A Dummy's Guide To Everything

A Dummy's Guide To Everything

The REAL guides we all need to rely on.
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It seems like people struggle more and more everyday to do simple tasks, or they lack the motivation to get up and be productive. Whether it's not knowing how to be social and talk to people, or unaware of their surroundings when they drive, people have gotten -dare I say it- dumber.

If only there were some manuals or guides on how to improve certain skills or necessary requirements for basic survival. These are the most influential "A Dummy's Guide To" that most people should be reading.

1. "How to Drive A Car Properly, A Dummy's Guide to Driving."

I grew up in Miami, and learned to drive with some of the world's worst drivers. No turn signals, not allowing others to merge while they run out of road, and randomly stopping in the middle of the road for no apparent reason were just some of the things I learned to deal with while driving. Trust me, this book would be a crucial part of some people's study material for a driver's permit.

2. "How to use Proper Grammar when Writing and Speaking, A Dummy's Guide to the English Language."

This one is aimed at the people who only speak one language, their first language, English, and yet they can't spell, nor can they tell the difference between "they're, their, and there" or "where, we're, and were." We've grown accustomed to typing in acronyms or strange abbreviations for everything, and it's begun to seep into our everyday speech. This guide would benefit a portion of college students that still haven't quite mastered basic grammar, and who think "your shit" and "you're shit" are interchangeable.

3. "How to Dress According to the Weather, A Dummy's Guide to Not Freezing in the Cold."

Shout out to all my girls that sacrificed their health for their Halloween costumes. If the weather channel says it's a chilly 52 degrees out, there is no need to wear half a top or just a skirt without some kind of tights to keep you from freezing. I know, it's so hard to choose between looking good and feeling good, but sometimes you've got to listen to Mother Nature and dress in a warm fashion. And to that guy on campus that wears shorts and flip-flops when everyone else is bundled up and says, "it's not that cold," just stop and put a damn sweater on.

4. "How to Take a Hint, A Dummy's Guide to Getting Turned Down."

The girl at the bar has turned away from you at least three times already. The guy that texts you sporadically because he's "busy" has only been responding with one-worded texts. This is a guide for those that need to learn how to take a hint. People are trying to be nice and let you down easy. They're either not interested or in a relationship, and most likely aren't looking for any more friends. So take the hint and back off before you get hurt.

5. "How to Blend in, A Dummy's Guide to Not Being Out of Place."

We've all been there. Your friends invited you out somewhere, and you know you'll stick out like a sore thumb. Maybe you were the only Freshman at the Upper Class party, and everyone knew it. Maybe you showed up to a tailgate without any knowledge of the sport. This guide is to help those awkward moments of not blending in by demonstrating the simple steps on how to blend in: act calm, be cool, stay collected.

6. "How to Keep Your Mouth Shut, A Dummy's Guide to When to Shut Up."

First time meeting your significant other's parents. You can't stop rambling about things your S.O's parent's don't know about. This book would be the Bible to those moments of "oh God I can't believe I just said that." Or you're trying to pick up a girl at a party, and every word out of your mouth is making her want to run away, just not with you. Know when to shut up, and when to act.

7. "How to Do Your Groceries When You Live on Your Own, A Dummy's Guide to Being an Adult."

Grocery shopping is hard enough as it is, with all the brands offering the same products for different prices, but now you have to shop for your groceries on your own, for yourself. This guide book would teach the basics, including the food pyramid, which we all same to forget whenever we shop, or how much pasta we really need to buy.

8. "How Not to Spend All of Your Money on Useless Crap, A Dummy's Guide to Saving Money."

A majority of people have no idea how to budget, and proceed to spend their life savings on useless crap, like fuzzy socks for your dog or buying shots for the whole bar even though you only showed up with two friends. Budgeting is a huge deal, and a guide on how to budget would be a smart investment for most people.

Cover Image Credit: John Arnold & Michael Becker

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To All Incoming Freshmen, When You Get To College, Please Don't Be THAT Freshman

I am pretty sure we all know who I'm talking about.

