How to Play True American

1…2…3…JFK FDR!

New Girl fans know this means someone is about to embark on a quest to play the bewildering, intricate game that is True American. The characters play it on the show multiple times but never divulge the rules and even the most avid watcher would have a tough time deciphering what they are. There are a multitude of guides online but their misguided attempts always end in disjointed drunkenness (in a bad way). Lucky for you I’ve found the definitive guide so read on if you want your game of True American to end in disjointed drunkenness (in a good way).

What You Need

-1 table

-4 beers per player

-1 bottle of liquor

-1 Funky playlist with a disproportionate amount of the Black Eyed Peas

-Furniture you can stand on


Arrange your furniture in a circle with at least ten spaces (each cushion counts as one). Place the table with everyone’s drinks on it in the center of the circle. Once the game begins the floor turns into lava and contestants are no longer able to step there without incurring a penalty of one shot.

How to Start

Every game of True American begins with the national anthem. Players stand at attention and the first person to laugh or talk must take one shot. After everyone has paid their respects to this great country, players gather in a circle for shot tip off. During shot tip off each person places one finger gun at their side, raising it on the count of three and aiming at whoever they want to drink. The person with the most guns pointed towards them takes a shot. Repeat 5 times (or as many as needed depending on your tolerance).

How to Play

After shot tip off each player grabs one drink and jumps to a space. The floor has officially turned to lava and it is mandatory to be holding a drink at all times for the remainder of the game. On their turn, player’s rotate asking questions to the group and the first person to answer correctly moves forward a spot. Here are the three types of questions:

1. You may ask a trivia question in any of the following categories; Disney, Lord of the Rings, New Girl, or American History. The first player to answer correctly moves forward.

2. Start a famous quote (historical or pop culture) or sing a few song lyrics. The first person to correctly finish the lines moves forward.

3. If you can’t think of anything else just shout 1…2…3 JFK FDR! Players place a number between 1 & 5 on their forehead and if no one else has your number you move forward.

When it’s their turn each player acts as judge and the final call on who answered first is up to them. In the event of a tie those contestants must play rock, paper, scissors shot to decide the winner. They are momentarily allowed to step in the lava in order to follow procedure. The two participants stand back to back, take five paces, and then play. The winner moves forward a spot, the loser takes a shot. Either player in the tie may relinquish the spot to the other if they are unwilling or unable to play rock, paper, scissors, shot.

How to Win

Once a player drinks all four beers and completes the entire circle, landing on their original spot, they must take one final shot to win. Pace yourself. Remember that you must finish all four beers BEFORE arriving at your original spot. If a player reaches their original spot without having finished their drinks they must take a shot and move backwards two spaces.

Bathroom Rules

If a contestant needs to use the restroom during the game they may step in the lava to do so but only after answering a riddle decided upon by the rest of the group. Conversely players may also take off either their shirt or pants for the remainder of the game.


As you can probably tell True American includes a fair amount of drinking. Tailor the rules to your tolerance so you don’t end up with broken, vomit covered furniture. Every so often one player will encounter a stretch of bad luck and have to take more shots than they can handle. If this is the case any contestant can “volunteer as tribute” and take the shot instead. Placing three fingers to your lips and humming the mockingjay tune is encouraged but not required.


One of the most important aspects of True American is that it is a democracy. Any rule can be added, changed, or thrown out if a majority of the group wishes. If you would like to change a rule simply wait until your turn then make a motion to do so. This allows you to personalize each game for your audience. It’s also where some of the zanier rules you see in the show are created.


I did not create this guide. Like so many immigrants before me, I was lost and alone in my quest for the rules to True American. The founding fathers Michael Melugin, Sam Waldorf, and Andy Mikkola took me in with open arms and introduced me to their version of the game. As you’ve probably noticed there are elements from the show that are missing. This is on purpose. I’ve provided the structure that will get you started (and drunk) but it’s up to you to personalize your game. Remember the democratic process and implement new, crazy rules that are unique to your audience. Have fun and play responsibly 😉


By Joshua Harper


7 Bucket List Items for UM Students

There’s more to college than lectures, homework, and simple house parties. Especially when it comes to Missoula. There is so much to offer in the town and the surrounding area that you just need to know where to look. Well, here’s a start:

Float the Clark Fork

Grab a tube, a 6 pack, your friends, and hit the river. Sitting on the Clark Fork, sipping on a cold Summer Honey, and just relaxing with your friends is one of the best ways to spend a summer day. Hell, you may even make some new friends on the journey down the river! One piece of advice I would offer: don’t forget the sunscreen or the float will be a red and painful memory!

