Santa Isn’t Real (And 9 Other Things I Wish My Parents Had Taught Me)

Nicolas Alejandro
Nicolas Alejandro

1. College isn’t just parties.

It’s hard work. No one holds your hand. Whoever you were in high school probably won’t serve you anymore and so begins the long, grueling process of becoming the next version of yourself, the sort-of-grown-up self who does her own laundry but still sleeps with her parents if she has a nightmare on Christmas break.

2. It doesn’t stop raining just because you forgot your umbrella.

Check the weather, there’s a ten-day forecast available in your pocket. Nothing is more juvenile then Birkenstocks in a snow storm.

3. Love isn’t enough.

It’s great to love someone, sure. But if the only redeeming quality you can distill from your romantic relationship is that you love each other, then you’re probably fucked. I don’t know exactly what the glue is that keeps two people together—respect, patience, acceptance, loyalty, maybe a combination of all four, but it’s worth leaving whoever you’re with to find someone else (even if they’re not as tall or as buff).

4. Meal replacement bars will not make you skinny.

They will only make you hungry again in an hour, at which point you’ll have already consumed a meal’s worth of calories but your brain thinks you’ve eaten a bird’s breakfast. Eat real food and if your ass is a little fatter than you’d like then so be it; at least let it be fat from pancakes and not from slim fast bars.

5. You aren’t really an individual.

I mean, you are, but you’re also a lot more influenced by your environment than you’d like to believe. Something about late teenage years has us all marching in this parade, waving our “I’m an individual” flag and feeling like the most original thing to walk the streets since the person next to you. Be careful when you’re in a group—sororities, fraternities, chess club, etc. It’s easy to lose your humanity.

6. Your social security number…

…as well as your own cell phone number, are worthwhile less-than-fifteen-digit numbers, to have memorized.

7. People die, and not just old people in nursing homes, but young people too.

We tend to think we’re entitled to life when we’re eighteen, that the next seventy or so years are a given. They’re not. Cherish the days.

8. You don’t have to read Shakespeare or even Jane Austin, just read something that isn’t Buzz Feed.

We are so literature dehydrated it’s no wonder we don’t shrivel up. Plus it’s evident in our egregious vocabulary (is that the right use of egregious? I just learned that one today).

9. Make your own money.

Sure you can probably subsist off of your parents hard work for another five years before you start getting some serious side eye, but do you really want to explain the CVS purchase “vibrating condom” when the next Visa Bill arrives? TC mark

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