Yet another graduation season has come and gone, and yes, I’ve compiled a new, updated list of gems for young adults venturing out into the Real World, which is anyplace that doesn’t have five Starbucks within two blocks.
So without further ado….
Life is neither as grim nor as carefree as you think it is. It’s pretty much a long succession of days that don’t stand out for any particular reason. Interspersed are moments of elation, terror, joy and doubt, aka marriage, career and children. Welcome to reality.
Another thing: In a very few years, nobody, and I mean nobody, is going to care what your GPA was, or that you were voted sweetest new pledge. Seems shocking now, doesn’t it?
But 20 years from today, people will remember these things: Did you work hard? Did you help others? Did you complain and kvetch, or were you resourceful and witty? The moral here is, drink more local beer. Just making sure you’re alert, kiddoes.
Let’s pretend this is a PowerPoint presentation, and boil it down:
- If you want a gun, buy a gun. If you don’t like guns, don’t buy one. You’re welcome.
- Never miss a chance to sleep. Or play soccer.
- Realize that you don’t have to become your parents, but be willing to inherit the good stuff. You got a college degree, so they did something right somewhere.
- Be generous, but don’t be a sucker. Life will teach you the difference.
- Plenty of good people don’t go to church, but try to find a place and time to communicate with Whoever or Whatever you believe to be in charge.
- Don’t take yourself so seriously. There’s a term for people who do. The term is “bor-ing.”
- If you have to choose between money and friendship, you can replace money more easily than a friend. This is a not a fun lesson.
- Fried jalapeno poppers are not a recognized food group.
- Being jealous of other people is a waste of time because chances are, they’re jealous of something you have, too. It’s a pointless, stupid circle. Opt out.
- Everything else being equal, go for the 20-year loan and pay it off early if you can.
- When in doubt, go to the funeral. It will mean more than you know.
- Pinterest will drive you crazy. It’s more addictive than alcohol or drugs, and there are no 12-step programs for Pinterest. Tread carefully, my friends.
- No, it’s not just you: David Letterman stopped being funny 10 years ago. Jimmy Kimmel is where it’s at.
- Actually, Adam Carolla is where it’s at, but that’s a whole other column, Ace-Man!!
- Identify what you’d do if fear—of change, of the unknown, of failure--weren’t a factor. Now go do it. But don’t call me when you’re stranded at the summit of Mt. Rainier without local beer.
- If you want to make the world a better place, you’re already halfway there.
- Think “The Family Guy” and “King of the Hill” are hilarious? You ain’t seen nothin’ yet. Sit down with a marathon of Looney Tunes cartoons and prepare to crack a rib. Bugs Bunny, Wile E. Coyote and the Roadrunner—THAT’s funny stuff. Bleep, bleep!
- Don’t love something that can’t love you back. You can love your car, but don’t LOVE your car. Got that?
- Everyone over 18 should know how to cook, clean and iron. This is Life 101. If you have none of those skills, be prepared to pay someone who does.