Screen Shot 2015-04-27 at 9.02.20 PM


Spontaneous Road Trip

If it’s just a day trip up to Flathead Lake, driving to Coeur d’Alene to go to Silverwood, playing a road of golf in Ronan, or whatever floats your boat, make some memories. I can honestly say some of the best times I have had in college are when my friends and I just hopped in the car and started driving. Ending up at the Raven Bar and swing dancing after a few beers is a memory I will never forget. So get your friends, get in your car and go!



Missoula Brewfest

Choose one or two or three or all of them! You don’t have a chance to sample some of the best beers Montana has to offer in one spot. I mean where else can you sample Bayern, KettleHouse, Lewis & Clark, Great Northern Brewery, and so many more for $20?



Themed Party

While this is not just a UM thing obviously, it is still a necessity. Throw a Christmas Party where everyone wears their Christmas best, a Tight and Bright Party, or a Beer Olympics and have everyone wear the attire of the country of their choice (A kilt with Ireland is a must). Where else are you going to see people sitting on Santas lap taking a shot of peppermint schnapps with a chocolate syrup chaser?



Hike Blue Mountain

Playing a round of folf or not, the view is truly amazing. No matter the season it is always guaranteed to be a hike you will want to do again and again. Hitting the trails with your friends is one of the best ways to get a breathtaking view of Missoula.



Downtown pub crawl

Missoula has such a wide variety of bars that experiencing them all (or most) in one night should be done before your college career is done. If you get the chance, try the Craft Beer Cup. A mini putt/pub crawl through downtown Missoula. Experience some of Montanas best beers while playing a round with your friends!



Griz Cat at Washington Grizzly Stadium

The Brawl of the Wild, winner takes home The Great Divide Trophy for at least one more year. If you don’t spend at least one game in the student section in Washington Grizzly Stadium you are missing out on greatness. From Monte and Mo, to the fans doing a MONTANA…GRIZZLIES chant back and forth, to the mighty North End Zone, it is possibly the biggest event in Montana. Don’t miss out!



While there are so many different and exciting events in Missoula that a true bucket list could reach triple digits, these are a few that I believe every college student should experience before they graduate and head out into the real world. So get going, college goes faster than you think!

10 Reasons Every Woman from a Mountain Town Needs a Dog

10. They are a daily reminder to practice your Downward Dog.


Photo source:
Photo source:

9. A bed full of dogs is warmer and better insulated than your 0-degree, down sleeping bag.


8. They are a great buddy to enjoy the views with.

And they won’t complain that you are hiking too fast or their feet are cold.

Taking in views with the dog

7. You will never need to carry a bottle opener to a bonfire again.

Dog as bottle opener

6. They are a better judge of character than you.

Living in a mountain town, we know there is a high ratio of dirtbag males. You need a little extra help selecting a mate. Let your dog help you.


5. Their unfettered joy bounding around in the snow is contagious.


4. Ditto for their love of playing in the leaves.

Dogs will help you enjoy every season, the more we think about it.


3. Dogs, trucks, and mountains belong together.

They form a perfect trinity with you in the middle.

Photo credit:
Photo credit:

2. They can smell the funk in your hiking boots before you do.

Hint: when the dog is really interested in your hiking boots, it is a sure sign that your entire apartment smells like a foot.


1. Because…love

dog love

Living in a mountain town, there are a lot of great dogs in need of a home. Here is a list of some of our favorite shelters where you can find your canine adventure buddy!

Bozeman, MT:                 Heart of the Valley Animal Shelter

Jackson, WY:                     Paws of Jackson Hole

Glenwood Springs, CO    Colorado Animal Rescue

Portland, OR                      Oregon Dog Rescue

Kanab, UT                          Best Friends Animal Society



Tips & Tricks for Landing an Internship

What is one of the biggest things recruiters look for when trying to hire college graduates? INTERNSHIPS. Have you done one, two or multiple!? What skills have you acquired? Before you can answer these questions make sure to land the internship first! Here’s some friendly tips and tricks to make sure you do just that.

Research the company…

Always start with knowing the background of the company you plan to intern for because it could lead to further career opportunities. Also, you don’t look ridiculous when they start asking you questions about the vision and mission of the company.

Have a unique resume…


Make sure you stand out! You want to get noticed and a creative resume is just the start, trust me. But be careful on how you submit your resume and cover letter though. Uploading a resume and cover letter should always be a  .doc file (online systems cannot score or rank PDF files, and some cannot read MS Office Suite .docx files). E-mail applications need to be saved in .doc or .docx and email in PDF.

P.S. You can also steal a layout and recreate it to be your own. (This is not my resume, please steal!)

Dress the part…

Nothing like a bad first impression to make these companies turn their heads. Shower, comb your hair, brush your teeth and dress to impress because it is all about faking it until you make it when you really want the position.

