As college graduations draw near we at Lists That Actually Matter would like to serve as the tour guides to success for our recent graduates. Because, like Whitney Houston, we believe children are our future. But that is not all- we also do cocaine, marijuana, Xanax, the muscle relaxant Flexeril and Benadryl in bathtubs with Ray J.
But since we agree children are our future, here is my attempt to teach them well (and let them lead the way).
1) On Dealing With Condescending Baby Boomers
When a babyboomer attempts to imply that your generation is inferior to theirs reply with, "Shine my shoes, fuckface." and follow it up with unalloyed logic: "You were raised by 'The Greatest Generation' who saved the world from the Nazis, reversed the effects of the Great Depression and gave their children more opportunities than any previous generation had ever had. Somehow, your generation managed to reverse all of that, AND on top of that you stuck us with the bill. So your failure-of-a-generation can go to your graves proud that you raised the first generation of Americans with fewer opportunities than their parents had. But hey, at least you have the balls to try to accuse us of being lazy ingrates. Seriously, why aren't you shining my shoes yet, fuckface?".
2) On Family Planning
Every married couple I know who has kids is genuinely glad they did. But I have never heard any of them say, "Thank God we had kids so early! What would we have done if we didn't? Travel? Be young and in love and enjoy each other while we're at our most attractive, energetic yet relatively free of responsibility? No thanks!". You're reproductive organs are still gonna be working just fine in your late 20's, so hold off until then to have kids.
3) On Character Evolution
If my 22 year old self met met now, the younger me would be surprised to know that I hate talking to strangers on planes now, my political views have changed greatly, I'd rather go to the Art Institute than watch a Cubs game, and I get called "creative" more than I ever thought I would. Even my taste in women has changed- (though the appetite is the same) AND the way I approach them has change drastically and for the better.
Will you change in the same ways I have? Probably not, but what is probable is that your changes will be equally unpredictable. And that's not a bad thing.
4) On Kind of Contradicting Myself
That being said: People don't change. Well, little things about people can change- like what I listed above, but what doesn't change is their basic human traits. Selfish people don't become considerate, melancholy people don't become happy-go-lucky and insecure people will never morph into beacons of stability. It is possible that a person can gradually change those traits over time but it's important to note that the catalyst for that change will NEVER be your nagging or threatening to leave them if they don't conform to your idealized version.
The effort wasted in trying to change someone would be spent more efficiently trying to find someone similar to you. In summation: Date a partner and not a project. Just trust me on that one, which leads me to....
5) Please Take This Advice About How to Take Advice
I believe it was Ludacris in the song "Fatty Girl" who said, "Shut yo ass up when you hear a pimp talk.". One lesson we can all learn from Luda is that you don't have to take everyone's advice, but when someone with some smarts is taking, you should listen.
You're a new graduate, so imagine if you went to a high school to speak about what college is like and you found that the kids don't seem to agree with your advice. Wouldn't you be a little pissd off? You'd probably think something along the lines of, "You pubescent rubes are LUCKY to have someone with all my experience spoon-feed you this information! I learned all these lessons the hard way and I'm trying to save you ingrates some time and grief- I wish I had someone like me give me all these pre-learned lessons. I'm not passing on this knowledge for my benefit- I'm already out of college, so it isn't like me saying these words makes my life any better. I am telling you all right now, I AM RIGHT! So take this advice you, unappreciative buttholes.".
Advice can be difficult to take even when a knowledgeable person with your best interests at heart is the one doing the advising. It's just not human nature to readily accept advice. Sometimes you have to put yourself in the shoes of the advice-giver (as in the example above) in order to convince yourself the advice is worth taking. Wouldn't you be pissed off if people didn't take your advice when it's from on a topic you know a lot about?
If you determine that someone knows their stuff and is simply trying to let their hard-learned lessons make your ride a little smoother, shut yo ass when you hear that pimp talk.
6) On The Point
Work hard but make sure you have some fun every once in a while. Otherwise, what's the point?