Grades matter far less than they used to
If you plan on getting a job right after college, how well you do in school will only matter if you’re pulling a perfect 4.0 (which would turn anyone’s head) or fucking shit up with a 2.5. Anywhere in between automatically qualifies you for employment, so what you do outside of the classroom is what really matters. You need to get real-world experience during school. Find things related to your field. Those are the jobs that teach you what you really need to know, i.e. how to be confident in yourself and start building up a portfolio.
When you get into an interview, you need to be able to say, “This is what I’ve done in the past, and this is what I can do for you in the future.” If all you do is go to class, you’re going to have nothing to show for your four years of college.
If you expect to make it big, you have to be ambitious
On a similar note, don’t complain about not succeeding if you aren’t ambitious enough to go after what you want. If you’re not going to go the extra mile in school or at your job to show people that you can get shit done, don’t expect opportunity to ever come knocking. Half of rising through the ranks means actually being good at whatever you do, and the other half is simply telling people what you want. Literally, you need to let people know that you want to succeed and you have no intention of staying where you are forever. If you can do that in a non-douchey way, the world is yours.
Enjoy the party now because eventually it’ll come to an end
One Friday evening my freshman year of college, my mother called me and told me she had put $100 in my bank account. I told her thanks, and said I would use it to buy food. She said, “Do whatever you want with it. Go buy some beer.” I didn’t know what to say because we had never discussed drinking before. She then laughed at my silence and said, “You’re young, go be crazy. You’ll never get to do it again.”
My mom was right. There is no other time in your life when you can get fucked up, sleep with as many people as you want, and generally be completely irresponsible and self-centered and totally get away with it. What’s important to remember is that party life, while incredibly fun, is not sustainable. I know that if I could let my 21-year-old self know this, he wouldn’t believe me. But the writing is on the wall. When one of your friends—that insane one who blacked out every night and has the best stories—lets you know that he’s been two months sober (and you didn’t notice because you were always drunk around him), you’ll start to figure out that it’s time to grow up. Even if you want to party for the rest of your life, your friends aren’t likely to do it with you.
The girls you fuck and dump are not the girls you’re going to marry
I once told this to a younger friend, and he replied, “Well if they’re slutty enough to have a one-night stand, I wouldn’t want to marry them anyway.” My young friend missed the point here. A girl is free to bang whoever she wants, as are you; the truth is that neither of you are ready for a real relationship, which is why you’re both willing to hit it and quit it. So don’t fool yourself into thinking there’s no girl good enough for you if all you can manage to get out of them is a nice fuck. Much like when partying starts to feel pretty empty after a while, so does randomly hooking up. Fool around all you want, but understand that when you’re ready to get serious, there are plenty of girls out there who are ready to take you seriously as well.
Also understand that you may need to learn how to be a good boyfriend. That usually means having to date several people before you figure it out, so don’t be discouraged if and when relationships come to an end. The next one will be better as long as you understand why the last one didn’t work out, especially if it was your fault.
Don’t blame other people when you fail, and learn how to fucking apologize
Not taking responsibility for your actions is the biggest red flag for anyone in your life, be it your girlfriend, coworkers, friends or family. People will stand by you no matter how hard life gets, but will quickly flee if you're constantly deluding yourself about why things went wrong in the first place. Are you someone who cares too much about what other people think? Do you take people in your life for granted? Do you gossip too much, or have no respect for authority? Do you genuinely care for other people? Figure out your flaws now, so that you can do your best to stifle them when they’re most likely to crop up and ruin everything.
But no one is perfect, and we’re all bound to make mistakes and behave badly at times. That’s okay—being able to say, “I’m sorry” and actually mean it is one of the best qualities you could find in anyone.
Of course, know that being able to apologize means nothing if you’re not actually going to try to be better. Actions speak louder than words, so sorry is fine as long as you can show actual growth every now and then. And what’s great about growth is that you’re totally going to fuck up again, but the people in your life will forgive you because they know you’re capable of learning.
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