College: (Definitely not) the best years of my life

As of August 11, I officially finished my four-year degree in Music Education at CU Boulder. To some people, this may come as a surprise, or some may simply ask, “Wait, why did you not finish until August? Didn’t you walk at graduation in May?” Well, the short answer to that question is that I had some credits to make up and ended up taking three classes this summer. The long answer to that question is…A bit more complicated.

So here’s the thing: I’m going to be ranting a bit in this one. Kind of reflecting, but…Ranting. Is there really a central, positive message to this blog? Eh…That’s debatable. Is it even that organized or planned out? Also debatable. I’m kind of just putting my thoughts about college on a page, recounting my experiences and everything. Don’t get me wrong, there were some great things about my college experience. I have a four-year degree from a public university with no student loan debt. And…Well. That’s about where all of my thoughts start to come in. And before people start getting into this and start telling me I should be thankful for my college experience and degree and everything, let me make it clear that I am thankful for all of those experiences and the support I had to help me receive my degree. But that doesn’t change the fact that I wish I had done some things better than I did. So while I will be recounting a lot of the things that I disliked about my college experience, I’ll take some time towards the end of this to talk about some things that I could have done differently and wish I’d done differently. So if you’re going to going to college in the next few years or thinking about going to college, I guess this could potentially be helpful for you.

But, mostly, I’m going to be ranting. Or reflecting in the form of a rant. So…There’s your warning.

From the very beginning, my decision to get a degree in music education was so that I’d have a “backup plan” just in case I wasn’t able to have a successful music career, a common fate for many musicians. I actually started out as a “double-major,” working on a five-year track that would get me a degree in both music education and performance. I ended up dropping the performance part of my double-major during my sophomore year.

Which, other than joining a cult for two years in college, was probably one of the worst decisions I made in my college years.

Here’s my first mistake: I wasn’t studying something that I really cared about and really wanted to do. When I first started college, I did honestly consider becoming a band director because of the incredible experiences I’d had in high school. But I found out pretty quick that a career in music education involves a lot of political, bureaucratic BS and has a never-ending line of hoops to jump through. Yes, that’s a strong opinion. Yes, that’s my opinion. And anyone who really knows me knows that I really don’t like brown-nosing. And I really don’t like jumping through hoops. And being a band director involves doing that for a long time before you can really do things the way you want to do them, and I definitely can’t wait that long to do that. (Side note: Don’t get me wrong, I think education and music education especially are incredibly important. Some of the most important fields to go into. I’m just not wired for it and can’t force myself to try and be wired for it. It’s just not for me. Students deserve a better teacher than I would be for them.)

This is about where people would start chiming in, “Well, why didn’t you just switch majors or something?” Well, this also requires a somewhat complicated answer. I was fortunate and blessed enough to receive a 75% music scholarship, which lasted for four years. By the time I realized that I didn’t enjoy what I was studying and wanted to study something else (or just switch from music education to either a Performance degree or a BA in Music), I was too far into my degree to switch majors without adding at least another semester, if not another year, to my time in school. Which, with in-state tuition for music students at CU Boulder coming in at nearly $6,500 just with full-time student status (meaning taking exactly 12 credits, no more, no less, when music majors end up taking at least 15 credits per semester on average), there’s no way I would have been able to afford paying for the rest of my education without my scholarship. And I’m incredibly grateful to my family who helped me pay for the last 25% of my school each semester, but that much money each semester would be way too much for us to afford.

So I had to finish my degree in music education if I wanted to have a degree at all. And for people that know me, they know that I have a really…Really hard time putting effort into things that I don’t care about. Not to mention that some of my professors over the years (one in particular) were very unsympathetic, impersonal, and very discouraging, always pointing out the things we weren’t good at and never addressing the things that we were successful at. I had no motivation to work hard for these people. (That’s a completely different subject. TL;DR version of my opinion on that entire topic: Tenure is stupid.) So the last year and a half of my degree was a case study in going through the motions. I put in the minimal effort that I could on everything that I did while still passing everything I needed to, knowing that I was working to get a degree I would never really use after I graduated. All I wanted to do was be done and get out as soon as I possibly could. And it all worked out all right.