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As we are all counting down the days to return to campus, students are looking forward to meeting new people and reuniting with old friends. And then, there is the freshman.

We have all been there. The eagerness and excitement have been slowly building up through months of summer vacation, all waiting for this moment. I understand the anxiousness, enthusiasm, and insecurities. The opportunity to meet new people and explore a new area is very intriguing. But let's be real, you are here to make memories and get an education. So here are a few pieces of advice from a former college freshman.

1. Don't be that freshman who follows their significant other to college

This is the boy or girl who simply can not think for themselves. The 17-year-old puts their own personal goals and interests aside to sacrifice for a six-month high school relationship. This will more than likely end at an end of semester transfer after the relationship has been tested for a month or two in college life. So if you want to really enjoy your freshman year, make your own decisions and do what is best for you.

2. Don't be that freshman who lets their parents pick their major

"You are not going to school just to waste my money."

This is a statement you might have heard from your parents. As true as it might seem, this is definitely not a good way to start your college years. If you are not majoring in something you can see yourself doing, you are wasting your time. You can major in biology, go to medical school, and make the best grades. But if deep down you don't want to be a doctor, you will NOT end up being a good doctor. When it comes to picking your major, you really have to follow your heart.

3. Don't be that freshman who gets overwhelmed with the first taste of freedom

Yes. It is all very exciting. You don't have a curfew, you don't have rules, you don't have anyone constantly nagging you, but let's not get carried away. Don't be the freshman who gets a tattoo on the first night of living on your own. Don't be the freshman who tries to drink every liquor behind the bar. Don't be the freshman who gets caught up being someone that they aren't. My best advice would be to take things slow.

4. Don't be that freshman who starts school isolated in a relationship

I'm not telling you not to date anyone during your freshman year. I am saying to not cut yourself off from the rest of the world while you date someone. Your first year on campus is such an amazing opportunity to meet people, but people are constantly eager to start dating someone and then only spend time with that person.

Be the freshman who can manage time between friends and relationships.

5. Don't be that freshman who can't handle things on their own

It is your first year on your own. Yes, you still need help from your parents. But at this point, they should not be ordering your textbooks or buying your parking pass. If you need something for a club or for class, YOU should handle it. If you're having roommate problems, YOU should handle it, not your parents. This is the real world and college is a great time for you to start building up to be the person you want to be in the future, but you can't successfully do that if your parents still deal with every minor inconvenience for you.

6. Don't be that freshman who only talks to their high school friends

I know your high school was probably amazing, and you probably had the coolest people go there. However, I believe that college is a great time to be on your own and experience new things. Meeting new people and going to new places will allow you to grow into a more mature person. There is a way to balance meeting new friends and maintaining friendships with childhood friends, and I am sure you will find that balance.

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Dear Depression, Sincerely, Me

It's time we've had a talk.

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Dear Depression,

You have an unfortunate place in my soul and that's something I find hard to ignore. There are days I forget about you, as you become quiet inside me. There are days where I wish you would just leave me alone. The ups and downs are the hardest part. I want consistency with you without becoming a medicated version of myself.

You have a way of making my worst relationships seem like they were a cakewalk compared to the way you make me feel. I've listened to your voice for years, listening to the hateful things you say about me. I believe those words sometimes, and those are the days I just want to hide. I can't ignore your words when you scream them at me. I can't cover them with positive affirmations because I won't believe them. I just need you to stop and think about how you make me feel about myself.

I miss the days before you became a part of me. I was happier, I never heard your hurtful words. I loved myself before you and I didn't feel so alone. You made me into a ghost of the girl I used to be. A ghost of my past, my happiness, my love for myself. You invaded my body with your toxicity. You created a negative space that I couldn't love. You changed me.

Depression, I want to be myself again. I want to be happy with who I am. I want to be able to look in the mirror and love the person I see. You have controlled me for far too long. I am taking control of my life, my brain and my happiness. You are no longer telling me that I'm worthless and that no one loves me. I am not worthless and a lot of people love me.

Depression, this is the last time I'll speak to you before you receive an eviction notice.

Sincerely,

The girl who wants to be happy without you

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