Widgets Magazine

Nine pamphlets Stanford should really hand out during NSO

There comes a time in every freshman’s life – and many other times in later years, too – where we must ask ourselves: Why did I never learn how to do this? And when was I supposed to learn how to do this?

We may, too, find ourselves asking, “How did these people never learn how to do this?”

To combat this general naivety – and the aversion to autonomously learning new life lessons – here are nine pamphlets and/or books that Stanford really should be handing out during NSO.

  1. “How To Bike Like A Decent Human Being”

Because some people, somehow, don’t understand how bikes work, or are selfish bastards who have never once stopped to think about the consequences of their actions on a bike or otherwise. Bike road rage is real. This full-sized encyclopedia includes important sections like:

Don’t ride on people’s rear ends.

Stop going so fast.

Don’t cut people off.

Signal when you’re turning so you don’t cut people off.


Why would you ever lock your bike to another person’s bike what does this accomplish.

  1. “How to Bike in the Rain”

The companion pamphlet to the first. Because apparently we need to know how to do this now. Includes helpful tips like: Slowly! and Don’t! and Just walk! Also comes with your very own plastic bag/seat cover. Useful for wet-butt-and-general-malaise prevention.


  1. “How To Use Your Meal Plan Dollars Effectively and Efficiently”

Ever blow through all of your meal plan dollars on TAP within the first two weeks? Read this. Tips and tricks include: Stop going to TAP so much. Disclaimer: Not much is known about the contents of this pamphlet because not many people use their meal plan dollars effectively and efficiently. More research must be done.


  1. Should I Get This? A Guide to Room Décor”

This pamphlet’s list of guiding questions includes: “Will it fit in my room?”; “How much does it cost?”; “If it doesn’t fit but it’s cheap should I still buy it?”; “If it’s really expensive but it fits should I still buy it?”; “Will I be using it frequently?”; “Define ‘frequently’”; “Is it loud?”; “How loud is too loud?”


  1. You Don’t Need That Many Pillows What Are You Doing: A Guide to Room Décor Part II”

For the frugal pillow-fort-lover in all of us.


  1. “How To Laundry”

For those of you/us who don’t understand detergent, fabric softener or whatever that third compartment is for, this pamphlet is for you! Also included are helpful ways to be passive-aggressive to those people who don’t remove their laundry in a timely manner and exercises in patience and meditation for those who would rather not be passive-aggressive towards their peers.


  1. Should I Really Buy This: Stanford Bookstore Edition”

Because the bookstore is absurdly expensive and many of us are stereotypically broke college students. Also contains a comprehensive list of all classes for which you really, really don’t need the textbook.


  1. A single sheet of paper that says, in Word Art, “Stop Trying to Do Everything”

Useful advice for the over-achiever in all of us. Works for dorm décor as well. The perfect reminder to stick on walls, doors, fridges, laptops and dressers.


  1. A single sticky note that says, in all caps, “MEMORIZE YOUR SUID ASAP.”

Because you will need it. For everything.


Contact Matt Bernstein at mbernstein ‘at’ stanford.edu.