…For a while. Until my last semester, anyway.

My final semester of my music ed degree was student teaching. Which is basically working a full-time job as a teacher for sixteen weeks without getting paid. And actually paying money to do so. Which is a great experience for people wanting to go into that field…Not so much for me. And any teacher, and especially music teachers, regardless of what age of students they teach, will tell you that being an educator is one of those careers that you absolutely have to LOVE in order to be successful in it, and even survive in it. And not only did I not love what I was doing, but I couldn’t force myself to love what I was doing either. I’m really bad at faking it. And my professors could tell. So, ultimately, I was being asked to make a certain amount of progress and improvement, which I clearly wasn’t achieving. I couldn’t. So, long story short, I actually ended up failing my student teaching semester and ended up not receiving my teaching licensure from CU. Which, since I have no intention of going into the teaching field, I’m honestly okay with.

So, to make up for those credits I lost, I ended up taking three courses this summer, which costed over $4000 in additional tuition. But I ended up finishing classes in August and ended up finishing a four-year degree from a public university without taking out any student loans.

Some people would call this a success story of sorts. I made it through, I did the hard thing, I got my degree, and I won’t be paying off student debt for the rest of my life. Others might consider it a failure. I wasted four and a half years of my life and thousands of dollars getting a degree I won’t really use in a field I don’t care to go into.

And here’s my response to both arguments: Yes.

While I did make it through and I ended up receiving my degree, I often feel like I could have done a lot of things better, or at least differently in such a way as to really enjoy my college years. They were far from the best years of my life because I made some basic decisions that ended up making myself miserable. If I could go back and do it all again, I wouldn’t because I’m sure the experiences that I did have have helped make me who I am today.

BUT. If I could go back and do it all again, knowing that I’d be in either the same place or even a better place than I’m in now, here’s some things that I’d do. Here are some of the things that I wish I’d done differently, or at least better. (Future college students, here’s where you can start paying attention).

I wish I’d started off at a community college or something to save money. People laugh about going to community college and everything because it’s…Well, community college. But guys, seriously. I WISH I had knocked out all of my core credits (math, science, history, etc.) before going on to finish my degree at CU. Then, not only would I have saved money doing that, but it would have given me a chance to focus exclusively on my degree once I got to CU. I spent a lot of time writing papers and doing homework for classes that I just had to get out of the way to finish my degree, when all I really wanted to do was focus on music. If I’d gotten these “core credits” taken care of beforehand, I could have taken exclusively music classes during my time at CU. And I most likely would have been at the University for a shorter amount of time, saving myself even more money.

I could have networked better. While the people I was interacting with at CU weren’t really the kinds of people I need to be connected with in the field I’m in now, I still could have networked a bit better. This is something that will apply more when you’re studying in a field you care about and want to go into. Whatever field you’re wanting to go into, if you’re interacting with professionals in your area of interest, build a network with professionals in your area of interest. I can’t stress this enough. If you’re studying education and want to be a teacher, build a network with teachers, professors, and public school staff in the area. If you’re studying music and want to have basically ANY chance of getting a gig after you’re done, build a network with professors, performers, and professional musicians at school and locally. There’s something to be said about “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.” Knowing people in your area of interest plays a significant role in getting jobs nowadays. So you need to know people. I don’t know many people in worship ministry, which is what I’m doing now. My network is small, and I’m just now starting to try and kind of build a network. Here are my two biggest recommendations for starting to build a network in college:

  • First, just talk to people. Ask questions of people who know more than you. It goes a long way in showing that you want to learn more and grow and that you’re teachable, which is one of the most important qualities people look for nowadays.
  • Second, I’d honestly recommend starting a LinkedIn profile while you’re still in school. Even if you don’t have a ton to put on there yet, you can start building your network while you’re there and start adding people as you go through school. Knowing people is so important for getting a job.

