So I was recently approached by Braves about putting something together for current and future freshman. From the ages of 18-24ish, we are all generally in the same boat, face the same issues, and fight the same battles. Now, some of you may question me and think, “WHO ARE YOU TO WRITE THIS BLOODY ARTICLE!?!?!!?!” Well let me tell you something…..I learned how to handle college like a drunk trying to ride a bike…when you look back and are sober, it all makes sense. Now I am not looking for sympathy, far from it, I don’t get a purple heart for a self-inflicted gunshot wound. But I can always look back at the MANY stupid situations I put myself in, and give a little advice to the younger crowd. You should just ask my siblings, I taught them more by the time they graduated from high school than most get taught in a lifetime…and I prefer to lead by example. In writing this brilliant piece of literature, I will look back at the primary issues I faced during my 6 year sprint, what put me in those spots, and how I should have handled it…in very few cases was that how I handled it.
Academics- So this is the boring one…that’s why I am getting it out of the way. Now that being said, THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT!!!! Yet another reason this is first. When I look back at college it feels like it was yesterday – living in Diversity with Law, Ginger, Reckless, and Chef. But I haven’t been in that house in nearly 4 years. Let’s rehash what has happened since I LEFT that house…moved home/back in with parents, spent a year on probation, moved back to College Station, graduated from Texas A&M (WHOOP!!), moved home/back in with parents (yes, again), was promoted and demoted (by choice) at Best Buy twice apiece, had another drinking while driving incident, had 900 girlfriends, 4,000 kids…ok, you get the picture. The point in all this is, TIME FLIES. If you have an idea what you want to do after college, whether it be find a great job like Spaniard, Master Diver, the Angel, Phoenix and countless other good friends OR go to grad school like Law, Asian, and Jersey Shore, THEN YOU MUST ABSOLUTELY MAKE THIS YOUR PRIORITY. Do not allow yourself to be put in a position with a poor GPA if you have true aspirations beyond putting a sheet of paper on the wall. I mean this when I say it, I would highly recommend a technical degree. Even if you take time off after school like Braves or Blondie, you have the technical training to find a job.
You will absolutely be inundated by people like me to go to “Karaoke at The Tap every Monday,” but realize there are very few people who can pull off the double feat of screwing around and still accomplishing everything they want in school. My favorite “Karaoke at The Tap every Monday” memory is………..yeah, I don’t have one. THEY DIDN’T DO A THING FOR ME!!! My excuse was always “it will be fun” or “memories last forever.” Yeah, neither of those were/are the case. School sucks, but it sucks far less when you study a little every day and actually learn what you are doing rather than cramming Blue Bunnies down your throat to pull multiple all-nighters before your finals….just ask Stripper and Big Mac.
Finding Friends- So, (currently being distracted by Chelsea HandlerThe real one) most people would expect me to look back at my flawless decision-making, and tell everyone to find friends at organizations, school sponsored events, all the same stuff most people do in high school. I think that is a fantastic way to find people who are just like you…which allows you to grow personally, emotionally, professionally, spiritually, take-your-pick-ly about as much as someone’s BAC level after 1 beer…not a whole lot. Most everyone knows of my Inner Circle, at the risk of their aliases becoming common knowledge, I’m not going to list them. So, I am going to give everyone a few examples of my closest friends you don’t know about and the interesting ways I met them.
Big Mac- This may actually be the most interesting one of all. I was dating a nice young lady, who we will refer to as Stripper, and though we were both under 21, we frequented a local establishment of ill-repute. Stripper and Big Mac were drunk-friends (met drunk, said hi drunk, etc) and I eventually got to know him as a drunk-friend as well. Now the beauty of male bonding comes into play here, as Stripper and I eventually went our separate ways Big Mac and I began to hang out when more and more sober, until we began studying together. Now, there are very few marks like true male friends, than when they are willing study together. Guys use studying for two things, attempting to stay sober and meet chicks…actually studying is a distant third. Studying with another guy may be viewed as slightly homosexual in most instances outside of roommates. To this day, I still hang out with Big Mac whenever possible, even though he lives in Little Mexico.
Methodist- To underscore the actual distance to this person, please follow the arrows: Law-->Queen-->Princess 1-->Princess 1’s roommate-->Princess 1’s roommate’s boyfriend (Methodist). I first crossed paths with Methodist at a brilliant tailgate for the O-who game a few years ago. And after a few more tailgates (if you don’t know what a tailgate is, please quit reading my blog…thanks and gig em), we started playing games of ill-repute and generally causing lots of debauchery…so much so that Princess 1’s roommate did not like being around us at the same time. Again, this is someone I even began studying with…I’m telling you, this is a sign of a good friend. During my short working vacation back in DFW, I plan on forcing him to use copious amounts of heroin and cocaine…and strippers (No, not Stripper).
