20 Something Life

March Madness Gambling Manifesto

Last week, for the second year in a row, I went to Vegas for the opening weekend of the NCAA Tournament. I could not recommend putting this on your bucket list enough. It is a sports fan and gambling addicts heaven. Four straight days of games upon games. Sports books filled to max capacity. People from around the world coming to Vegas. The sheer level of bullshit spread around, like  how the MEAC is a stronger conference than people give it credit for is worth the trip.

Good old Freemont Street. Many miles spent walking up and down your hallowed grounds.

Good old Freemont Street. Many miles spent walking up and down your hallowed grounds.

Even if you’re not a sports fan or into gambling it is worth going for the spectacle. It is the busiest weekend of the year for Vegas and a people watching delight. The Strip can get a little overwhelming this weekend as prices skyrocket and a lot of sports books will charge you to be able to watch the games. A little tip, if you’re really invested in watching as many games as possible, then check out downtown Vegas aka Old Vegas. It is easier to get around, less crowded, and the drinks and food are amazingly cheap. $2.50 20oz beers made me feel like I was back in South Bend, IN for the weekend. Downtown isn’t as sexy as the Strip, but during the day it is a much more enjoyable experience having done both during this weekend. Plus there is a bus that takes you right into the strip at night and since the PT means that all games are over by 9pm that still leaves plenty of night to get into some crazy adventures.

It is such an exciting weekend that I’m already thinking/planning next year’s trip. Anyone interested in joining let me know. But it is not an itinerary that I’m making, no the more pressing issue is creating a March Madness Gambling Manifesto. As the saying goes, “Those who do not learn from losing a three team parlay are doomed to repeatedly lose money.” Or something like that. 

Here it is, Part One of my March Madness Gambling Manifesto.

1. Don’t do more than Two Team parlays unless it all money line bets on heavy favorites.

I only won one big parlay, a six-teamer involving Louisville, MSU, Michigan, Villanova, Wisconsin, and Syracuse all on the money line. I put down a $100 to win $41. And as Louisville was down 2 with two minutes to go I realized that the risk was not worth the reward. Thank God for Luke Hancock and his huge balls.

2. Take the Points in Round One. I still call it round one. Fuck that Round 2 BS. 

It is very difficult for any team to win by 20 or more points. I realized this last weekend. The favorites tend to be giving way to many points to these teams that no one has heard of before. These underdogs usually come out aggressive and surprise these heavy favorites, which leads to our first addendum.

2a. Take the points in the first half of the first round. 

As I said these dogs come out really aggressive. Even the favorites that did cover typically did it by running away in the second half, ala Wisconsin who beat American by 40 points, yet was up only 10 at half.

3. Take the favorites in Round 2 

Everything flips in the second round. A top seed that might have struggled in the first round and failed to cover ends up not giving enough points to a team that is still not in the same class. Ala Florida over Pitt, Louisville over St. Louis, Virginia over Memphis, and Michigan over Texas.

4. If the game is close at halftime, then take the 2nd half over. 

The free throw game typically ends up pushing these games into the over. Plus in close games a lot of threes get exchanged towards the end of the game.

4a. If the game is a blowout at half, then take the under. 

The team ahead will rest its players toward the end of the game and the team behind will end up doing the same in order to get Seniors into the game. The last few minutes end up being a sloppy, slow dribbling showcase.

5. Bet big on bad lines. 

There are three lines that I knew were bad and I really wish I bet more money on them. One was Wisconsin -4.5 in the second half against American. They were up 10 at half, but had a bad shooting half and had only scored 28 points. UW has been much improved on offense this season and they usually score at least 70, which means they were due for at least 40 in the second. Anyone who watched American’s anemic offense could see there was no way they were going over 20 points in the second half, let alone 30. It was basically like stealing, yet I only put $30 to win $27.30. My lack of balls cost me money I would later need.

The other two were Witchita St. giving only 16.5 to Cal Poly, by fart the worst team in the field, having gone into it’s conference tourney at 10-19 before winning three straight and then the play-in game. Every other one seed was giving at least 20.5 this was just total disrespect to the Shockers.

And third was Iowa St giving only 8.5 to NC Central. A team that is capable of dropping 100 in any given game should be giving 10.5 at least and really should’ve been closer to 15. I won a lot of money on these three teams in various bets, but it should’ve been so much more.