And I’d say this is the most important thing: I wish I had studied something that I care about. I simply can’t stress this point enough. If I was truly invested in what I was studying, I definitely would have done a lot better in school. I’m a bad student as it is, and so when I don’t care about what I’m doing, things take a very negative turn. So I’d encourage you to study something you care about. I wish I had gotten some sort of degree in worship ministry. I feel like I’m learning a lot of things now that I could have been learning over the past four years. And if you don’t know what you want to do yet, that’s okay. That’s when I’d really recommend starting at a community college or something like that. If you aren’t even sure what you want to do, please don’t start at a full-on university. Or you’ll end up spending thousands of dollars on classes that you don’t know if you need to take and could end up being at school even longer than you need to be. And if you start off going to community college, just getting an Associate’s Degree IS NOT A BAD THING. It’s a degree. And it can be a good start to receiving a higher-level degree if you want to! And you can still choose to study anything you want after getting your Associate’s. Please, please, please study something you care about. However long it takes you to figure that out, just take the time to figure it out. Don’t spend potentially hundreds of thousands of dollars on school if you don’t know what you’re wanting to do. It could end up just being a waste of time and money.

Those are a lot of my thoughts on college. I wish I’d done some things differently. I have some strong opinions and thoughts in here, and I’d love to hear others’ thoughts on them. Thanks for taking the time to read this.

Rant over.

 

 

P.S. – Before people start trying to crucify me for all of this, again, I want to make it clear that I’m incredibly thankful for all of the support and encouragement that I had through my college years, financially, spiritually, emotionally, all of those things. I ultimately am thankful that I made it through my college years and ended up receiving my degree. That doesn’t change the fact that I wish I had done things differently and wish those years in school were spent better than they were. While I am thankful, it doesn’t change the fact that I wish some things about my experience could have been a little different.

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Confessions of a closet romantic

I hate romantic comedies. Like, really can’t stand them. “Blasphemy!” many of you will say. Cool. Awesome. I really don’t care. Go somewhere else if you want.

This subject kind of came up in a conversation last night, and I started thinking about why I hate them so much. There are a few reasons I don’t like romantic comedies. First off, every single one is just a variation of the same storyline. It’s always about Ryan Reynolds and anywhere between 1-3 women figuring out they’re in love. Generalization? Maybe. Fairly accurate? Yeah, I’d say so. (Seriously, Ryan Reynolds has been in a LOT of rom-coms.) But every romantic comedy has the same storyline, which I absolutely can’t stand. I like original stories. Plus all of the “comedy” in rom-coms is generally just taking advantage of obscenely awkward situations. I can’t sit through an episode of the Office without reverting to the fetal position due to the awkwardness. I don’t like it. Can’t do it. Uh-uh.

So that’s the first reason. Here’s the second reason I don’t like romantic comedies: The way things work out in those movies is absolute crap. I hate movies that are set in the “real world,” where everything works out absolutely perfect and after the guy’s car breaks down, his bicycle spontaneously combusts, and he accidentally starts World War 3, he still manages to get to the airport just before the woman he’s realized he loves gets on the plane to go pursue her dream of becoming a doctor in a third-world country. Then he says three magic words: “I love you.” Which, following the train of logic to its obvious conclusion, leads to the two of them getting married, having kids, and living happily ever after without ever having a single fight ever for the rest of their lives.

I get it, it’s for the sake of romance, and all of this guy’s efforts are to prove to the audience watching how much he cares. But here’s an interesting thought: What if the romance in these rom-coms — and romance movies, for that matter — is actually complete BS to begin with?

