So lately I feel like every time I talk to my college kid I'm desperately pelting him with last minute advice that might not ever have been given or that might not have stuck. I just don't know. It feels so random. "DON'T SMOKE CRACK!" Or, "DON'T FORGET TO LAUGH!" Desperate doesn't even come close. You send these kids out unto the world and hope that they don't fuck up. You are helplessly helpless. Tied. All you can do is say rosaries and think, "Don't fuck up! DON'T FUCK UP!" Some things that I've pelted MY kid with seem to apply to most kids. Maybe YOUR kid?
Be funny, or at least be someone who laughs.
Jesus, I went to a potluck at a hipster house one night. There were a couple of dozen people there. They were all talking about fracking or Republicans or some shit so I made a joke. You would have thought I took a big shit right there on the floor. It was like the commercial where everyone stops talking and looks at the smart dude who knows how to invest (ironic, because these people would probably hate that this reference involves investing). They had NO time for my humor. There was just "too much suffering in the world" for someone to make jest. I just could not wait to get the fuck out of there.
BE FUNNY! Be VERY funny. Life is so short. You could die tomorrow. Yes, you. Be the guy who made people laugh, not the guy who bummed everyone out at every public appearance. There will always be suffering. Be funny to the people around you today. Bring light. BE light. Even if you are feeling dark inside, you can be light for others. Do that. And if you are not someone who is naturally funny... laugh at those who are. Surround yourself in light.
I was originally going to call this, "Don't be a pussy!" Take a risk! Get good at failing! Fail a lot! Succeed occasionally. Just. Keep. Trying!!! Don't take no for an answer. Tip a table over if needed. Ask, ask, ask. It's true that "The worst they can say is no." Your ego will get bruised, but know that those that take chances are far more awesome than those who never tried. And know that failing is how great people have gotten to be great. Be great!
Don't be an asshole.
Believe in what you believe with all of your soul. But don't be an asshole. There will be a lot of people who don't understand you. There will be a lot of people who don't agree with you. There will be some people who will persecute you. Let them have their opinion. Yes, they are wrong. Yes, they do things we do not agree with, but we most likely will never change them. Should we take opportunities to educate? Sure, but be respectful. And if anyone ever physically hurts you, tell your mother. She will take care of them.
Pretend you care.
Be a good listener. Even if you truly don't care. Even if the person has told you the same story a dozen times. They need someone to listen. It is a very simple task that is worth a great deal to a person in need. You will be that person at some point. Be present for others.
Don't be a burden.
OMG, please be the one who occasionally buys coffee for a friend. Don't always be the guy with no money. You know what? Your parents would much rather transfer funds to your account than allow you to constantly scam off your friends. I speak for all parents.
Take some fucking initiative.
So you have a job. If you ask constantly, "What do you want me to do now?" your employers will hate you. I'm guessing by your first week you will have a pretty good handle on what gets done at your job. Show up and do that. And if you have time left THEN ask, "What else can I do?" You want to know how to piss off your employers? By having them constantly find shit for you to do. You know what would be nice? Looking around and finding stuff that might be helpful. The sink is gross. Clean it. The office supplies need restocking. Find out where they are kept and restock them. That stuff.
Manage your shit.
Don't wait for your parents to stalk your bank statements to notice that you have $1.34 in your checking account. Fix that shit. Or better yet, don't let that shit get to that state. If you don't have the money, don't buy it. It's not hard. You got into college, you should at least know that you can't get a tall mocha with $1.34. And you should clean your room. Like right now.
Stop scamming on crazies.
For the love of all things holy, stop dating people who need therapists. I mean, we all "need" therapists, but we don't all NEED therapists. Mothers just want their babies to be in stable relationships. We worry. You are too good for... Well, for everyone.
Call your fucking mother!
Remember when your step father bought you a new phone for graduation and jokingly said, "Call your mother!" And then you never called your mother? Our hearts break easily. Call your mother.