Attorney- I lied about Big Mac earlier, this is definitely the most random person that I consider a close friend. Now, I can’t take full credit, and actually zero credit, for us crossing paths. I have to give all the credit to God (I mean that in a positive way, even though it is a humorous placement of the phrase). DogDog, who was a great roommate of mine, was working at The Outback before I started frequently the establishment. Attorney was already a very established regular, and it was only natural that their paths would cross, and begin to cross regularly. Well, one day Attorney and DogDog decided they would enjoy a non-Outbackish activity. Now on my end, I was introduced to a wonderful gentleman name Officer Schneider, who worked for the Texas DPS. I would generally highly recommend having law enforcement officials as close acquaintances, but Officer Schneider and I did not meet under the most ideal circumstances. Due to our first interaction I was in need of Attorney’s services. If DogDog’s path had not crossed with Attorney’s, then my path with Officer Schneider could have had a much more disastrous outcome. I cannot begin to explain the role Attorney has played in my life, and the fantastic impact he brings to the table for anyone willing to listen to his years of wisdom. I truly believe it was God’s timing that brought Attorney into my life for that event and to continually be a positive influence.
I want people to look at these examples and realize YOU NEVER KNOW WHEN OR WHERE YOU ARE GOING TO MEET SOMEONE WHO WILL HAVE A POSITIVE IMPACT ON YOUR LIFE. I have some amazing friends I have worked with over the years, lived with, grew up with, etc. And I may be closer to some of those people than the ones listed above, but I have grown on so many levels because of the people I talked about. And had I not been open-minded about meeting new people, where I met them, how I met them, and what they would do for me that day, then I might have missed out on a great relationship in my life.
Relationships- I think this may be the most overvalued aspect of college. Now those of you who were “lucky” enough to find your dreamy significant other, I commend you…though I would compare it to going to a crappy party….WHERE IS MY JACKET, I WANT TO BAIL ON THIS PARTY!!!! Now I am going to make two very quick points: 1. Guys- We are lying @$$holes, we are generally out to satisfy whatever needs we may have…laundry, cooking, physical desires, etc. But you know what made us this way?? THE GIRLS WHO CAN’T DECIDE WHAT THEY WANT, WON’T TELL YOU WHAT THEY WANT, EXPECT YOU TO READ THEIR MINDS, AND THEN WALK AWAY DISGUSTED WHEN WE DON’T TREAT YOU LIKE DADDY DID 2. Girls- You are confusing and selfish, and generally out for attention. But you know what I think made you this way?? GUYS WHO ARE WILLING TO DO WHATEVER IT TAKES TO GET YOU TO TREAT THEM LIKE MOMMY DID…plus a few other things…!!!! Does anyone else see the vicious cycle here?? Now there are exceptions to every rule, but there is a simple way to fix most of these problems; they stem from a lack of communication. Setting clear expectations and having a good grasp of the situation will keep everyone from parting ways like I part with a hangover…THANK GOD THAT’S GONE!!! I am not advocating that everyone needs to sleep around, or that everyone needs to be on the verge of marriage on graduation day. My point is simply this: KNOW WHAT IT IS YOU WANT AND ARE AFTER, BE CLEAR ABOUT THAT, DON’T COMPROMISE, AND EVERYONE WILL COME OUT HAPPY. Worst case scenario, you didn’t do anything wrong. And you never know when that certain person may cross your path – maybe it will be at a football game, or a tailgate, or at work, or maybe even a wedding (I watched Wedding Crashers recently).
A few other quick points that seem pretty simple and straight-forward:
1. Getting a job forces you to learn time management and gives you spending money your parents can’t regulate. I highly recommend it.
2. College is for developing relationships with friends; your family will still be there for you after you are done. Leaving college with no friends will suck.
3. College is expensive – finish as soon as possible.
4. Go to as many sporting events as possible. When you are old, you will be able to say, “I was there.” I didn’t do that nearly enough.
As always, I appreciate your time. I know spending 15 minutes of your oh-so-busy day is quite the inconvenience, but I guarantee it means more to me than most realize. *Somehow Nascar Now just came on ESPN…CHANGING THE CHANNEL* My list of topics is getting pretty good, where I can start picking and choosing different topics. Shoot me an email or text and I will gladly get back with you.