As I’ve kind of mentioned before, I am the physical incarnation of Charlie Brown. Like Charlie Brown became flesh and it’s me. I’m quite cynical, I’ll be perfectly honest. I’m very blunt and to the point, and my BS tolerance sits at a hot zero. Needless to say, I don’t get invited to parties much; I’m just wayyyy too much fun. But I feel like romance, as we seem to picture it today, is absolute garbage. It’s like social media: You see all of the best parts of it, with none of the bad. Everything you witness is absolutely perfect, even though shortly after the wedding at the end of the movie the newlyweds have a fight about who’s going to cut the roast chicken for dinner and never realized how difficult having to do life with another person like this was going to be. The relationships I have with my friends are more difficult than the relationships in romantic comedies. And I don’t have any sort of romantic pursuits with any of these people, which is where things start getting super difficult as you try to figure out how you operate together.

Romance has become this grand, incredibly emotional thing that only happens in movies. Young people say “I want a guy/girl like x,” and throw #relationshipgoals on couples that don’t exist in reality. These couples are more often than not just shells of human beings, with all of the good parts and none of the real ones.

Now, oddly enough, here’s where I have a confession to make: Deep down, I’m honestly a total romantic. I’m a complete sap, quite frankly. But I’m so opposed to what everyone considers romantic nowadays that it seems like I’m absolutely opposed to it completely. That’s really not the case at all. But the most romantic things that I’ve seen haven’t been in movies. In fact, they haven’t even been from newlyweds or people who are just dating.

More often than not, the most romantic things that I’ve ever seen are from people who are already married. And have been for a long time. For me, romance is the soldier overseas who surprises his wife on a trip home. Romance is the creative ways that a woman tells her husband she’s pregnant. Romance is the old couple holding hands sitting across from each other in the corner of a diner. Romance is the cup of coffee that a woman wakes up early to make for her husband every morning before he goes to work so he has one less thing to do in the morning. Romance is the husband who takes his kids out for breakfast early in the morning on a weekend so his wife can sleep in. And, from time to time, it’s the unique proposal after a dating relationship that’s been tried and true.

Am I some sort of expert on romance? Absolutely not, there’s tons of evidence to go against that. I’m clearly not one of the trolls from Frozen. I’ve never even been in a relationship before, what do I know?

Here’s what I know: Every now and then stories like this show up in my newsfeed on Facebook. Stories about real people. And I read or watch every. Single. One. These are the kinds of stories that nourish my soul, that give me hope for humanity and make me realize the lengths people are willing to go to for this crazy thing called love. These are small testimonies of people who have gone through the ringer — together — and are still willing to go the extra mile to prove to their partner that they care about them. When I see these, I smile, shed a man-tear or two, and then I go about my day a little better, a little more hopeful. Just because I’ve seen a glimpse of real, authentic love between two people.

So back to the whole #relationshipgoals thing that I mentioned earlier. Every now and then, very rarely, I feel like there are couples in fiction that really capture authentic human interaction and romance. Honestly, I have my own little Hollywood couple that I look up to as well, but I’m assuming that people wouldn’t even consider them in most cases. My #relationshipgoals couple is Rob and Laura Petrie from the Dick Van Dyke Show.

dick_van_dyke_petrie_family_1963

If you haven’t watched the Dick Van Dyke Show (you should), Rob and Laura Petrie, along with their son Ritchie, have a lot of interesting experiences. The show follows them through all seasons of life, some good days, some bad days. More bad days than good days, honestly. But Rob and Laura, in spite of everything, always make sure that they resolve whatever conflict they’re facing. There are multiple episodes where they fight with each other, but they always work together to make sure they’re on the same page again. There aren’t many fictional Hollywood couples that do that (or “real” Hollywood couples for that matter). They do all of this because they love each other. They couldn’t imagine life without the other after all these years. That kind of love, the kind that refuses to fall asleep without making sure that they’re okay first, is what I consider romantic.

So yeah, I hate romantic comedies. Why? Because I want to see real, genuine human interaction. I want to see the reality of what happens when two people are in love, not the social media-ready counterfeit. I want to see what happens when two people get kicked in the gut by life and decide to walk it out together. If there’s a rom-com out there that captures that sort of essence of humanity and the reality of human relationships, feel free to let me know. But it’ll probably still be horrifically awkward, so I probably still won’t watch it, just being real.