Connect with the recruiters…

Recruiters see so many students in a given day so make an impact but talking to them as an actual person. Ask them how their day is going or what they think of the function they’re at before leading into why you deserve the position. This also helps for you to make a more personal impression that lasts longer.

Perfect your LinkedIn profile…

By now you should have your LinkedIn profile in tip top shape because that’s the first place recruiters are going look on social media. Clean it up, look professional and SELL YOURSELF.


Put yourself in front of the recruiters by meet as many people as possible therefore you can help build your network to help you land the internship. Remember: it’s all about who you know!

Follow Up…


Following up can be one the most beneficial aspect to getting the internship . Again, it reminds the recruiter who you are and shows dedication but don’t send a million phone calls and emails in one day. Follow up and wait for a response.



CONGRATULATIONS! You landed a killer internship but….

Ask anyone who has ever done an internship before, they may not be what you expect but they can lead to great opportunities once you graduate just like….

10 Backpacking Hacks: Travel Like Indiana Jones


By Joshua Harper

Everyone loves to travel. You see spectacular places, meet amazing people, and make memories you’ll never forget. As it turns out though it’s a pretty expensive hobby to have. After an accumulated one year abroad spanning some twenty-one different countries I’ve learned a few things about traveling and how to do it right, but more importantly how to do it cheap. Being homeless for two weeks in Northern Europe and sleeping on beaches across Southern Europe are great character building experiences but my tips will help you avoid them.

Disclaimer: Backpacking is not vacationing. Anyone that’s ever properly backpacked knows you’re in it for the experiences and not the comfort.

1. Travel Light

If you go two weeks without touching something in your bag, take it to the nearest lake, river, or ocean and throw it in (please don’t actually do this). You’d be surprised how many people lug around a 62 liter backpack while also wearing another small backpack backwards. This is WAY too much. It’s a fact you’re going to be doing a healthy amount of walking during your trip so do your shoulders a favor and stick to a 42 liter backpack and one other small bag for easy access. If there’s no way you can fit everything you need with this setup then take less. You want to be prepared but don’t over do it. You probably don’t need the fifth snap back or more than 2 pairs of shoes and don’t take camping gear unless you think you’re actually going to camp. Remember you can always buy most anything you’ll need wherever you are. For those that still can’t make it work stop reading and go buy a suitcase. Here’s a list of a few useful items to take:
-Norwood mini LED flashlight
-REI Multitowel Quick Dry Towel
-Alpine Collapsable Spork
-Travel Journal
-Simple first aid kit

2. Airports=Cheap Hotels


You have a flight from Heathrow airport to Istanbul leaving at 7:30 AM. You could spend the night in an expensive hostel just to wake up at 3 AM and pay an exorbitant rate for a forty minute shuttle ride, or you could just sleep at the airport. You’ll save on transport, you won’t have to pay for a hostel, and let’s be honest you really wouldn’t have gotten much of a last night in with that 3 AM wake up call anyway. You can attempt the party all night, crash on the plane method but weigh the consequences, missing a two or three hundred euro flight when you’re already broke could be detrimental. Besides there’s nothing like getting drunk with your travel mates in an airport (Again I’m not officially advocating this). It may not be the most comfortable night but then again you’re backpacking not vacationing.

3. Exchanging Currency is for Rookies

Never…Ever…EVER bring all your money planning to exchange it upon arrival. Besides not wanting to carry that much cash you’ll get taken over the exchange rates offered by most banks. Travelers check are a thing of the past and prepaid cards are the worst of all because if they’re stolen and you’re having trouble reporting it, the process is difficult, you often can’t get the money back. They also have the added handicap of not being as wieldy as cash. Whenever travelling take two debit cards so you can incrementally withdraw local currency from ATM’s. Sure, most banks charge a withdrawal fee if you’re out of country, but it’s usually pretty comparable to the fee you pay for exchanging anyway. Also you only have to withdraw as much as you need so you won’t end up in Thailand with one hundred thousand Cambodian Riel. As a backup take a credit card and one or two hundred US dollars that should only be exchanged in case of an emergency. Oh, and it should go without saying but notify your bank that you’re leaving so your cards don’t get cancelled the first time a charge from Phnom Penh, Cambodia shows up.

4. Kindle for the Win

You might think you’ll be too busy trekking through jungles, taking in the culture, and meeting interesting people to read. You’re wrong. While you’ll do all those things the truth is there will also be endless hours of transit and more than one night where all you’ll want to do is curl up in bed and take it easy. Traveling is one of the best times to catch up on your reading because that’s just what you have, time. A thirty-six hour trans-mediterranean ferry provides a great opportunity to finally read Game of Thrones like you’ve been saying you want to do since season one. Most likely the one book you thought would get you through six weeks will be done in three days and you’ll be stuck deciding between the Hunger Games in Turkish or an an abandoned copy of Crime and Punishment to occupy the rest of your trip. Just bring a Kindle and have access to as many books as you want while taking up barely any space in your bag.

