1. Date Strategically
Girls, the key for you is food, both symbolically and literally. Remember, the ward directory is your menu and home teaching is special delivery. Also, you can always lure in your target man with a hot meal. Odds are none of the guys in your ward left home knowing how to cook, and giving your man a break from Hot Pockets and Top Ramen is a sure way to sweep him off his feet.
Guys, remember missions. Your mission experience prepared you for dating in marriage in an essential way. That's right, by making you able to tell girls you went on one. Missions are the currency of the BYU dating scene. It doesn't matter if you've only known the girl for two minutes, make known your RM status as soon as possible. If you can slip in a few words of a foreign language (by "accident"), or start reminiscing about the beautiful people of (insert name of South American country here), all the better. Be sure to let her know your mission was "the best mission in the world," as well. Chicks dig that. You'll have her hanging on your every word by next week's FHE. Not sure what to do on your date? Mini golf and frozen yogurt. Girls never get tired of that.
2. Sell Your Soul to the BYU Store
The start of every semester marks that time of year when you have to purchase textbooks for all your new classes. This process may be new to you, so here are a few things to help you along. First off, be financially prepared. You'll be paying about the same amount for a stack of college textbooks that you would for a lightly-used Bugatti, and the price of textbooks is unlikely to go down any time in the next four years. With that in mind, don't question the prices. Apparently the bookstore believes $700 is a perfectly reasonable price for an algebra textbook, and so don't be surprised if a full course-load of books requires that you empty your checking and savings account. If you find yourself a little shy on cash, you can always offer the bookstore your firstborn child, or worse, get a job at the bookstore selling overpriced textbooks to your fellow students.
3. Learn the Lingo
As with any occupation, BYU student life requires you to adopt a new vocabulary. Try to learn the new lingo as quickly as possible. If you're observant you'll soon learn that "Swicket" is not an English sport made popular in India, but rather a tall building on central campus, and you'll learn that the Bean Museum showcases animals, not legumes. And most importantly you'll learn that "NiCkMOe" is not the name of that cute guy who lives in the building across from you, but rather a verb describing what that guy did with your friend Ashley last weekend.
There are also certain jokes you'll learn - jokes which have been handed down from one generation of cougars to the next - all of which lost their humor after the first telling. Some examples include "The Testing Center is the most sacred building on campus. It's where the most prayers are said!" and "The SWKT: Our tallest building, named after our shortest prophet!" These quips are usually followed by an affected chuckle laced with a hint of condescension. Be patient, new student. Once you reach sophomore year then you, too, will be able to share these witticisms with incoming freshmen and carry on the tired tradition.
4. Park At Home, It's Closer.
Few people know that before it was developed into a university, BYU-Idaho was originally a BYU student parking lot. Little has changed since the days of yore, and if you can't take the shuttle, you have two main options for transportation: 1. Walk to school or 2. Drive, park, and then walk to school. But don't worry, parking on campus always provides a refreshing start to your morning. There's nothing like a slow, breezy cruise around the parking lot, searching for an open space as you watch your gas needle slowly and soothingly inch its way downward. As the morning sun shines through your frosted windshield you can smile at the other drivers taking their morning cruise around the lot, each of you searching for that non-existent empty space. Meanwhile you can listen to the melodious ring of the BYU bell-tower, signaling the start of your first class. Mmmm. Could the morning possibly get better? Well, maybe snow would do the trick...
5. Get Married Yesterday
This one is not so much for your sake, but for that of your bishopric. These men work long and hard to get the members of their ward married off, and they often have nothing to show for it. Why do you think they get up in sacrament and priesthood every other Sunday and admonish you to fulfill your divinely-mandated duty to go on at least four dates a week? It's a thankless job, but your clock is ticking and they have only so much time to see you clasped in the bonds of matrimony, (after all, there is no such thing as dating after graduation). Throw them a bone, will you? Get married, move out, and give them that long-overdue feeling of accomplishment. After that you can enjoy working side-by-side with your eternal companion...serving in the bishopric of a YSA ward. Congratulations, 2nd counselor!
There is nothing to fear, new cougar. Just follow these important steps and you'll be fine. You have a great journey ahead of you, filled with joys, trials, and hopefully a few mint brownies. You might start a hipster band, witness a great touchdown pass (maybe even from our team), or learn to make the perfect hot dog at a shack down the hill. Whatever adventures await you, here's wishing that your days at BYU will be merry, joyful, and free of parking tickets.