MAKING MY PARENTS PROUD, MY SIBLINGS ARE

I’m going to start by saying that I love my siblings very much. Just needed to put that out there so I don’t get blackballed from future family gatherings / gift exchanges. It has, however, recently been brought to my attention that I am the least successful sibling. Which is interesting. Because I don’t remember when I went from first to worst. Last time I checked I was riding a solid middle of the pack wave.

At some point, fairly recently, I clearly fell down the totem pole. Could it have been because the rest of my siblings are annoyingly successful at everything? Probably. They’re those people who could get pushed backwards out of a first story window and land on their feet. That’s barely possible for cats. Who are known for their nimbleness and immortality. Do you know someone like this? No? Then you’re probably this person. Own it! Not all of us have been blessed by the life gods. 

Nothing like accomplishing something you didn’t think was possible, like landing a real adult job after graduation, only to have your freaking sibling pipe up right after to announce they’ve been invited to have dinner with the Prime Minister for their dedication to inclusion with the international students on campus. What?! Excuse me, but this is not your sharing time. I am now officially contributing to society at the lowest possible level a college degree will get you. Go somewhere else with all that. Maybe the UK? They seem to want to talk more about what an amazing human being you are. 

Has this ever happened to you? Do you find it irritating? It’s kind of like ordering an amazing cone of ice cream at the beach just to step outside and have the whole thing melt immediately in the sauna and fall to the ground. Then you have to figure out what your next “big” move will be. And then, you have to figure out how to actually implement the next “big” move. And then, you have to start tracking towards the end goal of your next “big” move. And then, when you finally accomplish this “big” move, your siblings have casually become a walk-on star athlete, a National College Student of the Year, and the go-to security engineer at a major tech company. It’s fine. That’s fine. I’m fine. If anyone cares I’ve learned how to use my Crock-Pot. 

It’s an endless cycle. Because now I have to find an even bigger “big” move. One that will surely outdo whatever my siblings decide to bring up in casual dinner conversation. Get a puppy? So much commitment, though. Start a business? But doing what? Become a celebrity? Highly plausible. The ultimate social media achievement. Lots of influence. This is clearly an attainable goal that will outshine whatever grandchild, Nobel Prize, or technological creation my siblings will be able to speak on. 

I believe the real issue here may be time-management. While I am able to successfully work, be mildly social, and a binge-watching pro (more on how to successfully complete a binge-watch marathon in THIS POST), it appears that some people have an extra block. Dedicated to actual goals? Where do I sign up for this? My schedule is clearly very full as is. I guess I could give up social things? Is it worth it? Nah. All my siblings are very social so that must not be the weak spot here. Oh! Duh! It’s work. I need to quit my job. Can’t believe I was today years old when I realized what a freaking ball and chain the office was in my pursuit of most successful sibling.

Alright, jumping off my pedestal for now. If you know someone who would enjoy this post and want to share it with them, that would be awesome. Sharing is caring, after all. Don’t forget to subscribe to get these in your inbox twice weekly and follow TRP on Twitter for frequent musings. Thanks for reading!


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LIFE LESSONS FROM COLLEGE

Let’s talk about all the times I use my degree today. Ok, that was fun, moving on. Remember college? Move in with a stranger, who will obviously become your best friend, after a touch of drama, a dorm room bigger than your kitchen at home, classes like once a month, and classy parties where everyone accepts you immediately and you eventually become the hottest human on campus within a week. No? Not your experience? That must just be the Hollywood portrayal, I guess.

What about actual college? The real life version. College was amazing – on the weekends when there were millions of hours to work on my Monday assignments and I had zero cares about anything. I learned so much from my time there. Socially. Also academically, but that has yet to transfer very applicably to life. If we look past the price tag that could buy the entire Tesla S3X lineup, there were some very valuable takeaways:

Everything Has Strings Attached

Just because they give you plastic cups, t-shirts, food, USB chargers, stress toys, pens, etc. every day of the week doesn’t mean it’s free. That’s what your student fees are providing so you better take ALL of it to maximize your investment.

There Are Two Kinds of Smart

Social smart and book smart. One understands that you don’t start to get ready for the party until the party has started and the other arrives exactly on time. Neither is “correct”, but one gets invited back and one doesn’t.

FOMO AKA Networking

Every single event, officially sponsored or not, is an opportunity to network. Career Fair? Yes, duh. Governor’s Ball? Definitely. Class? Sure. Tailgating? Of course. A frat party? Oh, absolutely. Never say no and you’ll have a slightly better chance of landing a big boy / girl job after graduating.

Sleep is Overrated

Who has time to sleep when you have to learn an entire semester’s worth of material in one night? You just have to pass through the ‘I’m tired’ phase into the ‘just kidding, I can stay awake forever’ phase. No caffeine needed, just an airhorn and good friends.

