‘Fake it ’til you make it’: And other really stupid advice adults give us

Thought y’all were supposed to know

My tender journey into adult hood has been signified by some common, shared life events.

For some reason, people love asking stupid questions on three specific topics:

Where are you going to college? What do you intend to study? and What do you intend to do with that degree?

While responses vary—I know not all of you reading are USC students (Hi Mom)—the disgusting internal dread of responding definitely does not!

And since we cannot answer with “I dunno” or “I’m really bullshitting this entire thing,” here are some mantras, that on the surface are as bogus as the rest, but also have some golden nuggets of wisdom!

It’s like Nesquik, just add it to the end of your answer to any terrible life question, and enjoy. It will leave your answer vague, open ended, and oddly inspirational, with only a slight irritation factor. That’s the best we can do in our 20s anyways.

Just do it

God bless the virtues of Nike factories. Totally kidding – their apparel is probably made in a sweat shop in China. But Nike really hit home with this slogan: stop overanalyzing, stop overthinking, and quit over planning; just do it!

Wear that risky outfit, take that random class, drink that weird sounding beer, who cares!?

Doing something is always better than nothing. It is better to be a fool that lived than be nothing at all. I have never envied a smart man; I have only envied the smart men that accomplished something. Albert Einstein without his contribution to mathematics and physics would have been a dude with weird hair that failed elementary school.

Actions make a big difference, and the best actions start small. Maybe comb your hair?

Do what you love

Just amazing. Does it get any more vague than this? —Well, yes, just wait—

This quote has some great implications to it, because if you JUST DO IT, that is to do what you love, you first must FIND what you love. And how do you find what you love? By doing stuff! It takes a thousand interests to find one passion—not a scientific number, but sounds logical, yeah?

If you want a passion, you need an interest that is better. Better than what? If you have two interests, you are really cutting yourself short on what you could be passionate about. Come on college students, think in math terms! Five interests give you more options, and more options lead to more choices. Now don’t go being a hoarder with these choices, but think of it as flavor sampling — I knew I hated celery the minute I tried it, so that was checked off the list pretty quickly. It took time to cultivate a love for coffee. But I was a chocolate addict from the time I could walk! There are millions of options, and your intuition is your guiding force for finding your love.

Fake it ‘til you make it

Whatever your action is, follow it through. Follow it through with a big smile on your face; do it better than anyone else; invest yourself into your actions.

No matter what you are doing, you will get a result. Any activity, class, or event has the possibility of yielding an amazing new connection, an exploration into a new interest, or an avenue for learning more about yourself.  Or it could be absolutely terrible! But then you are still remembered as that hardworking, kind individual, and that gets you much further than any “dream job” or perfection situation will.

Who invented that idea of a “dream job”? I bet they hated their job.

What’s stopping you?

Totally legitimate question with a lot of legitimist answers. But remember the “Just do it” phrase we went over? You can rationalize anything. Seriously, humans are great at it. Ask a freshman* what their major is, then ask them why. They will give you a million reasons, all very logical and reasonable answers. They’re actually on their way to switch to a different major.

*By the way, seniors are not excluded from this over rationalization, it’s just too late for them. Or is it? (they’re probably over rationalizing)

Life’s what you make it

Hannah Montana anyone? Just kidding, we’re adults. We sing this song alone in the shower and never speak of it in public. But this is the internet. Life is not a single object or item, life is a collection. What you choose to collect is a direct reflection of who you are. Collect ideas, collect moral integrity, collect experiences, collect so many interests that you cannot keep them all straight. Collect useless catchphrases so that when some poor soul is being bombarded by life-prying questions, you can offer them safety in the umbrella of vague motivational quotes!

And also keep collecting your empty wine bottles, but recycle them afterwards.

University of South Carolina