Write Something Good: A plea for quality art

In the past month or so, I’ve had two separate and drastically different movie-going experiences. The first, I went to see Suicide Squad the second week it was out. The second, I went and saw Kubo and the Two Strings with some friends of mine.

Now, let me make one thing abundantly clear. I am a DC fanboy through and through. I grew up watching Batman and Superman and I’ve read DC comics for as long as I can remember. I can go on and on about how much I love Batman, and the reasons why Nightwing is my favorite superhero, and why I have a polarizing love/hate relationship with Superman. I love the DC universe and everything about it, and I’m super stoked that DC Rebirth has been doing so well.

But the DC Extended Universe (DCEU) is a trash fire. I won’t go into everything, because I could literally talk for hours about the travesty that Zack Snyder has created (I’m very opinionated if you haven’t noticed), but let’s just say that I’ve been burned by two DC movies this year: Batman v. Superman and Suicide Squad. The two movies suffer from different problems (BvS has too many to count), but one of the biggest things Suicide Squad suffered from was poor writing.

This poor writing manifested itself in a few ways. Namely confusing or non-existent character motivation and development, sloppy, awkward dialogue, and mischaracterization of characters who have very rich backgrounds that have been developed over 30+ years. The movie also suffers from producers getting too involved in the director’s vision, but that’s a different issue. I think that the actors (Margot Robbie in particular) did a pretty good job considering what they were given. But the plot was really convoluted and ultimately really didn’t make sense. I did enjoy the movie at certain points, but it was ultimately really disappointing due to garbage writing.

Kubo, however, was a different story. Kubo was made by the same studio that made Coraline, ParaNorman, and The Boxtrolls. Kubo is one of the best movies I’ve seen in theaters in the past few years. Kubo is beautifully animated, and has one of the most archetypal “hero’s journey” stories that I have ever seen. It follows the hero’s journey beat-for-beat, while creating compelling examples of the meaning of family, the importance of storytelling, and the pain of loss. The story, while fairly predictable, is beautifully written, the characters are authentic and well-developed within the short run time of the film, and I was still pondering the movie’s thought-provoking themes hours after I’d left the theater.

Now. Here are some numbers for you.

Suicide Squad released on August 6 in the US, and was made with a budget of $175 million. As of today, it’s made $640 million in the box office. It has a 27% critic rating on Rotten Tomatoes and a 67% user rating.

Kubo and the Two Strings released on August 19 in the US, and was made with a budget of $60 million. As of today, it’s made $30.5 million in the box office. It has a 97% critic rating on Rotten Tomatoes and an 88% user rating.

There are definitely some things that factor into this. Kubo appeals primarily to families with children, while Suicide Squad appeals to a significantly wider audience, especially millennials, who are currently the largest living generation in the US.* Suicide Squad is also the third movie within the DCEU, and was preceded by Man of Steel and BvS, so the anticipation was high (and much of the advertising for this movie was driven by the Joker, who ended up being in the movie for about 10 minutes). Many people thought this could be DC’s chance to get back in the game for movies after Marvel’s success…And they suuuuuper blew it.

All this to say, I have problems with this reality. And questions.

Why do bad movies make so much money?

Why do good movies, even if they’re children’s movies, sometimes hardly make any money?

Why do people keep pumping money into movies that are bad? And do the people making these movies seriously not know the movie’s bad before they release it?

Why do people spend so much time and energy perpetuating bad storytelling, while good storytelling gets left by the wayside?

As always, I’m not an expert in this area. I don’t claim to be. I might end up making claims and saying things that don’t make sense in the “real world.” And this is kind of a rant that I’m just word vomiting onto a page and then posting. I’m completely open to comments and discussion. But this is incredibly frustrating.