There is a Right Way and a Wrong Way to Tailgate

If you forget any portion of the tailgate triangle you’re doing it wrong. If you don’t know what the tailgate triangle is, then you tailgate wrong for sure. Alcohol, Food, Games.

Everyone Has a Clique

College is the best time to find your people. Social smart, book smart, tailgater, tailgate attempter – doesn’t matter! Everyone has a clique and everyone’s clique is the best. Find what works for you.

Basic Survival Needs Are All Mental

If you’re an “adult” in college, why do we still have to ask to take a bathroom break? Guess I’ll just hold it and hope I don’t get a UTI. You want to breathe? That’s fine, it costs $3 per inhale. Oh, you’re thirsty because it’s a billion degrees outside and you’ve been standing in a stadium all day? Water is $45 a bottle 🙂

Weekend 24 Hours and Weekday 24 Hours are Not the Same

A day on the weekend supposedly has 24 hours, but somehow ends in about a quarter of the time as a weekday? Alright, Father Time, I see you, and I don’t appreciate what you’re doing here. If you could just flip that equation, that would be great.

If You’re Bored, You’re Doing it Wrong

There is never not something to do. Maybe you just need to look harder? Or, maybe whatever is happening doesn’t interest you? Well, that’s what friends and Netflix are for – make your own adventure.

Hollywood Is a Liar

My college experience was … very different … from how all the shows and movies made it seem. You actually have to go to class, and, even if you don’t, they still take your money, but kick you out. Nobody on TV has “class”, what is this BS?

Alright, jumping off my pedestal for now. If you know someone who would enjoy this and want to share it with them, that would seriously mean a lot to me. I’m so grateful to all the current readers and subscribers. If you want to get these in your inbox twice weekly don’t forget to subscribe. Thanks for reading!


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DEAR NCAA: DID YOU FORGET THAT YOU’RE IN CHARGE?

It’s a weird world that we live in now. Surely, I can’t be the only one who feels this way? The NCAA has become a major pushover, TikTok is the hottest black market drug in the social media world, and butterflies apparently have a lifespan of 3 – 5 days. How cruel is that … 3 – 5 days?! Some of them are born without a mouth, and thus without the ability to eat. If that doesn’t traumatize you, do you even have a soul? I, for one, would be devastated if I finally glowed up out of my caterpillar-looking self and couldn’t eat. Ever again. What’s the point of being beautiful if you can’t eat food? Not a tradeoff I would take. In fact, I would probably be ok looking like Shrek as long as I could have my midnight Cheez-Its. He has Fiona, an entire swamp, multiple children, and a talking donkey. Oh, and food, obviously. 

Maybe that’s why King Farquaad is always so angry? Instead of eating gingerbread, he maims them and throws them away. Tragic. Kind of like what’s happening with collegiate athletics’ supposed juggernaut of a leadership entity. Recently, there’s been a push for them to take a step back from every single potentially political, disruptive, or triggering decision in favor of ambiguity. That’s fun. Instead of being the bad parent, they would rather be best friends with all of their children. The problem here, though, is that you can’t be a good parent without knowing when to lay down the law. Drop the hammer. Let your children cry it out in their cribs all night if that’s what it takes. Because, eventually, they will stop.

Watching an authoritative organization try to make everyone happy is like watching a ticking bomb. I’m guessing, I’ve never watched a ticking bomb. I choose not to put myself in those situations. For safety. The longer you do nothing, the closer you are to the explosion. And when you’re one group trying to hoard off the (dead) masses, it becomes a lot like the epic battle of WINTERFELL. Except without the Hollywood underdog win. Why does everyone hate the NCAA? Quite simply, because they’ve become soft.

They do a lot, but at the end of the day, their responsibility is to govern member organizations. Now, in their defense, they are definitely governing. But they’re copying the wrong example of a government. Pushing decisions off and hoping they resolve themselves is not proactive, or reactive. It’s passive. And no one wants a passive leader. We put you in charge for a reason. Because we, the people, don’t want to make these decisions. Should we play sports this fall? Well that feels a lot like something that needs to be dictated across the board. Whatever ridiculousness is happening right now with conferences, and schools, making their own choices is a recipe for a riot. 

Nebraska thinks they’re Notre Dame. College students are starting petitions to undermine their conference decisions. Parents are getting involved and you know you’ve lost control when parents are talking to ESPN. Parents are arguably one of the worst parts of all sports from youth up through professional. The last thing anybody wants, sports fans or not, is to turn on SportsCenter and hear commentary from the parent of a second string Linebacker. Your child is now an adult. They need to fight their own battles. Better yet, let the coaching staff do their jobs and fight those battles for the team.

I don’t blame the parents, though, for being upset and not wanting their kid to miss an opportunity. I don’t blame the players for wanting to play. I don’t blame the coaching staff for wanting answers. All of the blame can be easily put in one place. No matter what you do, people are going to be upset. That’s just life. Trying to play every angle, however, leads to everyone being pissed at you. Especially since you can’t really crown a champion with over half of the contenders not currently having a season. That’s like saying Florida State won March Madness because they won the ACC Championship. LOL please! They weren’t even the most competitive conference. Now feels like a good spot for me to step back from this post before my competitive troll side emerges. In a move of pure authority, I’m ending it.