6. Stay away from games you’re unsure about. 

The atmosphere of the opening weekend makes you feel the pressure to put some action on every single game. Fight this urge, it will cost you money. I put three different bets on Oklahoma, one in the first half, one in the game, and a third in a parlay to cover the spread and the over. I did all of this because I had North Dakota St in my bracket and realized I did not know anything about them. But I knew even less about Oklahoma. This game had stay away written all over it, yet I bet big on it anyway. Stupid.

7. Put $5 or $10 on the money line for every 14 and 15 seed, unless you’re absolutely positive that the favorite will win. 

7a. Cap the total you bet on these dogs at $50.

The odds are very high for all of these teams and the trend seems to be that one of them wins each year. This year it was Mercer at +2000. If you hit on one of them it more than makes up for the losses of the rest. It is a low risk, high reward bet.

 8. Parlay NBA favorites on the money line. 

8a. Just make sure to wager the same amount of money on each bet. 

I made three such parlays last weekend. One for $30, another for $50, and a third for $100. I picked 11 of 12 games right in these bets, but guess which bet had the one losing team. Yep, the $100 one. Even worse, the team that blew it for me was none other than the hated Miami Heat when they lost to the Pelicans last Saturday.

I started betting on NBA games cause watching a bunch of teenagers miss free throws, make dumb turnovers, and shoot forced/ill-advised shots that all cost me money was driving me crazy. I needed to put some money on professionals whom are much more reliable and consistent. I highly recommend mixing some NBA bets in there, it will help with the stress.

There you have it. My March Madness Gambling Manifesto, so far…

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A Guide to Having an Adult Bedroom

Everyone hates getting older. You can’t drink as much, your hangovers are worse, and if you talk about alcohol too much, people think you’re an alcoholic.  People have invented creams, drinks and even surgeries to maintain that illusive glow that only the young obliviously possess. But, before I make you start crying about your upcoming birthday, I must remind you that with age comes wisdom and class. Maybe you don’t stay out partying until 4am as much, but you also aren’t throwing up in your bed… which is always a win in my book.

But with age also comes a need to “adult-ify” one’s life, and not throwing up in bed is, at best, a good start. The most fundamental place to start this “adult-ification” (yes, this made-up word is here to stay) is in your bedroom.  There are a number of steps that a budding millenial like yourself can take to turn your dorm room of college legend into an real-life adult master bedroom:

Clean It –

We’re going to start off basic because I’ve seen some bedrooms of men older than me that don’t even begin to meet this requirement. And while I promise I’m trying my best to sound as little like your mom as possible, there isn’t much I can do about it when I say: CLEAN YOUR ROOM! I’m not saying you have to dust and wipe down your nightstand every day, but if you don’t remember what color your carpet is, that’s a problem.  If you want to embrace your newfound maturity, you have to be able to walk to your bedroom door without having to kick any clothes out of the way.

Trash It –

This may be a hard pill to swallow, but everything you bought in college isn’t awesome. Your groovy blacklight lamp and your flimsy IKEA desk that were purchased under the guise of “well, at least it’s cheap” are just that… cheap. And as you enter adulthood, the number of flimsy and groovy things in your bedroom should persistently dwindle. And while you feel like you want to pass on the legacy of your white plastic dresser through the magic of craigslist, sometimes its easier and more practical to throw it away. Because if your dresser can fit in a garbage can, it should be in one.

Frame It –

This one is a two-parter so get ready. First part, PICTURE frames. The days of adorning your walls with concert posters and tapestries held up with duct tape and thumb tacts has long passed.  Now, it’s time to frame the things you want and lose that Grateful Dead/Audrey Hepburn poster that you bought at the campus store freshman year.

Second part, BED frame. I realize it once seemed very cool to own a bed that you could just walk near and drunkenly fall into.  It certainly made one-night-stands seem that much much spontaneous. But as it turns out, bed frames serve a purpose beyond making your bed look fancy. Bedroom floors are gross (because you probably don’t clean them) and the farther away you are the better.  And hey, who doesn’t want more storage, right?!

Rearrange It –

Arranging a room does not seem like the kind of thing an adult and a millenial do differenlyt but you’d be profoundly surprised. The organization of furniture to create room rather than drinking surfaces is one of the main differences.  And while this may seem a bit nuanced, how many adults do you know with beds pushed up against the wall? Almost zero.  That’s because adults plan on having someone in bed with them, which is either delightfully romantic or wildly over-confident. Either way, give that bed a push into the center of the wall, get a desk chair for your desk and get an area rug… It’s a good thing.

