Friday, March 28, 2008

Lesson 7: Guard your Grill

Congratulations if you own a grill (the one you wear in your mouth). This is an incredible waste of money but I'm sure the amount of respect you command on the mean streets of your high school hallways was worth the purchase. I'm talking about the other kind of grill.

Guard what you say about others.
This may seem like common sense on the surface but it's one of the easiest bits of advice to ignore. High school, your sports teams, work - all of these places are filled with people with big egos and bigger mouths. You probably can think of several people off the top of your head you do not like and enjoying talking negatively about. You need to fight the urge to get caught up in the shit talking game.

Don't get caught up in the gossip game.
It's enticing to want to talk poorly about people you don't like. However, you will quickly lose respect of your peers and all that shit you talked will come back around to haunt you. It is guaranteed if you share your low opinion of someone to someone else, they will go blabbing all over the school. This will quickly catch up to you, leading to social problems in the most brutal social scene of all - high school. If you have a problem with someone, just tell it to their face.

Don't trust anyone in your social circle.
Besides your absolute best friends, and in high school even they are not a guarantee, trust no one in your social circle in high school. Teenagers will constantly sell each other out just for their own benefit of advancement up the social ladder. If you have a secret you don't want anyone to know, you better not tell anyone. In high school, you are at the point of brain development where you are entirely egocentric - the world revolves around you. This means people will do whatever necessary to benefit themselves first, neglecting all other consequences. I had almost every good friend turn on me at one point in high school. This made me question what "good friend" means. Some of those people remain my good friends today. Notice I said almost, that means that a few stayed loyal. Some people are just cut from a better cloth. If you find friends like this, make sure you keep them on your side.

Listen first, speak only when necessary.
You'll begin to notice that the elite of the popular crowds do not run their mouths. They tend to be very guarded with who they trust and what they say. They also tend to be very guarded with how much they talk. This is because these people have learned to be self disciplined. Think of your words as currency. The more you flood the market with currency, the less value it has. If you take the approach of being a listener and speak only when you have intelligent and thought out words to add, your reputation will quickly grow. People will see you as someone they can trust. This is a very good thing.

Keep secrets.
Besides your own secrets, you will learn many secrets throughout high school if you know how to listen. Drunk kids at parties, people with less self-control, stoners, emotional girls, all are great sources of information. Once your reputation has grown, more people will trust you with more information. Keep this information guarded. Information is power and leverage. Once you have enough of it, you can command a lot of control over people. The popular crowd tends to engage in activities that are often illegal and immoral. Information about drugs, money, sex, abortions, thefts, steriods, cheating, etc will be entrusted to you. Use this to your advantage when necessary. Just remember, all those people who like to talk shit about other people to you are probably saying the same things about you behind your back. It's just the nature of the beast in high school.


Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Lesson 6: Your Comfort Zone

Get out of your comfort zone!!
Okay, so how many times have you heard this ridiculous cliché? Too many. But guess why? No, not because it was popularized by the late Jimmy Carter. There are two reasons.

Reason Numero Uno
It's a lot more socially acceptable than saying "stop being a f***ing pussy." But, it's what everyone means when they say it. Getting out of your comfort zone means manning up and doing things that challenge you in new ways. It's the only way you develop as a mature adult who doesn't call home to mommy when they have to figure out how to do their laundry or solve their big boy calculus problems that the university professor gave them.

Reason Numero Dos
It's because it's something that all adults realize when it's a little too late in their adult lives. Holy crap, one day you will wake up from your pathetic job as overnight stock manager at Staples and realize you've never "gotten out of your comfort zone." You've been a pussy you're whole life. You need to branch out, leave home, travel, take a punch, make a speech, all that crap. But really, it's simpler than that. Example - I will readily admit this - I suck at basketball. But I also play in my work league. I am probably the worst player on our team, and it really challenges my ego to suck so bad. But I want to improve and learn to appreciate the game. So I play basketball. And I am getting better. And it helps me other areas of my life. Example 2 - I recently took up snowboarding. Remember that line in Fight Club, when Ed Norton says "after fighting, everything gets the volume turned down... you can deal with anything." Fighting is an extreme example, but after flying down a mountain all weekend on a piece of wood, hitting jumps and rails, sometimes landing, sometimes falling, always having adrenaline fueling you, work isn't that big of a deal. You'll worry less about the little things. So what are you waiting for? Stop being a melvin and go out there and do something new. Play basketball in the inner city. Tryout for the football team. Buy that girl at the bar a shot of chocolate cake. Shave your head. Don't wake up ten years from now and wish you had.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Lesson 5: Your Threads

Congrats if the word "threads" means something to you.

Clothes make the man right?... Actually yes. But not the ones you think. I believe that every article of clothing you wear should make some kind of statement about you. Guess what - that Abercrombie Beach Volleyball Team shirt does not say dick about you. Unless you play for the actual A&F beach volleyball team, don't wear this rediculously pompous piece of crap shirt. It sucks. It says nothing about you and chances are it probably smells bad from all that A&F crap cologne anyway.

If you snowboard, get snowboard shirts. If you play lacrosse or football, represent your favorite teams or wear shirts that say you do these things. If you like music, wear your band's t-shirts.

Wear clothes that make people stop and look at them. Find a brand most people don't know about and wear it. A good example is Vestal Watches or Utopia Optics. They make sweet gear for extreme athletes.

Wear clothes that make people laugh or question themselves. Political shirts, funny shirts, and intelligent shirts will start conversation and get you noticed. Check out Those Hollister Polo Shirts will be outdated in a year, trust me. Certain brands scream I AM IN HIGHSCHOOL!!! You will not wear these very long. A&F, Hollister, American Eagle etc are all like this.

Lesson 4: Part 3 - Your First Big Party

So the night is going well.

Party games.
Learn to play beer pong, flip cup, and some card games before you show up. They'll help you meet and connect with people which will make you have fun.

Don't overdo it.
You can not socially afford to throw up or black out. Let others drink for you. There can be atime and place to get crazy, but this is not that time. You are not ready yet! If you are the guy who ruins Suzy Swanson's dress with your vomit, everyone will know it Monday morning. If you break Johhny Football Star's leg when you fall on him, you will get sued. If you burn down Jimmy Rich Kid's vintage-sports-car filled garage - you will go to jail. And Jimmy will not invite you back to his parties. D'oh!