Much of this is based around advertising. Suicide Squad had a pretty good advertising campaign, and many early trailers got me excited for the movie. Our culture is also really into the interconnected movie universe thing right now. Which, as much as I love the Marvel Cinematic Universe, they’ve created something unique that has cursed much of the rest of modern cinema. Everyone tries to create movies that connect to something else, and it all ends up being ridiculously complicated. Oftentimes they don’t even tell a full story within a single movie, as the movie is basically being used to set up a sequel. When people are focused on the property they’re setting up, the writing of the current story suffers. People also are really focused on trying to write these intricate, complex stories with some sort of twist ending, and then they end up not recognizing the numerous gaping plotholes and faulty character motivations they’ve created. So many movies are created to make money, rather than to create art that can be appreciated for its intrinsic value. Nowadays many movies don’t have much intrinsic value. Superhero movies, as much as I love them, are starting to become a disease.

And here’s my point here.

Write. Something. Good.

Please.

So much of modern cinema is about pandering to the culture in order to make the money that they put into the movie back and set up the next movie they have planned. But I would venture to say that many of these movies that have come out in recent years will be completely forgotten in around twenty years. The most well-remembered, culturally relevant and impactful movies that end up having a lasting impact are often the most well-written. They have authentic, realistic characters and an interesting story that doesn’t obviously contradict itself. And, and this is one of the most important elements to me, they say something. And they say something compelling. That’s why I love Kubo so much. It’s a beautiful movie with interesting characters, a simple, easy-to-follow story, and it conveyed several important, compelling messages.

Let me make something else clear: I’m not opposed to complex stories. One of my favorite stories I’ve ever encountered is the Zero Escape series of video games, which (in my opinion) is one of the most convoluted, confusing stories ever written. Over the course of three games, it takes the time to explain to you all of the different confusing aspects and how they all interconnect to make one story. But what I love about it is that it also has interesting, well-developed characters, and has a fascinating commentary on the importance of decision making, questions reality, plays off probability and chance, and asks questions about the Many-Worlds Theory. I’ve spent hours playing these games, and many more hours thinking about all of the different questions and arguments it poses.

Please stop making art that panders to the culture and then fails to say anything at all. Or just stop writing garbage. There’s something to be said for a simple hero’s journey that doesn’t confuse your audience and has a clear message. Not everything has to be a big spectacle. In this culture we live in, it’s unfortunately possible that your art may not be successful if it’s not a big spectacle. But if it’s inherently bad, it definitely won’t be. Please, just write something good.

 

*http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2016/04/25/millennials-overtake-baby-boomers/

Grow Up

I don’t try to eavesdrop. Really, I don’t. But on a college campus, people decide to walk right behind you and talk obnoxiously loud. And most of the conversations I hear are so incredibly painful to listen to. I’ll make this clear now, this is more of a rant than anything else. I’ll get to a clear point eventually, but at the moment I’m going to complain about some stuff. There are so many things about the conversations people have on campus that drive me crazy.

First off, why are you having this conversation in public? Seriously, no one really needs to hear about how much you drank this weekend, all the terrible decisions you made, how stupid this guy is being and how he’s not talking to you any more, or any of the other myriad of random crap that people tend to blurt out in public. As just another person walking by, I don’t want to hear all the gory details of your sex life and the party this last weekend. I really couldn’t careless, and you’re pretty much forcing me to listen to it. It’s difficult to not listen to it when you’re screaming in my ear right behind me. Which leads me to my next point.

Why are you so loud? If you were having this conversation in public at a volume that would require someone to actually eavesdrop in order to hear it, that would be one thing. That’s not an issue at all. That’s something normal human beings do. But you’re not doing that. You’re shouting about everything and all the details about all the stuff that no one cares about. There are inside voices and outside voices, but there are some conversations that require an inside voice even when we’re outside. You just need to turn it down a couple notches and chill out. If you could whisper, that would be great, if you could just not talk at all that would be incredible, but if you could just talk at a normal speaking volume for a human being, that alone would be amazing. Seriously, no one wants to listen to the pointless stuff you’re whining about. Which, finally, leads to a legitimate point I’m trying to make.