Don’t Worry About It –

This may be the most important step in the process.  If you don’t want to let go of the college posters, floor beds and blacklights of your past, then don’t! Remember, this is merely a guide for those interested in making the transition and are in need of a push in the right direction.  Make your bedroom reflect your own weird personality! Because it doesn’t matter how old I get, I will always have “George Carlins Incomplete List of Inappropriate Words” on my wall… and that’s about as adult as it gets.

How Much Would You Give Up For Sex?

The Huffington Post has a slideshow of things people prefer over sex. Sleep, cell phones, compliments, bacon, food in general, lighter backpack, the internet, and youth. It’s an interesting list and it inspired me to think, if I had to choose only one for the rest of my life, what would I choose over sex.

Let’s take away necessities, food, water, and shelter, since that takes away the fun in the question. Plus I might actually choose sex over shelter, which would make it hard to get laid as a homeless man. Are maybe easier? Who knows what homeless people do to kill the time? Instead let’s take a look at luxuries and decide if any are worth giving up sex for the rest of our lives. slide_324631_3099032_free

1. Sleep – Sleep is a necessity, unfortunately, but in the context of this article this is the choice of going to sleep without having sex. I’ve been very tired before and enjoy morning sex more than any other time of the day, but unless I’m passed out from too much drinking I’ll give it a go. It may be sloppy, uncomfortable, and very displeasing for the woman, but it will still be an attempt before I go to sleep. And even though there is a good chance I will not finish in this state, it still is an attempt. Once I either miraculously cum or the woman has had enough of me trying, I will immediately go to sleep, no cuddling whatsoever.

2. Cell Phones – This is an easy one to apply some skillful litigation work to since cell phones are a bit obsolete with the rise of tablets, which basically do everything, but make calls. But, besides my parents, I do not talk to anyone on the phone anyways, so this is an easy one to get around.

3. Compliments – At first I laughed at the ridiculousness of choosing this over sex, but the more I thought about it the more it started to make senes. One reason why we have sex is to feel better about ourselves. It is a nice ego boost to know that someone was willing to get naked with us and do the most intimate thing two people can. However, often times that good feeling fades in the morning and we come crashing down to the reality that the other person regrets having sex with us very much. This is a difficult low to recover from, plus not too mention sex often leads to guilt unless it is with someone we truly love. Compliments help boost our ego without leaving us exposed and vulnerable to feel a lot of soul crashing pain. Unless of course the compliment is a set up for a classic “Not-Joke.” Those are very painful. In the end, the high of sex is too much to pass up and is worth never receiving a compliment again.

Look at those bad boys sizzle.

Look at those bad boys sizzle.

4. Bacon – Oooo boy, this is the hardest one yet. Bacon, the best single food item, pizza is too broad to count. I can’t imagine never being able to taste sweet, savory bacon ever again. In complete seriousness, bacon has given me a more orgasmic feeling than a few of my experiences with sex. It is so good, but as I get older I would have to start cutting it out of my diet, which would be difficult. It would make it easier to give up bacon if I knew it saved me from never having to have sex again. Still, this would be very difficult. In fact I need to know what the majority of readers would choose.

5. Lighter backpack – This was the dumbest answer on the list. You’re better than this Huffington Post.

6. Youth – This is a little vague. If it were a choice between living forever or having sex, then I would take living forever. If it is just about delaying the age process or not aging anymore till the day we die, then I would take sex. One of the major draws of youth is having more energy to have sex, so choosing youth seems wasted in this scenario. Damn it, Ariana, make sure your writers are more detailed with these things.  

7. Internet- Let’s not drag things out any further, I’m going to throw TV in with Internet as the two things that would make me give up sex. Call me crazy, but I cannot imagine a life where I can never watch my favorite TV programs or watch another sporting event again. It would not be a life I’d like to lead. Thanks in part to the internet, television programming is available any time at any place you want. Sex that happens at any time and place you want is called rape.

Sex is great, but I would bet that everyone has one luxury that they would choose over it for the rest of their lives. But don’t let me assume, tell me by answering the poll down below.

The Way Things Were

I don’t want to make this about Miranda Lambert because she is worthy of a Women I Love article. But I heard her new song “Automatic” for the first time last night and it really struck a nerve with.

