A little something different today. Rather than sharing My Insights, I am sharing the satirical insights of “Faux Pelini”. “Faux Pelini” is a persona on my favorite sports website – The Athletic.com .
I’ve told you about The Athletic.com several times. It is a subscription website that costs $45/year to access. There are NO ADs… NO POP-UPs… NO AUTO-AUDIO… NONE of the invasive crap you have to endure on all other websites (except this one of course). You customize your The Athletic Home Page to the sports, teams and writers you are interested in… that is all you are shown. You can access all other sports et al if you choose. The articles are very very good and I am a very tough judge of such things.
I have no idea who “Faux Pelini” is or why his name is a play on the name of former Nebraska HFC Bo Pelini. He (I assume a “he”) is my kinda guy in that he does not take himself or sports seriously. He is a regular contributor to The Athletic.com … Alas, I cannot simply LINK to his column at The Athletic.com because it is Members Only access for the most part.
The following Advice To New Graduates is similar to columns I wrote 8-10 years ago on similar occasions. It is Good Stuff and absolutely ZERO in-your-face politics… YIPPEEE! …. ENJOY!
Real advice from a fake football coach: Faux Pelini’s graduation address to the Class of 2018
By Faux Pelini May 25, 2018 39
Over the past several months, you have entrusted me with your important life problems in this space. I’ve learned several things along the way (including that there are many people who believe that a fake football coach on the internet is a proper source of life advice). I will now pass along the lessons I’ve learned to the graduating Class of 2018.
Graduates of the Class of 2018,
And now you’re getting a diploma, because that’s what happens to college students when they avoid failing classes long enough to pile up the magic number of credits.
The good news is that this was all good practice — much of life is about not failing. Most days are about just surviving and piling up credits.
This doesn’t mean that mistakes are bad, though. A mistake is only stupid if you ignore the lesson. That’s why the best mistakes are the ones that other people make — you pay nothing for those lessons, so don’t ignore them. The road to Moronville is paved with little bricks that say “That could never happen to me.”
Don’t be afraid of mistakes, but at the same time, don’t make the Big Mistake. Luckily, it’s easy to avoid the Big Mistakes because they mostly involve not doing something, like driving drunk or taking a selfie on a cliff or hiring Charlie Weiss.
A lot of you will soon hit the streets looking for gainful employment. When you sit down for an interview, tell your future boss why hiring you will be good for him or her, not you. And don’t ask them about advancement in the company — interviewing sucks, and they don’t want to envision going through it again as soon as you find something else to do at the company.
When you do get a job, do that job. Just be the new guy for a while. The job will be boring at times, because the new guy gets to do the boring stuff. It’s just how it works. Don’t worry about your career yet — a career is something that mostly exists looking backward, not forward. It will work itself out.
Figure out what keeps your boss up at night, and do things that make him less worried about that. That’s your Real Job.
You’ll eventually get asked to do more stuff. Do all of it. But be indispensable, not irreplaceable; irreplaceable people rarely get promoted. Give great presentations, but don’t be the only one who knows how to work the projector.
Most of all, don’t become great at something you don’t like doing. That’s a cruel trap. But if you do hate your job (or your shirt, or your car), get a new one or shut up. There’s nothing more boring than a person who complains about his own decision.
All of the people you come across during your life will be people, so you need to start figuring people out.
Like, don’t trust a person who lies when the truth would do just fine. That person will lie about anything.
Liars lie, babies cry, hamsters die. These things will only bother you if you expected something different to happen. So set your expectations for others as low as you can — they will rarely disappoint you.
Stay away from people who brag, because bragging is a sign that a person has reached the end of his potential.
If a person’s justification for doing something is that he has the “right” to do it — like booing college football players because he bought a ticket to the game — don’t be his friend, because his brain is very small.
Don’t compare yourself against neighbors or colleagues or acquaintances. There will be an endless supply of people with bigger/smaller boats, bank accounts and brains. People-ranking is a game you can’t win or lose, so don’t play.
If you want to eventually get married, don’t date people you know you won’t marry. It’s a waste of everyone’s time. And if you’re not sure whether you should keep dating someone, stop dating them. Sometimes you answer a question just by asking it.
If someone asks you something and you don’t know, a useful thing to say is “I don’t know.” Many people are afraid to say these words — I don’t know why, but I do know that they are exhausting.
If you realize you’re wrong about a thing, change your mind and you immediately won’t be wrong anymore.
There are going to be lots of reasons you should apologize for something, but never apologize just because someone is mad.
Never tell someone “It’s only a game.” People get to decide what is important to them.
Don’t clutter your brain with a list of things you really should be doing, like cleaning the garage. If you want a clean garage, clean it. If you don’t, don’t. There’s no “should” about it, because you are the boss of your garage, not the other way around.
Never eat a bad cheeseburger. If you’re going to do something that’s bad for you, make sure it’s worth it.
Try doing stuff that interests you even (especially) if you might look ridiculous. The only people who will make fun of you are the losers who can’t do it anyway. And if you are drawn to something even though it’s hard or scary, it might be your Thing.
Don’t worry about things you can’t control. If you worry something bad will happen and it happens, you will have suffered it twice.
Play fantasy football, but always remember that nobody gives a shit about your fantasy football team.
Today you feel like friendships are permanent, but many of them won’t be. Friends will come and go (and some will come back). When a friendship ends, it doesn’t mean it failed, it just means it ran its course — it served its purpose for a time and place.
And anyway, all friendships have a beginning and an end — you’ll either go to your best friend’s funeral or she’ll go to yours. Just because something ends doesn’t mean it wasn’t worthwhile.
Sometimes supporting a friend means demanding more of him. Learn the art of being on a friend’s side without taking his side.
Don’t worry about getting old, because mathematically you can never actually get old: “Old” will always feel like your age plus 15 years, and that number conveniently changes with every birthday.
Life is full of parts — some good, some bad, most somewhere in between. When a good part comes along — like a graduation, for example — pause and celebrate it completely. If you don’t squeeze all the juice out of the good parts of life, what are you even doing on this planet?
Congratulations. You’re living the Good Ol’ Days right now. Don’t take them for granted.