This past weekend, I came across a letter I wrote in 2007 as a senior at Florida State. Here it is below in full with annotated notes from me in 2012. Send this to your little brother or sister.
As i sit here, blowing off my International Organizations Final, I think back on the past 4 years, and what lessons i learned. Let's get into it, eh?
~Gentlemen, getting a girl to date you isn't hard. Here's how it works.
You see that hot girl over there? Yeah, her. Go say hey.
Stop being nervous. Have a conversation. Listen more than you talk. Listening works because you can tell if you want to be with someone within 2 minutes. Also, stop thinking you're striking out. Why are you worried? She's talking, right? oh, s**T..she paused. Ask her out for dinner, NOW.
She said yeah, didn't she?
(Note: If this didn't work, she's either: dating someone, or not attracted to you. THIS IS NOT YOUR FAULT. Nut up, and move along) (2012 Ernest: Not the classiest way to get to the point, but it's got some logic. What are you scared of again? Ask the girl out.)
~Talk to EVERYONE. Don't be fake, making friends with everyone is a dumb move. Be friendly, and you'll see the benefits. Your network is your net worth. (2012 Ernest: Yup.)
~Get yourself some different groups of acquaintances. This is your format. I'm a guy, so my view is skewed. Adjust if you need to.
Your true friends: More often then not, you live with these people, but these are the people you associate with on the daily. You might know them from home. Either way, you know who they are. (2012 Ernest: "Either way, you know who they are." GREAT POINT WILKINS. Jesus.) Make sure two of them are girls. More on that later.
The Rockstars: Your link to this group will be found freshman year. More often then not, Facebook holds your bond together..This is the group that quite simply WILDS THE F*** OUT. At any point, you can hit them up on the weekends, and just get wild. There's no deep friendship here, don't get sad when they forget your birthday, It is what it is. (2012 Ernest: This doesn't change as you get older.)
The Work-Friends: If you've ever had a job, then you know what i'm talking about..89% of the conversations at parties concern how much of a jerk your boss is. The other 11% are gossip. That's real talk. (2012 Ernest: This doesn't either.)
The Randoms: No one knows where these kids come from, but you see them from time to time..Girls, you tend to go to lunch with these people because it's "BEEN FOREVER!" There's no connection here, but if you see them, you're allowed to use them to cut in line.
(2012 Ernest: *nods*)
The groups spread themselves out and are sometimes connected at the same time. Greek community members can find all of these within your organization sometimes.
~Experiment. Don't kill yourself. But this is the ONLY time you'll get to experience some of this stuff. Brothers, date you a white chick. Nerds? Get your pimp on! Super-Liberal? Holler at a neo-con. Try a recreational drug, (NOTE: heroin is NOT a recreational drug..if you find yourself pawning your stuff get help.) Never tried alcohol? Get f-d up one good time. You'll get sick. That's pretty much what happens every time in differing degrees. If you have fun, keep at it. Just use your enviroment to your advantage. But keep your nose clean. That's my personal request. (2012 Ernest: Remember that time I advised a bunch of kids to try recreational drugs? They should have taken my laptop away, if only for the entire sentence "Holler at a neo-con". Get out of your comfort zone though. Seriously.)
~On the experimental tip, go talk to someone who's culture is COMPLETELY opposite to yours. You'll be surprised at what you might learn. Some of my best friends are people that if i didn't know them, i'd be completely terrifed of them (country boys, thugs, you get me)
(2012 Ernest: *nods*)
BUT, at no point do you say any of the following:
"Why do you guys ________?"
"I don't get it. If I said something something, then I'd be racist! That's not fair!"
"Can i touch your hair/shirt/klingon garb/whatever?"
(2012 Ernest: *nods aggressively*)
I just took a study break..so you know, The 1997 Kyoto Protocol said developed states must cut 1990 emissions of 6 gases by 5% (avg) before 2012.
(2012 Ernest: 191 of them signed and ratified the protocol. The only one to sign and not ratify? The United States.)
If you can emotionally bear it, stay single for a long time. In 4 years, i've been on an assload of dates, cocktail hours, all-you-can-drink specials, Cherry Street House Parties, Oil Spills, FAMU Homecomings, St. Patricks Days, you get where i'm going with this...Being single is FUN, people! If you find that you want to get you an old lady, then get you one..i've wifed up, and it's not a problem at all. More power to you. But trust me, try the cocksman life for like..a month.
(2012 Ernest: If I could go back in time and kick my own ass, I would. "Cocksman". "COCKSMAN". In my defense, I was reading a lot of '60's Esquires and I thought I was Gore Vidal or something.)
~Go to class. You're paying for it. The only exception is, if your teacher gives less than a crap, then you shouldn't either. Put your work in, but don't overdose on studying.
~Book buyback will f**k you over at least 3 times. Know this now. (2012 Ernest: There's a 2000-word think piece on the bank bailouts and how they apply to college textbook buy back somewhere. Markley?)
~For the record, if you sleep with one girl in a group of friends, please don't try to sleep with another. (2012 Ernest: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8vzKgD89oOE)
~ Frame those posters you bought on campus. It helps your game. (2012 Ernest: http://gifsoup.com/webroot/animatedgifs2/1327451_o.gif)
~Thursday afternoon, clean your room. It's good to be optimistic. (2012 Ernest: MUCH better.)
~Do a sterotypical spring break one time, it's really all you need. Expect that any person you meet from your school will disavow knowledge of anything that occurs. It's like The Bahamas Party Cruise is the gateway to narnia or something.
~Own a suit that fits. (2012 Ernest: still applies)
~By your senior year, there is no reason why you should be paying for anything when you go to the bars. Network people!
~If you don't want to dress in the theme of a theme party, don't go. you look like a jackass otherwise.
~I don't know what heaven looks like, but it might resemble Halloween at FSU. (2012 Ernest: kind of a bro-ey thing to say, but it's true.)
~Work out, but the second you coordinate your workout outfit, you become an a**hole.
~Earlier, i spoke on your true friends. 2 of them NEED to be girls. Either they're girls you've hooked up with and it went cold, or you little sister them. There is no better wingman than a hot woman. (2012 Ernest: Stereotypical as hell, but still true)
That's all i have for right now, If i think of anything else, you'll be the first to know. If you have any tips, FEEL FREE TO SUBMIT THEM! If you dig this note, send it to your friends!
(2012 Ernest: I can say with full confidence that I didn't know crap at the time of writing this. There are some takeaways though, mostly to be comfortable in who you are, experience as much as possible, and don't be a dick. Lessons for life indeed.)
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