“I need to get back to Fredonia!”

You just want to get back to Fredonia. You’re sick of your parents, your siblings, your job, and you’re absolutely sick of seeing people from high school out in public.

That’s understandable; I felt the same way at your age. Young people have a biological drive to gain independence from their parents, leaving behind the lives they knew as children. College is often the first step.

But also consider Tim Urban’s article, “The Tail End.” The short read is worth your time, but could be summed up with this picture (keep scrolling):


Each of those tiny objects represents a single day spent with your parents. The last five rows, the one’s not marked off with a red ‘X’, represent the days you have left with them. It turns out that by the time the average 18-year-old graduates from high school she’s already used up the vast majority of her days.

Enjoy the rest of your summer.

[Note: I could also call this blog post “Living at home after college”}.


Getting left on open

Living under my pop culture rock, I only recently learned what it means to be left on open.

This is a new rendition on an age-old problem, one that was addressed in the book/movie, He’s Just Not That Into You. This probably won’t come as a surprise, but I’ll say it anyway: It’s not his fault that he’s not into you. He’s just doing his best to get the hell away from you. You might hate his methods, and your anger might be justified, but you can’t argue with his end-goal.

Pain is universal, and your pain is your problem, not his.

Thankfully, if you accept the pain it cannot hurt you.

[Extra for those who have no idea what I’m talking about:

This post is about Snapchat. When you send a “Snap” to someone, which is often a picture of yourself, you can see a confirmation that it was “Delivered”. Then you can see if it was “Opened” by the recipient. When a Snap is opened there’s an expectation that you’ll get a Snap in return. If you don’t, you’ve been “left on open”.

My brother and I often leave each other on open, but that’s fine because it doesn’t occur to either of us that we don’t like or care about each other. But it can be psychologically devastating for a teenage girl to send a Snap to a boy she likes and get left on open.

It behooves Snap (the company) to allow its users to see the “Delivered” and “Opened” signs. It creates tension that’s only relieved by checking the app over and over again. More checking of the app means more exposure to advertisements, which means more profit for Snap.

If this all seems a bit immoral to you, that’s because it is. Any moral philosopher would object to profiting at the expense of psychological health.

If Snap really wanted to make the world a better place it would do something about this.]

A quick fat loss tip

One of my favorite authors, Tim Ferriss, just posted a short video, “The Two Most Important Habits For Fat Loss”:

I’ve adopted both habits, using full-fat cream in my coffee and eating an eggs/beans/vegetable combo for breakfast.

That, combined with generally not being a moron about what I eat, seems to work.

I cheat on tests

Right now I’m learning to code Java using Treehouse.

Each course has a series of videos, and each video is followed by a short test. I cheat on almost all the tests.

First I follow along with the video tutorial, then I do my best on the subsequent quiz. Once I’m stuck–and I almost always get stuck–I go back through the video and try to piece it together. If I’m still stuck I Google the answer. I read through the logic of the answer, making every effort to comprehend it.

The instructors at Treehouse don’t care if you cheat. In fact, they want you to cheat because that’s how you learn. They’ve created forums where “cheating” is expected because they don’t want you to be stuck in frustration.

The reason this system works is because the students actually want to learn the material. They are enrolled in the educational journey of learning to code.

You’re all enrolled at Fredonia, but that doesn’t mean you’re enrolled at Fredonia.

I’m not sure what you’re going to do with this story, but in 191 words I just defined your predicament as a college student.

Sitting alone in Cranston

I frequently ate by myself as a college student. Though I enjoyed it at the time–bringing a book with me to read–I don’t recommend you do the same. If I had to do it over I’d make the effort to eat with other people.

Human connection, I now realize, is a better predictor of happiness than intelligence. Someone could have helped me understand that.

Someone could have come up to my table and asked to sit down with me. She could have talked to me, or had her own book to read. She could have asked me what I was reading. I could have made a new friend.

My favorite TED Talk of all time is pasted below. In only 3 minutes Derek Sivers gave me a metaphor for how to think about leadership. The last sentence of this blog post won’t make sense without the context of the video:

The fictional girl in my story is, in fact, the very definition of leadership.

Please share this

Charles Darwin did not ask anyone to share On the Origin of Species. Darwin’s work was so unique and so groundbreaking that it went viral all on its own. Darwin’s book is still being talked about 160 years later.

Had @CharlesRDarwin lived today he would not need to ask people for retweets.

If you need to ask people to share your social media content, it’s probably because your content isn’t very good.

G-Eazy and Halsey broke up

I think you’ve known about this, but I just found out.

I don’t know much about G-Eazy and Halsey’s relationship. After all, they’re thousands of miles away, I’ve never met them, and their personal life is none of my business. That said, I’ve noticed that fans of their music have taken this breakup to heart. You’d almost think it was their hearts that were broken.

And it’s probably because they were broken.

I think millions of young girls were heartbroken because they, consciously or unconsciously, dreamed of having the same relationship one day–one day when they, too, are famous, and they meet another famous person to marry. That dream came crashing down when G-Eazy and Halsey broke up.

Good, let it crash. It wasn’t a dream worth having.

You have a better chance of getting struck by lighting than becoming famous. You’d get struck by lightning five times before you also married a famous person. Let that dream die.

Heroes are great things to have, but pick heroes worth having.