditional revelry of April's last hurrah will have effectively separated the temperate wheat from the intemperate chaff, positively affirming the theory of Social Darwinism once and for all.

So being the humanitarian that I am, I have put together a handy survival guide to help you maximize fun and minimize unwanted arrests/STDs/ambulance fees this weekend.

I realize that it's Friday morning, and the majority of you are hung over or drunk as you're reading this. Just try to pay as close attention as possible. If you need to, get a friend to read it aloud.

For those of you who are passed out face-down in a bowl of Lucky Charms slightly to the left of this page, the only advice I can offer at this point is to turn your head sideways so you don't drown in your milk. That would make for a pretty sorry obit.

Everyone else, listen up:

1) Destroy your cell phone. Don't just hide it, because if you hide it you'll know where to find it. If you entrust it to a friend, one of two things will happen: either he'll give it back to you once you're sufficiently faded and encourage you to call the girl you asked to the junior high formal, or he'll leave lurid messages on every voice mailbox in your phonebook until he either passes out or forgets what he was doing. So destroy it. Verizon will buy you a new one.

2) Destroy your room phone, too. And suspend your AIM and Facebook accounts. If you own a telegraph, break it. If you own a messenger pigeon, kill it. In the interest of preventing regrettable correspondence with family, college administrators, and objects of lust, all communications media must be disabled. And pigeons spread diseases.

3) If you're wondering at what time of day it's OK to start drinking without officially qualifying as an alcoholic, here are a few mantras to quiet the ol' conscience: (a) Mimosa is more like orange juice than champagne. (b) In many cultures it's considered rude to show up to an athletic event sober. (c) If the sun hasn't risen yet, it's technically still nighttime. (d) There's always someone who started before you. And finally, for the truly desperate, (e) Time is a human abstraction whose rules are so inorganic that we changed them in 1883 so our trains could run more efficiently, and therefore any argument against alcohol consumption based on time of day is essentially baseless.

4) Don't drink and dance. I realize that Bowdoin is brimming with awkward white kids for whom drinking is prerequisite for dancing, but while OK Go is a rowdy group of fun-loving Chicagoans, that doesn't make it cool to puke all over their shoes. Incidentally, it is cool for them to sleep with your girlfriend.

5) There's no point in drinking shots. Pace yourself. Projectile vomiting seems like fun in movies, but I've heard tell that it's actually quite uncomfortable.

6) Try to keep track of what concert you're at. If you show up baked at today's Common Hour jazz and chamber ensemble recital and start noodle-dancing to Vivaldi, chances are your "mellow" will be "harshed" with extreme prejudice.

7) If you're going to be clever and tote booze around the Quad incognito, exercise some common sense when disguising it. Nobody's going to believe that's apple juice in your Nalgene, especially if it has three inches of head.

8) Chanting, heckling, and streaking are generally only accepted at athletic events and are not likely to be tolerated at the Longfellow Prize Ceremony, the China/globalization lecture, or the "Ars Antiqua" exhibit, no matter how cleverly executed.

9) Don't burn down any college property. We're short of housing as it is.

10) The rescue personnel dislodging you from a tree outside Harpswell do not want to "party" with you, so stop offering them hits from your vaporizer.

11) If you're thinking about doing something of questionable ethical or prudential merit, ask yourself, "Am I going to regret this tomorrow?" If the answer is yes, then you are probably too sober to be making appropriate judgments.

12) If you see Security officers, put down your cup and act normal. If you see green pixies dancing with pink heffalumps over a lake of purple fire, put down your cup and call poison control.

13) Justification by way of the old adage, "The memories will be worth it," is invalid during Ivies, because the memories will be nonexistent. And it's important to note that chlamydia is almost never worth it.

So there you go. I've done all I can do; from here on out, you're on your own. I hope you all have a safe and enjoyable Ivies Weekend, and I wish you the best of luck in drowning all cognizance of those monstrous research papers and exams that loom just over the horizon.

Godspeed, you beautiful, reckless bastards.