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5 Pieces of Advice Every High School Graduate Should Get

#2. Don't Base Your Education Decisions Around Your Friends

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Telling an adult 20 years out of high school that she shouldn't base life-shaping decisions on what her friends are doing will likely get you laughed out of the room while dodging her jutting middle fingers. But I can't even begin to tell you the number of people I knew who went to a particular college simply because their friends were going there. And even further, chose specific classes so that they could be in them together.

Unless you're both going to school for the same exact degree, chosen because it's legitimately what you both want to do, regardless of what the other thinks, doing that is stupid. But understandable.

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Masters in erotic massage.

The idea of separating is unthinkable to friends who have been together as long as you have. Hell, even if you've only known each other through four years of high school, that's still almost a quarter of your life. The thought of taking that next major step without them is just flat out frightening. And plain ol' common sense tells you that if you go different directions during these college years, you're going to grow apart and eventually disconnect. Unfortunately, yes, it does happen.

No, not always -- my best friend and I have never lost contact, even though I lived all over the country in a time when the Internet wasn't a thing. You have the advantage of email, texting, webcams, chat rooms, instant messengers, and a shitload of easy ways to keep in touch. It's totally up to you to make that happen. But what you can't do is alter your life and dreams because you're afraid of missing a friend for a few years. This is your first real test of adulthood, and it's not an easy one. The one huge downside to becoming an adult is that life doesn't ease you into it. It just grabs you by the hair and jams its big ol' hairy balls in your face. No warning. Just balls.

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No. -Editor

But planning your life around what they're doing is a disservice to you both. If he wants to be a teacher, he's going to choose a school that's known for producing job-securing teachers. If you want to design software for dildo-molding machines, the teachers' college probably isn't going to help you much. And no matter what either of you decide to do, being apart gives you both the priceless experience of navigating life on your own.

#1. Brace Yourself for the Removal of Authority

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I mentioned a while back that self-control is the hardest skill you'll ever have to master. When you move out on your own, the absence of someone to make sure your room is clean and that you're taking your medicine is a total mindfuck. But that's only a small part of the real shock.

For pretty much the first time in your life, those people you used to hold up as infallible fountains of knowledge are now on the same level as your fuckup friends. They're not authority figures anymore -- they're peers. And that means that when you do something wrong around them, they no longer have the ability to punish you. Not in the traditional sense, anyway, like sending you to your room or taking away your Dustin Diamond VHS sex tape collection. In a way, that's actually preferable, though.

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What did you not understand about the word "no"? -Editor

Now they're much more dangerous, because the only punishments they can deal out are turning your ass in (if what you've done is illegal) or, more likely, disassociating themselves from you, which can actually be far more damaging. Because now, you've lost a contact. A job reference. A ride when your car breaks down. A friend to bring over a shovel when life shits in your driveway. A mentor to show you all the tricks to unfuck yourself from the hundreds of situations that they never bothered to teach you in school.

It can still be worse, though. They could actively fight against you. "I wouldn't hire that guy. He's a total dumbass, and he will sink your business simply by standing inside the building." See, that's the problem. They no longer associate with you because they have to. Their role as teacher and protector is over. Now, if they associate with you, it's because they want to. And if you're not the type of person they want to be around, you will find out that life can be one tough, cruel motherfucker to try and master on your own.

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"Fuck you, buddy, I'm out of here. Good luck going through life not knowing how to angrily fly away."

I'm not telling you that when you step into the real world, it's all fire and brimstone and gnashing of teeth. I'm just saying that you need to brace yourself right now because you're about to be thrown into the sink-or-swim end of the pool, and the lifeguards only come on duty if they feel like you're worth saving. Don't worry, you're worth saving. And you'll do just fine. I just want to give you enough of a warning so that you have time to brush up on your dog paddling.



See the weird side of John on his Twitter and his Facebook fan page.

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