Every year graduation season comes and goes, and so many fresh young faces are ready to either face the world or go on to college, I thought it would be a nice time to share with you some things I learned on my own that no one decided to tell me when I graduated high school.
If you just graduated, heed these words. If you’re graduating in the next couple of years, prepare yourself. If you’ve graduated before, you’ll understand this perfectly. Like…
6. The Real World Isn’t as Crazy as People Make it Out to Be.
You know the drill. Every day when you just don’t care, some adult is warning you of the dangers of the real world. As someone who grew up in a paranoid society, I’ll admit I bought into the scariness of the real world.
But guess what? As long as you’ve got your stuff together, the world is about as scary as a little bunny.
See, every adult in the history of ever just expects you to fail, and unless you’re really just an awful person, you’re going to be fine. Thanks to lawsuits by over sensitive people and those who just don’t like kicking the little guy, America has been almost fail-proofed. Really, the only way you can fail is if you just get gacked out on drugs.
Maybe up north or in Europe where people lack any moral fiber whatsoever, the world may be a little intimidating, but that’s it. The only scary part about the real world is realizing…
5. You’re an Adult Now
This is primarily for people who go to a real college. And by a real college, I mean anything that’s not community college or DeVry. There’s nothing wrong with going to either of those places. The upside is that it lets you be a kid for a little while longer. Why? Because your parents are still there for just about anything you need.
The downside to that is, your parents are still there for just about anything. They’ll be asking you questions, getting all up in your business, making you do stuff (unless you just have the coolest parents in the world).
Outside of college, your friends will start to get married. They’ll start to have kids (one of the most unexplainable feelings you’ll ever have). You’ll have bills to pay.
But when you get to college, and you have your own dorm or apartment, it’s game on. You can do whatever you want, within the bounds of the legal system of course (unless you don’t get caught).
On top of this new found freedom, you’re basically responsible for your own life. You make sure you’re fed. You make sure you get to class on time. You make sure you’ve got everything you need. College is basically a way to teach you how to parent yourself before you start cultivating your own crotch fruit.
And one of the best things about college is you can do and say what you truly feel, and people will more or less accept it and treat you as an individual. You’ll want to join causes and let your voice be heard, but guess what?
4. Your Humanitarian Efforts Won’t Make a Difference
Oh, thought we were going to be positive? Nope. See here’s the thing. There are 7 billion people on this planet. You, though you’re in the top 30% of wealthiest people just by living in America, and receiving a college education, your causes to better the world mean very little.
Sure, you can join To Write Love on Her Arms or Invisible Children, and meet other like-minded, semi-crazy individuals who connect with these poor kids, and you’ll crusade around campus, passing out fliers that people never read them, and you’ll feel a sense of fulfillment knowing you’ve helped change the world.
One problem – you didn’t. See, most of these non-profit “charitable” organizations are just tax write-offs for the wealthy and a way to make themselves look better. When you see just how much of the donations that were given to Invisible Children after the Kony craze, you’ll see what I mean.
Now look, I’m not saying you shouldn’t go help out or volunteer or whatever, because if that’s what you feel led to do, by all means, go for it. It’s a great social outlet and you’ll meet some new people. Just don’t go around thinking you’ve changed the life of some kid in Kenya.
Besides, making all those new friends in college will come in handy because…
3. Your Friends from High School Will Change
See, there’s something that happens shortly after you graduate, and I’m not sure of what it is. But you’ll go your separate ways, and when you meet back up after a semester away, they’ll be different, and it’s weird.
Wait two years. You won’t even feel like you know them. Hell, they may have even changed so much that you two don’t even bother to acknowledge each other’s existence if you run into each other.
It’s a part of life. People grow apart. I’m not saying it happens to everyone. You may luck out and have one friend from high school who stays in contact and doesn’t turn into a complete turd (or maybe you turned into an turd, ever think about that? Maybe you did, and they don’t care because they’re genuinely good people).
But that street goes both ways, because…
2. You Change
That’s the great thing about going to a real college. It absolutely has nothing to do with the academics. All that stuff about college making you a more well-rounded person because you take a wide variety of courses is crap.
College changes you because you get away from the environment you grew up in and you experience new places and new people. These new people mold your personality a little more and turn you into the tub of awesome sauce that shapes the rest of your adult life (your other option is to be an angry and bitter old fart).
That’s why it’s pretty easy to tell the difference between someone who went off to college somewhere and someone who either didn’t go, or didn’t go far from home. It’s not to say they’re bad people, because if they have a wide enough range of friends, they can be okay.
Granted, this is coming from someone who grew up in a tight-knit, closed-door society where the desired track for academia never allowed you into the real world. But that’s a past discussion and I’m not going back down that road.
Here’s the last point:
1. YOU ARE NOT SPECIAL
I cannot stress this enough. You’re not. I hope I didn’t crush any spirits with this earth-shattering revelation, but it’s true.
See, you don’t fully realize this until you get to college because that’s when people (i.e. your family) stops kissing your rear for every little thing you do. Growing up, you probably had the idea that ran something along the lines of: “What if I’m actually the king of the world, and everyone doesn’t want me to know, so they’re covering it up and treating me like a normal person?”
Then you get to college and realize you’re destined to be like every other backwoods dung flinger you grew up with. And honestly, by that time, you’re so jaded with life and possibly hung over that you don’t really care.
See, you were born in North Carolina (if you’re reading this and you weren’t born in North Carolina, sorry), which is like the successful one in a family that includes West Virginia, Alabama, and Mississippi. And on top of that, you’re not even from the good part of the state like Raleigh, Greensboro, Winston-Salem, or Charlotte (if you are, congrats!). Oh no, you’re from the ENC, the reason people say you’re related to West Virginia, Alabama, and Mississippi. And if you ask what’s wrong with that, you deserve a shovel to the back of your head.
No one from that area is destined to succeed. The few who do don’t amount to anything in the grand scheme of things. People who are born here are just alive to keep the world spinning. They are born there, they grow up there, and though they may go to college somewhere, they come back to work there, raise more kids there, and die there.
How sad is that? Welcome to the real world, kids.