"Back in school they never taught us what we needed to know, like how to deal with despair or someone breakin’ your heart."
Brand New - “Seventy Times Seven"
School will teach you almost nothing that you will actually need or use for life.
However, throughout life and throughout society, we are constantly fed the belief that in order to be considered intelligent and/or successful, you must go to school, and do well there.
This is kind of horse shit.
First of all, intelligence is subjective. Your measure and definition of it differs from mine, and ultimately, there’s really no right or wrong answer.
Second of all, it’s one dimensional. Why is it that “smart” is typically associated with one type of smart, with one type of person? - Book smart. Good student. Attended and finished high school, college, grad school, etc.
There are a million ways to ingest information - most of which are not through osmosis, sitting passively behind a desk.
There are a trillion things to learn in life - most of which you won’t learn in a classroom.
Most of which you will learn through experience.
I know tons of “smart” people who don’t know how to interact with people or how to conduct themselves in social situations (and it’s not due to a learning or mental disability).
I know people who double majored or have two Master’s listed on their diplomas, but are afraid to drive on the highway. Who have never lived away from the house they grew up in or without their parents. People who studied biomedical engineering but were at a loss when they had to write a check for the first time while they paid rent with money that wasn’t theirs, considering they’d never held a job.
I know people who got straight As that have never done a single thing “bad” or “wrong” in their lives. What can you possibly learn about life, yourself, or how to grow if you never make mistakes?
My point is - It doesn’t matter how high your GPA is or how many facts you know or cords you graduate with around your neck - there are just some things school can never teach you. And if you have any plans of survival, I think it’s more important to be a student of Life than a student coasting through the public school system.
LIFE LESSONS 101
OR : THE THINGS YOU LEARN IN SCHOOL, THAT THEY NEVER TEACH YOU IN SCHOOL
1. Girls Are Mean
There’s a reason the movie is called “Mean Girls.” There’s nothing that will prepare you for the inevitable shit storm that is females (and especially hormonal females).
They will say things that hurt right to your very core. They’ll stare at you with daggers in their eyes and you will feel that they wish death upon you, the latter of which is not an accident. They will manipulate the fuck out of you due to jealousy, blind hatred, or just plain boredom. So good luck with that.
The first couple times it happens to you, it feels icky and awful. After a while, you just gotta get some thick skin and get used to it, otherwise they will eat you alive.
2. Drink Coffee Slowly
I’ve made this mistake a thousand times. You’re fiend-ing to feed your addiction and pound a large (or “venti”) black coffee because it is just so damn good, and then 20 minutes later you’re sweating and nervous and having heart arrhythmias and wondering if you’ll be able to find the courage to poop in the cafe’s only bathroom.
3. Eat Only HALF of the Special Brownie At First
THIS IS REALLY IMPORTANT, OKAY?! DO NOT EAT THE WHOLE THING ALL AT ONCE. JUST DON’T!!
But, if you do make this mistake, as we all have, just know that you will be okay. Sure, you might be nauseous for like eight hours but it comes in waves and eventually it will pass. Watch cartoons. Giggle. Eat food...just don’t eat any more goddamn brownies…
4. Once You Get The Spins, It’s Too Late.
Don’t even try to fight it. You’ve already gone too far and now you have like a 99.9% chance of vomiting. Those odds are not in your favor. Godspeed.
5. Stay Single For As Long As It Keeps You Happy
If it seems like everyone is coupled up, it’s because everyone is coupled up.
Fight the urge to be in a relationship because everyone else is. Yes, it’ll get lonely sometimes. Yes, when fall rolls around you’ll wish you had someone to spoon you.
But at the end of the day, being single during high school / college is fun. A lot of fun. Don’t limit yourself or do something you don’t want to do or, most importantly, settle, just to have temporary comfort.
In the end whatever you hold out for will be worth the wait.
6. Drugs Are Fun
Shrug. Experiment, just don’t go crazy.
7. Always Carry Ziploc Baggies to All-You-Can Eat Buffets
8. If You Are So Inebriated That Your Upstairs Neighbor Has to Help You Walk Up The Stairs to Your Apartment, You Should Probably Not Have Sex With Him That Night & Then Again On SuperBowl Sunday
HYPOTHETICALLY SPEAKING, OF COURSE. Stop judging me, assholes.
9. Soulmates Exist
I met my soulmate in college. In fact, I met two of them there. My sophomore year I decided to live in an apartment and opted to live with randoms. I was under the impression I’d be living with three other girls who also didn’t know each other.