5. Negotiate!

Don’t underestimate how much money you can save by negotiating and I don’t just mean over souvenirs in a market. Negotiate for everything from tour guides to renting rooms in a hostel. Maybe you hate it and think your chances of success are low but you’ll get better and find that more often than not people people would rather drop the price a few euros than see you walk away. Getting better at this process is essential to backpacking especially in certain countries like Morocco where everything is negotiable and simply saying “no” to vendors sometimes feels like it requires a business degree.

6. Live Together, Die Alone

If you’re traveling with friends for any extended period of time you’re going to get sick of each other eventually. If you travel alone you’ll get sick of the alternate personalities you make up to keep yourself company. Either way, other people are going to be your saving grace. Not only will you get to spend time with anyone other than who you’ve been stuck with for the past five weeks but you’ll save money too. Group rates are very real and it’s a lot harder for a hostel owner to say no to your negotiations when there are five rooms on the line instead of one. Most importantly traveling is all about meeting people and sharing your cultures and experiences. Dont be shy! Go make new friends and build that international network so you’ll have a couch to crash on no matter where you go.

7. Bread for Days

One of the best parts of visiting somewhere new is trying the food and restaurants know it so anything even remotely related to the local cuisine is going to be sky high expensive. You need to come to terms with the fact that every meal in Italy won’t be gourmet pasta or pizza. Allow yourself one nice meal a day and scrape by the rest of the time on freshly baked bread. It’s dirt cheap and made fresh every morning, so learn to love it. Oh, and don’t forget to eat fruit every few days. You don’t want scurvy.

8. Planes, Trains, and Automobiles

You’ve probably heard that a Eurail pass is the best way to traverse Europe. This is definitely true if you know the exact countries you plan to visit and order the pass months before you leave. If you’re like me and travel more spontaneously (or anywhere other than Europe) you need to master the art of finding cheap transit. This might mean cramming shoulder to shoulder into a rickety bus, praying it doesn’t topple off a cliff as it chugs along winding roads through the Luang Prabang mountains in Laos. Your wallet will thank you and if you survive you’ll have a great story to tell. Talk to the locals and find out what they use to get from place to place because though it can be tough to find it’s almost always going to be cheaper. For example MeinFernbus is a bus company in Germany that offers rates at nearly one fourth the price of trains but can’t be easily found in a Google search.

9. Go With the Flow

Things are going to go wrong. That’s the nature of traveling so you need to be ready to pivot and make the best of a bad situation. If you’re island hopping in Greece there’s a decent chance you’ll stop somewhere for a day only to learn the ferry to the next island you want to visit doesn’t leave for a week. If this happens don’t get caught up trying to stick to your plan. Go with the flow and pick a new destination even if it’s only to connect somewhere else. Maybe you want to go North but you meet a cool group of backpackers heading East. Be flexible and don’t live or die by your plan so you don’t miss out on an unexpected, spontaneous adventure. If you planned to spend five days in Athens but feel like you’ve seen everything you wanted, talk to people and pivot, you might end up trekking to the clifftop monasteries in Meteora.
10. Timing and Planning

In essence this tip boils down to being knowledgeable about where you’re going and what’s happening while you’re there. A few friends and I planned a four week road trip through Morocco and upon arrival learned that Ramadan had just started. For those of you that don’t know, Ramadan is a month long holiday where members of the Islamic faith fast while the sun is up. We could eat but it made finding a meal during the day more difficult. Normally bustling streets looked like a ghost town during the day as everyone, not eating or drinking, took shelter inside to avoid the blistering heat. Where once we would have seen many backpackers we only met a handful for our first few weeks there. Although I enjoyed the cultural experience it was a very different trip than we had planned and it would have been tough to do alone and nearly impossible, or at least quite expensive, if we hadn’t rented a car. Don’t give up your spontaneity just do a little research before you leave. Trust me, you don’t want to miss a full moon party in the Thai Islands by a day because you booked your trip months in advance without ever looking into it.

Bonus Tip – Put the Camera Down

Pictures are a great way to remember the amazing experiences you’ve had while traveling. Despite this it’s important to remember you still need to live those experiences. With so many social media networks we spend a disproportionate amount of our lives being social online rather than in the real world. Take advantage of down time to send pictures and give updates but don’t try to instagram every photo you take as soon as you take it. Don’t view the world from behind the lens of a camera.