Fourteen Tips About Life, Your Choice

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One of the more annoying features of modern life is the superstition that people are immune from stupidity.  This translates into the belief, I might call it an article of faith, that people should be free to do whatever idiotic thing they please and suffer no ill consequences therefrom.  Alas, life does not  work that way.  The piper always has to be paid sooner or later.

Walter Russell Mead explains this basic fact of life to the college bound who wish to ruin their lives quickly:

First, enroll in a college that you cannot afford, and rely on large student loans to make up the difference.

Second, spend the next four years having as good a time as possible: hang out, hook up, and above all, take plenty of “awesome” courses.

Third, find teachers and role models who will encourage you to develop an attitude of enlightened contempt for ordinary American middle class life, the world of business, and such bourgeois virtues as self-reliance, thrift, accountability and self-discipline.  Specialize in sarcasm and snark.

Fourth, avoid all courses with tough requirements, taking only the minimum required number of classes in science, math and foreign languages.

Fifth, never think about acquiring marketable skills.

Sixth, when you graduate and discover that you have to repay the loans and cannot get a job that pays enough to live comfortably while servicing your debts, be surprised.  Blame society.  Demand that the government or your parents or evil corporations bail you out.

Seventh, expect anyone (except for other clueless losers who’ve been as stupid and wasteful as you) to sympathize with your plight, or to treat you with anything but an infuriating mixture of sorrow, pity and contempt.

Go here to read the rest.

On the other hand, for those who might not be eager to ruin their lives, here are seven tips, college bound or not, that might help during their journey through this Vale of Tears:

1.  There is a God, and you aren’t Him.

2.  When deciding how to treat other people, remember that the wheel always comes round.

3.  There ain’t no such thing as a free lunch.

4.  Do not confuse glibness with wisdom.

5.  Showing up early is almost always a good idea.

6.  Work should never be confused with play.

7.  Stupidity, like vice, is always its own punishment.


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  1. #8 Humility is not a trendy hot drink.
    If you don’t practice it now you will
    wish you had in years to come.

    Hope you don’t mind the addition Mr. McClarey.

  2. #9 Do not lie, cheat, or steal. (Optional) Nor tolerate those that do.
    #10 Keep yourself clean, sane and whole for whatever adventure/opportunity/peril life might bring you.
    #11 Pray for your classmates, fellow employees, profs, . . .

  3. When I went back to school (my local University) a couple of years ago.. the catalog (online variety only) was full of these “awesome” courses. My degree requirements included a certain number of these “awesome” courses… I took one. Gritted my teeth the whole time and ended up with an “awesome” headache. It wasn’t a hard course by a long-shot (college courses are sooooo much easier now, than 25 years ago… *sigh*) but I still feel gypped. Ended up switching to a minor in a more technical field, just to avoid any more “awesome” classes than absolutely necessary.

  4. 10) The internet isn’t real. Snark can pass for good judgment.
    11) Snow on the road is real. Either you have the ability to handle it or you’re going to get stuck in a ditch.
    12) There are more things in life that are like snow on the road than are like the internet.

  5. 18. Good judgment comes from experience and experience comes from bad judgment.
    19. Before you speak, consider whether the silence you break is more valuable than your words.
    20. Never get into a stink-up with a skunk.

  6. CrankyinAZ, I hear you. One of my mandatory subjects at Uni was feng shui. I had to endure a weekly lesson that involved my lecturer walking into corners of a room closing his eyes and clapping the “evil spirits” away. He was a feng shui practitioner also- so there were idiots out there voluntarily giving this man their money in exchange for hooplah!

    Needless to say there was alot of muffled giggles in the room during these lectures.

    And the same lecturer would occasionally call on us to meditate a state of being that would conjur up creativity. It was a torturous 2hours. Particularly since I knew how much this unit subject was going to cost!

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