One of my Professors in college, Gene Halton, enjoyed playing devil’s advocate during lectures. He’d say things like the world is meant to be inhabited by 10,000 people in a hunter-gatherer society. For the life of me I cannot remember the name of the class or why something like that would even be brought up. But the biggest thing he preached about was how human knowledge was dwindling with the advancement of technology. He proved his point by asking us to recite one of our roommates cell phone numbers without looking it up. No one in the class could do it. Then he asked us to recite our best friend from elementary school’s number, we were all able to rattle off multiple friends numbers. Score one for Professor Gene, point proven.

My only counter to my old professor’s argument is, why the hell does it matter? We’ve lost the ability to memorize phone numbers, oh no, the end of the world is coming. Everyone repent! Yes, human knowledge is dwindling, but only because it has been replaced by more effective and efficient intelligence, technology.

We did not start using smartphones, tablets, and other technology on a whim. There is a reason and it is convenience. Throughout time, technological advancements have mirrored the advancement of society. The wheel, roads, bridges, pens, paper, the movable print, the industrial age, computers, the internet, and now the boom of technology in the last decade. It has all led to growth in society as well as making our lives easier.

Life is short. Why do we want to spend it having to remember this or that? We used to murder rain forests and have entire warehouses dedicated to filing. Now it is all available on devices we can bring on an airplane. Depending on technology is not a bad thing, it is a great one. Also, how much human knowledge do we really have when we opt to not use something that makes our life easier.

Lambert’s song taps into what so many older folks believe, “Things were so much better back in the day. Billy already discussed how powerful of an elixir nostalgia can be, but I believe another reason why older people wax nostalgic about the good old days is that they were kids during them.

You know what we did when we were kids? We believed in a man who flew around the world on a sleigh delivering presents to every kid in the world in one night and a fairy that gave us money under our pillows when we lost a tooth. In other words, we were fucking delusional. We live in a bubble as kids. It is easy to think that the world was a perfect place because we were protected from all the dangers and shitty things that were happening in it. Except the 90s really were the best decade ever and nothing bad ever happened. 

The world doesn’t become a worse place with each passing day. We’re just fucking growing up and the bubble is popped.

Why Do I Have To Thank God It’s Friday?

It is a phrase that launched a reasonably priced, awkward first date hot spot restaurant chain, “Thank God It’s

Hhhhmmm I can taste the loaded potato skins from here.

Hhhhmmm I can taste the loaded potato skins from here.

Friday.” Friday has served as a harbinger of hope seemingly since the dawn of time. No matter how shitty life gets or how beat down and depressed we are, there is always Friday.

Friday office banter is the same every week. “Hey, how’s it going?” “Alright, but at least it’s Friday.” Phone calls answered with the salutation, “Happy Friday,” instead of the traditional hello. This morning in the elevator a co-worker prayed to God to make every day Friday. We love Fridays so much we allowed Loverboy to produce a gaudy rock hit.

Instead of working for the weekend, maybe they should have been working on not desecrating rock n’ roll or finding another career.

As kids, Friday meant Boy Meets World, pizza, video games, and movies. It was a fun day, but then so was every other day. As we get older Fridays become a religious experience, something we praise and offer sacrifice. The problem is I’m starting to resent, no despise Fridays. Not the day itself, it had no choice of where the Romans placed it on our calendar, but this dependence on it to provide all happiness in our lives.

If I’m coming into work in five years saying “Oh, thank God for Friday,” or even worse, “Is it Friday yet,” then shoot me in the fucking skull. I’m serious, anyone who reads this article has my full permission to kill me. Let this be admissible in the court of law. It is time to ween ourselves off the sweat teat known as Friday. The thought of the rest of my life being totally dependent on Fridays for happiness with the occasional holidays is just totally depressing. I want to wake up and say “Thank God it’s Monday!” Or better yet, not even know or care what day of the week it is because each one brings me happiness and fulfillment.

There is more than one way to achieve this fulfillment, but the best way is to find a career that fulfills a passion. Certainly finding someone to build a fulfilling relationship can also bring joy into our everyday lives, but eventually we all have to find a way to provide for our basic needs. However, the right person is capable of getting us through a shitty job that we hate going to day in and day out.

It doesn’t matter how we do it, but we should strive to become less Friday dependent. Hopefully someday we’ll drop the “It’s Friday” from T.G.I.F.

P.S. But let’s never get rid of the restaurant chain. Daddy needs his half priced apps.

