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Advice you should ignore

Justin Tardiff | Friday, November 11, 2005

We all have friends and relatives who give bad advice. I’ve been lucky enough to get some horrible advice over the past few years, and this is some of the worst of it.

“Always expect the worst case scenario, and then you won’t ever be disappointed.” This is sort of like saying, “the glass was half full until you knocked it on the floor and stepped on it.”

Despite the fact that this statement makes logical sense, this is probably the single most pessimistic quip I’ve ever come across, next to things I’ve heard from ex-girlfriends during the breakup process. If someone tells you this, they probably hate you.

“Set really easy goals in life so you always feel accomplished.” This is a guaranteed recipe for deep, clinical depression. It’s kind of like writing things you’ve already done on a to-do list – well, let’s be honest, we all do that. But seriously, how can you ever accomplish anything if everything you want to do is easy?

“Let your life be a study in the path of least resistance.” I actually went through a period, circa winter of freshman year, where this was pretty much my motto. I slept until four in the afternoon and the only class I went to was volleyball – sort of like Matt Leinart but without the added benefit of hanging out with Jessica Simpson. If you come away with anything from this article, let it be abhorrence for sloth.

“Never confuse your GPA with your self-worth.” I actually agreed with this one until I realized that no on hires people with a 2.6 GPA. So for the person who told me this I ask one thing: What is someone worth when they are $70,000 in debt, mowing grass for a living and living with their parents? While I don’t fit this criteria exactly, I must admit that GPA and self-worth may indeed be correlated to some extent.

“Just be yourself and you can never make a bad impression.” OK, I’m sorry but this just isn’t true. I know plenty of people that would make the worst impression possible by being theselves. Call me overly critical, but if you genuinely want to spend afternoons sitting on the quad, drinking an adult beverage, while attaching a pornographic magazine to a fishing pole and harassing unsuspecting campus visitors when they try to pick it up and you simultaneously pull it away, laughing and yelling “Pervert!” you probably shouldn’t tell that to – oh, I don’t know – an interviewer. It’s just bad politics.

If you’ve heard any of these before, I’m sorry to conjure up any bad feelings you may have. I had to find out that these are BS the hard way, so for anyone who’s a stranger to these awful pieces of advice you are oh-so-very welcome.