The College Man’s Guide to Life

Our recent J. Press scarf giveaway yielded many pearls of wisdom in the comments section, the best of which form a veritable handbook on deportment for the young man just embarking on life’s adventure, which usually begins when he heads off to college.

While studies and girls will be your main concern (they were certainly ours), here are a few things to be mindful of, according to your fellow Ivy-Style readers.

Feel free to leave a comment and add to the wisdom.

* * *

Wake up every morning thinking the day has the potential to be the best day of your life.

Follow your heart and go for it. You’ll only regret what you didn’t do, adventures you didn’t take, lips you didn’t kiss.

Fake it ’til you make it. No one will know the difference.

Try not to be such an asshole.

Always act like a gentleman because your reputation is easy to lose and difficult to regain.

Step up to the plate and swing for the fences.

Find your passion and devote your life to it. You may not be rich, but you’ll always be happy.

She likes you; ask her out.

Criticism comes mostly from people who are jealous of your accomplishments.

Don’t live for the day without thinking about tomorrow.

Take a year off.

Don’t waste your youth growing up. Don’t pen your plans with a Sharpie. Get some dirt under your fingernails.

Don’t waste you money on trends, the classics never go out of style.

Listen to those who are older and wiser. They have already been down the path you are just starting.

Never settle.

The human memory is horrible. Keep a journal and eat lots of fish.

Relax and do what you do. Everyone is too busy focusing on their own flaws to notice yours.

You won’t be in love for real until you’re at least 30 years old. Date as many women as you can without being a jerk.

After high school, the dress code you think is a pain in the ass will make you better dressed than 95% of your contemporaries.

Wake up every morning and ask yourself, “What’s the best use of my time?”

Live with purpose. A laissez-faire mentality only goes so far.

Life is a series of bets, only friends act as a hedge. The riskier your life, the deeper the hedging should be.

If it will make a better story, do it.

She may date the jerk today, but one day you’ll be the kind of guy she’ll want to marry.

Be generous, loyal, and proudly carry on the tradition of the great American male.

Firm handshake, eye contact, smile on your face.

When should a man eat the olive in a martini? Whenever the hell he wants. Apply this to all of life’s questions.

Stay calm, it all works out in the end. And pay attention in French class.

To be successful you cannot multi-task. You must concentrate on one thing at a time.

Don’t make plans. You’re bound to be disappointed when life decides to change things up.

Your grandparents know more than you think.

Things get a lot better. Eventually you get to live a fantastic life and no one makes you write a paper on it.

Take care of your problems so I won’t have to.

Listen to your parents because they were right when they lectured you about grades and work ethic.

You will always be your fiercest critic and most formidable rival. Make that be your advantage, not an obstacle.

Life is too short not to take chances. Worry about school loans after you graduate.

These are the best years of your life. Behave accordingly.

Learn to tell a story, cook an omelette, charm a lady, and dress with style.

Tell average-looking girls they’re pretty, and tell pretty girls they’re smart. For every statement you make to a girl, ask at least two questions.

People are as scared of as you are of them, so you can get away with a lot more than you think.

Your “permanent record” is about as everlasting as your hairline.

Get a haircut.

15 Comments on "The College Man’s Guide to Life"

  1. Wish I could do college over again; though I’d probably miss the experience I had and everything that’s happened since. Amazing how changing one day in the past could completely change the future. Sigh…

  2. Do elaborate.

  3. For the J.Press scarf giveaway I entered, “To be successful you cannot multi-task. You must concentrate on one thing at a time.”

    I know I didn’t win the J.Press scarf but how about a J.Press British Wool Bobcap in Princeton Black and Orange as a consolation prize for making your latest post???

  4. Ralph Kinney Bennett | January 31, 2010 at 6:47 pm |

    It may not be very original, but it is still so true. Fame is something you may win. Honor is something you can only lose.

  5. Sir: a bit more on the provenance of the picture, if you can?

  6. Well how about that, what a difference just two years out of high school makes. I’m honored to have made the list. Let’s hope I continue to grow wiser and not just older.

  7. Wonderful pieces of advice, very applicable regardless of age.

  8. Well done Christian and those who contributed. I plan to print this out, put it in a box, and hand it to my boys at the appropriate time.

  9. I guess women just don’t need advice in college??

  10. It IS who you know. Make a good first impression.

  11. Sure they do: Be careful around these guys, they’ve only got one thing on thier minds…

  12. Keith from England | February 2, 2010 at 10:16 am |

    this is my advice, from a 34 yr old, who’s made lots of mistakes.
    ‘listen to other people, its better to learn from some elses mistakes.’

  13. Life is too short to dwell on other people’s opinion of you. Even when you’re the most upstanding person in life, you’ll still be branded as a tool

  14. Live in moderation.

    Learn to play golf.

    Befriend the janitor and the boss’s secretary. One will get you a clean office, and the other will help you succeed.

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