“I want to be a hippie,” said freshman Harrison Jobe last Saturday.

Jobe, a member of the ATO fraternity and a long time staunch conservative, once spoke of the hippie lifestyle with the utmost condemnation. Whether his perception-altering college experiences or simply the gorgeous spring weather are to blame, Jobe, like many students at the University, has started to recognize the great appeal of hippie culture.

But how does one go about becoming a hippie? Can such a thing be done? Can someone not born into the hippie mold transform him or herself to fit it?

Absolutely. The University and surrounding towns of Chapel Hill and Carrboro are some of the most hippie-friendly places in North Carolina. So if you want to grow your hair long and eat tofu but you are unsure how to begin this transformation, look no further. I have created a step by step guide to facilitate your transition to freedom.

Start simple: stay outside. By spending more time in the great outdoors, you will connect with the earth as well as other hippies. Eat outside. Study outside. Even sleep outside. Get dirt under your fingernails and leave it there.

Listen to live bluegrass music. Go to Milltown Restaurant in Carrboro every Saturday for overpriced brunch and excellent music. You’ll see a group of hippie girls drinking coffee (because they cannot afford to actually eat) and dancing with homeless men there.

When you do have money to spend (which, being a hippie, should be quite rare) eat and shop at Weaver Street Market. Located in the heart of downtown Carrboro, Weaver Street has all the supplies you need to complete your hippie lifestyle. The people there are great too. Wear a Bush-bashing T-shirt and count the number of compliments you receive.

Speaking of bashing the President, take Greg Gangi’s Environment and Society Class. This class will free you from your previous ignorance — you will stop driving your car and stop buying clothes from the mall (as you must, to be a true hippie, anyway). You will discover that advertising is the most corrupt, manipulative force on earth, and that materialism will be the direct cause of Armageddon.

Don’t lose all faith in the world yet, though. Connect with your spiritual side through dance. Once again, journey to Carrboro to take a hoop dancing class with Julia Hartsell at Triangle Yoga.

At this point in your transition to hippie life, you should be ready to experience contra dancing at the Carrboro Community Arts Center. This square-dance style group dancing features Carrboro’s finest—kick off your shoes, put on a long skirt (guys, too) and spin the night away.

And now you are a hippie! Go spread peace and love throughout the world!

By Mary Lide Parker