I was very wrong about my impression.
When move-in day rolled around I quickly realized that all three of my new roommates knew each other (two of them since they were five) and I was the lone stranger. It was terrifying, because girls are mean as shit (see Lesson #1).
I thought they’d hate me / I’d hate them and I’d be stuck in lonely, catty, female hell for the rest of the year.
But again, I was wrong.
I ended up bonding with one of them almost immediately and we quickly became inseparable. And insufferable. Whenever we were together we were a drunken, giggling, inside-joke-having, bitchy-side-glance-giving nightmare. It was awesome.
When we re-signed our lease we invited another friend to live with us and thus, a new era of love, intoxication, and debauchery was born.
The three of us only lived together for one year, but the love and memories created during that year are precious and infinite, and we collectively and individually cherish that time.
We were young, single (sometimes), carefree, and livin’ fast and hard at the greatest fucking university in the world. I couldn’t have asked for a more perfect living situation with more perfect roommates - Roommates who became my best friends, my family, and ultimately, my soulmates.
10. No Chasers. No Whiskey Face.
11. If You Try To Swat The Double Bounce, You WILL Knock Over Cups
There’s no greater or deeper message/lesson for this one -- you really will just knock over cups.
12. Get Free Shit When You Can. Get All The Free Shit When You Can
Seriously. Because once you graduate, you don’t get jack.
You will notice that life generally stops handing out freebies and you will actually have to start buying your own gym clothes instead of waiting until the annual campus housing fair to get free t-shirts.
The “Breakfast For A Buck” nights and “Penny Beer” happy hours are few and far between, and even if and when you muster the energy to go, somehow it just doesn’t feel the same.
13. Don’t Fake It
Anything - Fun. Friendships. Relationships. Love. Passion. Orgasms. Who you are.
You don’t do anyone any favors by doing so, least of all yourself.
14. Go Out. Have Fun. Make Mistakes. Be Alive.
Experience things. Feel things. Laugh, cry, fuck up, and then learn from it all.
In the end, the friendships you make and the memories you create are invaluable, and will teach you more about life, yourself, the world, and the people in it more than any Friday-night study session could.
15. Don’t Put Out On The First Date
Not because it’s slutty, but because he may turn out to be bipolar and opt to tell you this at 5 a.m. on your second date thus causing immediate panic and drug-induced paranoia as you wonder, “Is he going to kill me?” and visualize your dead body in a ditch somewhere and contemplate who will play you in the Lifetime movie about this night.
And also because it's slutty.
16. Always, Always Stay For (At Least Part Of) The Summer
The longer you’re home, the more complacent you become, at least in my opinion. The longer you’re there, the more likely it is that you will fall right back into your routines.
It’s natural, because it’s easy. Familiar. It’s something to occupy your time and kill your boredom until you get back to your “other” life.
Time is a slippery slope, and when you’re home for (too) long, that boy you never saw a future with starts to look awfully good, and the town you once couldn’t wait to leave begins to feel a bit too comforting.
So get out. And stay out. Keep your visits short and sweet and remember to remember all the reasons why you left in the first place.
17. Luck Will Not Always Be On Your Side - So Be Careful
Sure, that one time you accept drugs from a stranger in a mask at a rave on Halloween might end up being one of the most magical nights of your life, but beware. You won’t always get this lucky when you make ridiculously stupid decisions, especially if they involve strangers.
So use your head and best judgement, because it's all fun and games when you say “just a few drinks” until a few hours later when you end up with jizz in your eye and then pass out at 5 AM wearing a Forever 21 bodycon dress and thigh-high boots.
All hypothetically speaking. Again. God, judgy motherfuckers.
18. The World Is Yours
And, even though it’s really not, it feels like it is - because you’re selfish. And the center of your own universe. You believe everything is yours for the taking. Which is somewhat true, and, for the time being, that arrogant selfishness is okay.
Because eventually, you’ll (most likely) find a partner, and many of us will also start families. So the time to be selfish, then, is “now”. When you’re flyin’ solo and have less responsibilities and the risk of hurting others is less prevalent.
For a short time, everything you want and need is right at your disposal - Beautiful people, good food, good friends, friendly neighbors, great coffee, school spirit, an amazing gym, alcohol, drugs, bars, clubs, parties, sports, and, perhaps most importantly, a sea of young people the same age trying just as hard as you to get laid, laugh the hardest, love the deepest, chug the fastest, and live it up the most as we all stand selfish and unabashed on top of our worlds.