If you're a young Latino from the 'hood and are attending college for the first time, we here at "Busting Chops" have compiled a list of "Do's and Don'ts" that will make acclimating to your new environment easier, because-and trust me on this one-no one will break it down for you like us.
1) Make sure you've cleared up any outstanding warrants before your first day of class.
2) Don't show up on campus with all your possessions in garbage bags. You're going to school, not a homeless shelter. Even if the only people you know who travel are convicted felons doing time upstate, somebody close to you must have at least one fucking "maleta" they can let you borrow, even if the zipper's broken and you have to close it with duct tape.
3) Do not throw trash out of your dorm window. You are living on a college campus, not in some urine-soaked tenement building in the Bronx where it's a given that nobody gives a fuck.
4) If you stroll by someone's dorm room and the door is open and no one is there, this is NOT an invitation for you to walk in and steal something.
5) When an attractive white girl you don't know walks by and says "hello", that does not mean she's a nymphomaniac and wants to sleep with you. She is just being friendly. Regardless of what you've heard, keg parties do not turn white girls into sluts. If no pretty girl would voluntarily sleep with you back home, all the Bill Cosby date rape drugs in the world will not alter this reality once you're on campus.
6) Make every effort to do well your first semester. It will set a better tone for the rest of your academic career than getting three incompletes and a C minus in "Inroduction to Elementary Spanish I". A poor performance will only cement the fact that you are illiterate in TWO languages (English and Spanish), and are on campus simply to fill a racial quota. Don't do that to yourself. Have some fucking pride.
7) Despite what your toothless, heroin-addicted uncle Pedro says, you cannot apply for a Section-8 voucher to help pay for on-campus housing.
8) Take advantage of the fact that you can eat three meals a day without having to worry about your mother's food stamps running out before the end of the month.
9) Don't go around telling people your father is a world famous guitarist just because your last name happens to be "Santana". You will then have to explain why he's rich and you are living in the projects.
10) If you've made it as far as college, you are no thug, so don't start acting like one in an attempt to impress or intimidate your white, middle-class, suburban classmates. Spare us the ghetto ghost stories of gangs, pimps, hustlers, and gratuitous shoot-outs over drug turf-that's what rap albums are for. If you're a student, that's not your life and it never was. Cut the crap and focus on what you're in college for, to avoid rape charges while trying to graduate within a reasonable time frame.
Editor's Note-To my fellow inner city Latino college-bound peeps out there, take very seriously this one and only opportunity you have to break the cycle of poverty. If you count on being the next Jay-Z or the next "Boy George" Rivera, then "Vaya con Dios" with that bullshit and read no further, because it won't do you any good. For all the rest who may give a damn and are truly concerned, here is the real scoop that no fucking guidance counselor will ever articulate to you-while in college, don't be the typical dickhead out every night partying, getting high and drunk, chasing pussy, and missing class if you're on scholarship.
If you fuck up, you won't be allowed to return until you pay all that money back, Nowadays one semester at even a state institution of higher learning will run into the tens of thousands of dollars, which means the dream for you will be over. I'm not joking about this. Schools will not release your transcripts until they are reimbursed for the money you wasted, which means you will not be allowed to attend even a community college until that debt is cleared. This includes student loans. Default on one of those and you'll never be allowed to apply for another one until you pay up. The rest of your better-off friends will be graduating while you are back livng in the ghetto wondering what the fuck happened, surrounded by losers who love nothing more than watching someone who had potential join them in their downward spiral towards the septic tank called Palookaville.
Being poor and Latino means walking a fine line that does not allow for any fuck-ups. Don't make it worse by ruining what is arguably the only chance you'll get to change your life for the better. Have a great semester, gentlemen. I know you can do it.