The Power of Why

It is always amusing to see female politicians like Sarah Palin and Michelle Bachman praise the Nation’s Forefathers as a guiding light for all people lucky enough to live in God’s greatest country, America. Assuming of course that your first ancestor arrived circa 1950; everyone else is scum, attempting to suck away all that is righteous in this world.

Ben Franklin would be confused why a woman was allowed outside of his bedroom, let alone to speak in public.

Ben Franklin would be confused why a woman was allowed outside of his bedroom, let alone to speak in public.

The irony of praising men who would never let them vote or speak in public, let alone run for office, remains lost on them. Misogynistic behavior, unequal wages, and vile, sexist language, the Forefathers’ would find our behavior friendly. I joke, but sexism is still an issue in America, unequal wages and the glass ceiling is a painful reality for women, not to mention the shame that a woman has yet to reach the White House. Cue to Old White Men: “We let a black in there, now you want a vagina bleeding woman?”

Similar to MLK, I have a dream where wage inequality is a distant memory and everyone is properly compensated for the work they do and not the random distribution of a Y-chromosome. However, there is one profession that I must insist is dominated by one sex over the other, journalism.

Any time I see a male reporter, I immediately discredit him, knowing full-well there are dozens of women within a hundred foot radius of him that could do a better job. It is nothing personal to male reporters, they are at a biological disadvantage. Men simply cannot ask enough questions to dig out all the necessary details to fill out a story.

Compliments on the hair, but a woman could do your job much better.

Compliments on the hair, but a woman could do your job much better.

Women are naturals at asking questions; there are never enough answers to satisfy their insatiable quench for details. A man just needs, who, what, where, and when, the standards.Women ask that pesky, never-ending question, why. Anyone who has been or interacted with a 6-year old knows the old curiosity phase and “the why game.” A cute little routine for 10-seconds, before it takes every fiber of morality to prevent punching a little kid and spending some time in jail as a guy named Cockroach’s bitch.

Somehow the memo on the annoyingness of this routine never got distributed to women since it is still a significant part of women’s routines. They love to ask “why this” and “why that” because details actually matter to them. Women strive to know as much as possible about the people in their lives, what they are doing, how they are feeling, why they choose to do this, why they choose to put up with that, etc. It has a significant impact on whom they choose to let into their lives as friends, lovers, or even acquaintances.

On the other hand, men simply ask one question, does this person annoy me? If the answer is no, we hang out with him or her, yes, and we avoid them from here to eternity. The details are insignificant to us.No woman makes me realize how few details I know about my friends than the one who gave me life. Conversations with my Mom often, inevitably lead to her asking how all of my friends are doing, where they are working, do they like their jobs, where are they living, are they happy there, etc. The best answers I can come up with are “good, something in money, I don’t know, Chicago, and yeah, I guess.”
The truth is outside of where they are living or what grad school they are attending, I really do not know what my friends are doing. The details have never mattered to me. It is easy to chalk this up to be a “guy” thing and rationalize that we do not share emotions with another, but rather
drink beer, watch sports, and grunt just like the great leader of men, Tim “the Toolman” Taylor.
If you have 15 minutes to kill, I highly recommend watching the following clip of every grunt from Home Improvement. You will not be disappointed.

The problem is that I’m starting to change my attitude as I get older. I realize that details are important. We live in an incredible digital age, where everyone in the world  is connected through the internet and social media sites. Internet connection required. I’m sure starving people in the deserts of Africa and streets of America do not feel very connected to anyone.

They must be searching for a stronger Wifi signal.

They must be searching for a stronger Wifi signal.

As much as I love to hate-read all those annoying Facebook posts about, how blessed someone’s life is or how every day is a new challenge we must all strive to overcome, there is no denying that it has never been easier to stay in touch with friends and family. We have no excuses for being unable to keep up with or contact people who do not live near us. It is a luxury not afforded to generations before us.
Older people may complain about our modern technologies ruining human interactions and how young people cannot get their face out of a
phone to appreciate the world around them. While I find those points valid, those phones and new social media devices are easy ways to contact people we care about who are sometimes thousands of miles away.We should strive to send emails, texts, and messages to one another. Do not let cynical bastards like me prevent you from posting good or bad news on Facebook that you want everyone to know. Just please try to avoid flowery language and excessive hashtags. But let’s also try to remember that taking the time to call someone or video chatting with them can mean a lot.
If people truly matter to us than it should never be an inconvenience to take the time out of our day, instead of sitting on the couch Youtubing best Arnold Schwarzenegger One-liners. I’m certainly not promoting that we all start playing “the why game,” please for the love of God, no. I just hope this article one, inspires men to be more proactive in engaging each other and not be afraid of sharing with one another, two, ends wage inequality forever, and three, reminds us of how truly oblivious Michelle Bachman and Sarah Palin are, something that, like the teachings of the Forefathers, should never be forgotten.