Alright, jumping off my pedestal for now. If you know someone who would enjoy this post and want to share it with them, that would be awesome. Sharing is caring, after all. Don’t forget to subscribe to get these in your inbox twice weekly and follow TRP on Twitter for frequent musings. Thanks for reading!


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DEAR COLLEGE: I ALREADY SOLD YOU MY SOUL, I HAVE NOTHING LEFT TO GIVE YOU

I miss college. All of the social activities, sporting events, parties, friendships, constant eating, freedom, and the general lack of real responsibilities. It was a great time. Sure, occasionally there were unfortunate obligations like class and exams and homework, but for the most part it was awesome. What I don’t miss is the amount of bills that I knew, but didn’t really know, I was racking up. That should really be part of the high school curriculum – financial planning. What are loans? What is debt? What are bills? What does the health insurance paperwork mean? How do you file taxes? So many actually helpful things that could be taught.

Because now I have these monthly payments that are no fun at all to make. They most certainly are not awesome or a great time. So many other things I would like to do with that part of my paycheck, like travel, shop, drink, eat, have an experience, donate to charity, etc. Literally anything other than paying back the school that gave me a piece of paper. Go to college, they said. It’ll be fun, they said. You’ll get an education, they said. This way you can get a job, they said. It’s going to cost you everything, they didn’t say. Did I go? Yes. Was it fun? Most of the time. Did I get an education? Yes, but not the kind they probably had in mind. Was it the magic door to getting a job? Haha, absolutely not. Did selling my organs on the black market cover the cost? No, no – it was way more.

So, in other words, I spent all this money to get a job in the field that someone printed on a piece of paper. Some call it a diploma, but I would think that to be considered a big, fancy diploma, then they could have at least printed it on glossy paper. I mean, at this point, you can just add an extra $10 or so to my bill. I won’t even know. Ironically, what I do now could not be further from my field of study. And I’m not the only one. At some point, I was informed that employers care more about seeing that you can finish something. I feel like there are a lot of cheaper ways to do this…but clearly I’m in the minority on this one.

All of this is annoying, and frustrating, but in hindsight, I should have expected it when they asked me to pay a registration deposit and give them rights to my first-born child to attend. Alright, fine, that’s on me and my teenage innocence. What I’m not a fan of, nope too passive…what I absolutely loathe, is when they have the audacity to call me and ask for a donation. I’m sorry, I know you have my records still because you always seem to find my new address to spam with letters. So you would know that I am paying you. Still. From all those years ago when I actually was there. I’m what one would call, a mandatory donor. I wouldn’t say I have a giving spirit towards my alma mater, but more of an, I’d like to maintain a respectable credit score and not get audited type of spirit.

It would make slightly more sense if you asked me for money after I finished paying off my loans. Then, at least, I would be contributing nothing on a monthly basis so it would make sense that I might want to keep that bleeding train of dolla, dolla bills going. Because an object in motion tends to stay in motion. Honestly, the things I plan on doing with all that extra cash each month is not nearly as generous or productive as donating to support the education system. Might as well keep on giving. But now you’ve pissed me off. We both know that if I could afford to donate, I would have paid off my loans. Or simply chosen to pay for school upfront. Either way, I should not be the target demographic for the donor office student cold-callers.

Let’s take a quick second to break down why I’ve been a donor for so long:

  • Air is free everywhere in the world…except on college campuses
  • Meals can be relatively affordable, depending on your choices, everywhere in the world…except on college campuses
  • Learning is free, or reasonably priced (unless you’re in private school, but if that’s the case, this post is not for you)…except on college campuses
  • Nature is free to enjoy everywhere in the world…except on college campuses
  • Sports are free to watch (as long as your friends with someone who pays) everywhere in the world…except on college campuses
  • Hobbies vary in price, but can be pretty cheap, everywhere in the world…except on college campuses
  • Exercise can be affordable everywhere in the world…except on college campuses
  • Reading can be affordable everywhere in the world…except on college campuses

Seems like there’s the issue. You want to wake up today? $427 fee. You want to eat lunch? $28.37 fee. You want to walk on our sidewalks everyday? $13,078 fee. You want to buy books? $5,396 fee. You sneezed? $4.76 fee. You want to submit an assignment on our Wi-Fi and use our mandatory online portal? $28,340 fee. So, to answer your question, do I want to donate today? Bye, Felicia!

Alright, jumping off my pedestal for now. If you know someone who would enjoy this and want to share it with them, that would seriously mean a lot to me. I’m so grateful to all the current readers and subscribers. If you want to get these in your inbox twice weekly don’t forget to subscribe. Thanks for reading!


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