The things I hear in these conversations that people are subjecting me to usually have a running theme: My life sucks because x, y, z, and it’s all this person’s fault, I’m not to blame. In this equation, we’ll have x equal “I keep drinking every weekend and bad things happen,” we’ll have y equal “my friend is being a terrible person and making my life miserable,” and we’ll have z equal “guys keep breaking my heart.” I’m not trying to be judgmental here, really. I’m taking things directly from conversations I’ve heard. From what I can usually gather, it doesn’t sound like the people complaining about these problems I’ve mentioned are really doing anything about it. It sounds like the people who hate all the things that happen when they drink and party are planning on doing the same thing this coming weekend, the people who have terrible friends either aren’t trying to mend the relationship or are continuing to subject themselves to the treatment they’re receiving, and the people who have had their heart broken numerous times are looking for the next guy after swearing off guys forever and whispering how hot the guy that just passed them was in the same breath. And then, to top all of it off, none of this is their fault. It’s always the fault of the people around them. What seems wrong about this scenario?

Albert Einstein defined insanity as “Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” Going off of this definition, all of these people I overhear walking across campus are insane. They just keep doing the same thing over and over, thinking to themselves, “This time it’ll be different. This time things won’t turn out the way they always have.” There’s another word I like to use to define this behavior: immaturity. Seriously, people, GROW UP. One of the ways children learn right from wrong is by experiencing consequences for their actions. Eventually they make the connection that said consequences come about when they do certain things, so, logically, they stop doing them to avoid said consequences. People in their teen years to mid-twenties apparently don’t have the logical reasoning of a toddler. Instead of seeing the consequences of their actions and avoiding the problem, they continue to do stupid things.

So here’s my point: If you’re going to complain about the things that happen to you that you’ve been bringing upon yourself, do something about it. If you’re not going to do something about it, shut up, stop complaining, and suck it up. If I become morbidly obese, whining and crying about it is going to make it better, right? I’ll start slimming down, lose weight, and be totally healthy again. Apparently that’s the logic people follow. There’s a lot of healing and recovery that needs to happen in order for things to improve. And the first step is getting away from the choices and lifestyle that are causing the bad things to happen.

If you hate how things turn out every time you drink, here’s a simple solution: STOP DRINKING. If you’re an alcoholic, that’s a different issue that I’m not going to touch. But if you’re one of these people that decides to get completely wasted every weekend, the easiest solution is…Well, to not. It’s not that difficult. Make a conscious decision to not get totally hammered, and you won’t end up with the consequences of getting totally hammered. Logic. If you have really crappy relationships with your “friends” or whatever, one of two things needs to happen: Either you need to put some effort into mending the relationship, because expecting the other person to do all the work is incredibly stupid (and not the definition of a friendship by any means of the imagination) or it may be time to drop the relationship altogether for the time being. It may be a fact that you don’t get along very well and your personalities don’t blend in a way conducive to a friendly relationship. Maybe both of you just have some maturing and growing up to do. And maybe the time comes when you decide you can be friends again. But if not, odds are you’re both better off not inadvertently ruining each others’ lives. And lastly, if you keep getting your heart broken by guys or the other way around, here’s a simple solution: Take a break. Stop searching for the next relationship expecting it to be different. If it’s something that has happened multiple times, there’s a possibility you might be the problem. I probably offended some people just now, but it’s the truth. You probably have some maturing to do before you’re actually ready for a committed relationship. Taking some time off to work on and develop yourself is better than having that same feeling of betrayal and heartbreak over and over again. Plus you’ll be a lot less wounded and broken in the long run.

So here’s my basic conclusion: Talk quieter, stop complaining about stuff that doesn’t matter, and if you’re going to complain, you better be ready to do something about it. Because whining and crying about something you don’t have any intention of changing is incredibly pointless and just leaves people like me that have to listen to you frustrated and annoyed.