Dating Theory

***This post was originally titled “Dating Theory” and was published in the Boston University Independent Newspaper The Daily Free Press. It was published on September 30, 2009 when the author Billy Kirland was a first semester junior. Billy couldn’t figure out girls back then and is still struggling now.***

Recently, my roommates and I debated the reasons girls are attracted to guys. One of my roommates argued that the only things girls are attracted to in a guy are power, money, and status. Needless to say, I started to cry a little during his brilliant dissertation. I wasn’t crying because he was particularly eloquent – I was crying because he made a lot of good points. As a guy missing all three of those key ingredients, the truths he offered were hard to swallow.

However, our profound debate got me thinking on a more broad level. First, it would be incorrect to say that girls are the only sex – granted, there are only two sexes unless you count that South African sprinter – who are attracted to shallow attributes in the opposite sex. Men are just as culpable – I don’t think any of us would swear off our families to be with Megan Fox because she’s a particularly good actress. We’re attracted to Megan Fox because she looks good running in slow motion on the big screen.

The question is if guys really only like Megan Fox and girls are only looking for power, money, and status, how can you ever really know if someone actually likes you? How can you know if you actually like someone? These are good questions that I’m not qualified to answer. But, as usual, I’ll take a stab at answering them anyway.

I don’t think we can come up with a clear set of reasons girls like guys or vice versa. If you think about it, it’s always been hard to explain. It’s been a hard thing to put a finger on since you were in third grade and the annoying friend of the girl you ‘liked’ asked you 20 questions in a failed attempt to figure out why you like her friend. The only reason you could come up with back then – that she smelled good and shared her Lunchables with you – might be the same reason you like a girl today. Is there anything wrong with that?

Liking someone – as in the ‘liking liking someone’ I mentioned last week –is in its very nature void of all logic. We can’t say that the only things girls like about guys are power and money or that the only things guys like about girls are their looks. That’s generalizing the ungeneralizable – yeah, I just made up a word. When you really like someone, you like stupid things about them for even stupider reasons. You can’t really like someone if all you see when you look at them are dollar bills and memberships to elite clubs. You also can’t say you truly like someone because they look good running in slow motion.

As I reread the previous paragraph, I notice my own hypocrisy. I can’t tell you the right reasons for liking someone. All I can say is that the only thing harder than explaining why girls like guys and guys like girls is trying to come up with a coherent column explaining this phenomenon. Next time, I’ll make sure my roommates and I argue about something funnier.

***You can find the original post here.***

Adult Friendships

Weekend Review

Friday

I attended a farewell party for a friend of the Millennial Man, Libby Koerbel, who is, unfortunately, leaving sunny and warm LA for Minneapolis on Thursday. It is sad to see her go, but we know big things are ahead for her and look forward to seeing all her future success.

A big adjustment in the adult world is getting used to how infrequently you see your friends. As kids we spend all day in school with them. Elementary school might as well just be called a camp with a bit of learning, and then we spend more time with them riding bikes and playing games. It is a non-stop friend party.

This continues into high school, though to a lesser extent as we have classes with different people and a variety of structured activities, sports or clubs that keep us apart. But every weekend is spent hanging out with your best friends, so you’re not being cheated on friend time.

And then there is college, oh college. You literally get to live with your best friends and in some cases sleep on top of them, in bunk beds. Clean up your dirty minds. This is the ultimate friend experience, and why we end up getting so close with people in college, we have no choice since there is no escape.

After this overload of friendship comes post-college life and a dearth of friend time. Once college ends the time comes to make decisions for your future. What do you want to do? How do you want to live? What are your passions? We all have our own, unique answers that take us to different places.

It may take us back to our hometown, where we’re comfortable and know a lot of people or it could take us to a new city, country even, where we do not know anyone. As difficult as it may be to adjust to new surroundings, we need to follow the path that is best for us.

Since we all have different goals, the great friends we made in our four years in college, disperse across the country. We start working or go to graduate school, both of which are much more time consuming than college classes. All that free time we had to hang out with our buddies, drinking beer and playing Mario Kart, is gone. It is replaced by the bitter reality of life and the hard work it takes to survive it.

