1. Get an unpaid internship:
Ah, the joys of unpaid peon labor. This is more of an exercise in character building than career advancement. As you sit beneath the harsh florescent bulbs of adulthood, take a moment to reconsider your career path. Yes, relevant and cool internships do exist and can be helpful, but in all likelihood you’ll gain nothing from this experience other than the ability to drink copious amounts of bad coffee and stare blindly at Microsoft Excel until it is burned into your retinas, which leads us to….
2. Learn how to meditate:
As you’ll soon realize, college is more of an exercise in redundancy than critical learning. Sitting behind a computer screen for hours on end can lead you to experience an almost complete detachment from human society. After around four hours spent alone in a library, you may begin to experience the early warning signs of social isolation. You’ll develop a sense of wariness and threat that pushes your body into dangerous territories of physiological health and well-being. Embrace your inner you because at the end of a brutal finals period, it may be the only friend you have.
3. Miss a final:
I’ve personally never missed a final exam, but I’ve heard the rush of adrenaline and grief that one experiences, as one slowly begin to realize the absolute nature of failure is something not to be missed.
4. Attend a guest lecture:
Never will you have such easy access to the intellectual leaders of our modern era. Take advantage of all your university has to offer by way of academic achievement, down the line it may come in handy.
5. Run from the police:
Never again in your life will you be in the physical condition required to outrun even the most fit of police officers. Your parents may caution you against such brass displays of rebellion, however such is the nature of youth. As Thoreau wrote in his treatise Civil Disobedience, “if the government requires you to be the agent of injustice to another, then, I say, break the law.”
6. Get caught by the police:
For all you communications majors, now is your chance to put your studies to the test. If you’re able to get away with zero repercussions, congratulations, if not you’re still a kid and adult laws will likely not apply to you unless you’ve done something serious (in which case you’re probably not going to graduate anyway).
7. Attend a fraternity party:
Because there’s nothing like acting like a chauvinist to sorority girls while pounding back Natural Ice. Yes, you can do that as a college graduate, but you’ll probably be chastised and called “immature.” Embrace your free pass to act like a total idiot while you can.
8. Participate in a psychological study:
For maximum irony, use the money you make to by alcohol or drugs illegally.
9. Befriend a professor:
Preferably an English professor with a penchant for weird, useless facts. Not only will this lead to interesting conversations, but also you’ll likely glean knowledge essential to all the social gatherings you’ll be attending post-graduation.
10. Get in good physical shape:
Focus on your glam muscles, ignore the core. Similar to the silver hair of the alpha male mountain gorilla, ladies love guys with broad shoulders and large beer bellies.
11. Learn how to cook:
After you graduate, you probably won’t have a lot of money, and in today’s economy, your parents can’t afford to support your sushi addiction. Learning how to cook can be a valuable asset moving forward, both socially and financially.
12. Take a leadership role in an organization:
Again, this probably won’t help you find a job in this troubled economy (maybe an unpaid internship if you’re lucky), but it’s still cool to tell your friends you have established dominance over other members of your peer group. Embrace your inner leader and at least try to accomplish something.
13. Protest student government:
For the most part your student government is just a way for your faculty overlords to create the ruse of listening to you and pull the veil of ignorance over your idealistic eyes. Running for student government is a meaningless exercise in high school-level resume building. Save your energy for things that matter.
14. Get into a fight:
The human body’s ability to heal itself when you’re young is quite incredible. Take advantage of it; get scars and bruises that will heal quickly. You don’t want to be that guy that has “get punched in the face” on their bucket list for their entire lives. A word of advice: timing is everything. If your parents are visiting in a couple of days it would be stupid to get a black eye. They won’t believe when you say you ran into a door because in all likelihood they used the same excuse when they were in college.
15. Learn random skills:
I sincerely doubt that a base knowledge in bio-anthropology is something I will ever use professionally. However, it’s pretty interesting and will help generate interesting conversation when you’re working the crowd at an interview or social event.
16. Push the limits of the human condition:
Again, you’re young and you heal quickly. If you get black out drunk and fall down the stairs in your early-20s, you’ll probably be fine in a couple of days. Attempting the same behavior in your late-40s will probably land you bedridden for at least a couple of weeks. Enjoy your youth, don’t spend it indoors. As Dr. Hunter S. said, “Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming "Wow! What a Ride!”
The ideas you generate in your youth will come to define your future self. Or they’ll make you seem completely oblivious to the harsh realities of the real world. Either way, you get a free pass because your young and are completely unfamiliar with how banal adulthood can really be.
18. DON’T DO DRUGS:
19. Occupy something for an extended period of time:
Sleep in until 4:00 p.m. after a heavy night of partying, and remember, never again will staying in bed all day, playing videogames and drinking beer can be considered average, acceptable behavior. In the real world, it's called being a deadbeat, not a hero.
Self-explanatory. Your parents paid through the tooth to send you through four years of undergrad, and while you may see these years as an excuse to party, fight and get up to no good, at the end of the day you’re there to learn. Have fun, explore your interests and be youthful, but remember that college is only four years of your life and you still have decades of living yet to do.