Forget about our friends that live across the country, we don’t have time to hang out with friends that live a mile away from us. We’re busy all week and we come home from work or classes dead tired. All we want to do is zone out for an hour or two before heading to bed, not a very social atmosphere.

Sitcoms make it seem so easy for professional friends to hang out after work at the local bar, but the reality of going to dinner or a bar every night is much more difficult with all our expenses.

Our time with friends becomes limited, so it is important to fully appreciate every moment we have with them.  It is also important to work on friendships. Being friends as kids and in high school or college is easy. They mostly start because people are nearby and as much as the CW tells us otherwise life is not very stressful, which makes it easy to be around others.

Since our free time is now limited, we must be more selective with whom we spend it. It is also important to maintain friendships by finding activities and events to all attend. This may require some long-term planning, like figuring out somewhere to go for Memorial Day weekend or even The Fourth of July, it’s never too early.

It may not be as easy to hang out with friends, but the challenge forms stronger bonds. In my 16 months in LA I’ve formed some wonderful new friendships, while also being lucky to have some old friends too and our relationships have gotten stronger as well. As we get older, life becomes about figuring out what matters to us and cutting out all the other bull shit.

Saying Goodbye To The Kid: Growing Up Sucks

Growing up sucks. There aren’t any shortcuts in the long trip from childhood to adulthood. It’s a bumpy road that has never been – and will never be – paved and smooth. Becoming a grownup is a slow process that at times can be more arduous than sitting in the waiting room at your dentist’s office and listening to smooth jazz on repeat with a raging hangover.

I turned 25 last October. I don’t think I’m “old” by any means, but I’ve certainly entered that weird, purgatory-type area between being a post grad and an adult. Surprisingly, or perhaps not surprisingly, going on a weekend bender does nothing to change the fact that I’m not in college anymore and will never be again.

I don’t mean to sound depressing. I just find it funny how much you can learn and grow in college only to be knocked on your ass once again after walking down the graduation aisle. The reality is that there’s no major that prepares you for the rest of your life. You kind of just have to figure it out as it happens, which can be scary, overwhelming, and flat-out confusing.

Ferris is a true American hero.

Ferris is a true American hero.

For example, at 25 years old, my body cannot handle binge drinking like it used to in college. This is a fact, no matter how many times I try to dispute it with various experiments. I mentioned yesterday that too many games of beer pong now mean an awful two-day hangover that makes me feel as guilty as it does sick. Long gone are the days when I’d dominate a pong table for five straight hours and wake up the next day feeling as good as Ferris Bueller did when he sang “Twist and Shout” on the parade float in downtown Chicago.

Unfortunately it’s time to say goodbye to the kid that could party his ass off, put off responsibility, and spend all the money he made on booze and MBTA rides of various kinds to get around Boston University. These days, transportation costs are synonymous with Uber ride receipts. Buying Keystone Light for house parties is frowned upon. Responsibility is kind of mandatory thing on a daily basis.

These, of course, are all funny things. However, there’s nothing easy or comical about saying goodbye to the kid you loved being for so long. I’ve heard a lot of people say they are “so happy” to be an adult and that they “couldn’t have graduated sooner.” Good for you, assholes. The rest of us feel the like rope in the tug-of-war between our former “kid” selves and our future “adult” selves.

Those of us in our mid-20s are coming to grips with this big thing in front of us called the rest of our life. It’s fucking scary. There aren’t nearly as many keggers and themed parties on the horizon as there were when we started college. Instead, there’s college debt, bills, rent, mortgages, insurance, car payments, and diminishing athletic skills. I’m still sore from my flag football game last Saturday and I have another one tomorrow.

While adulthood scares me half to death most of the time, there are some great things to look forward to. Soon we’ll be so in debt that we’ll have to become beloved meth dealers like Walter White and Jesse Pinkman! Kidding.

Even meth makers need a beer once in a while.

Even meth makers need a beer once in a while.

I had a comforting realization the other day: This is the time in our lives when we learn how to live well. I think up until now we’ve all kind of had fun, done some great things, and have made awesome friends. But now we get to figure out how to make our lives the best possible experiences based on our own unique, specific passions.

Here’s a song to help you get through the rest of the article:

The thing that continues to be frightening is that we’re going to have to work and fight for what we want. However, as adults, we have the fortitude, know how, and resources to do so. If you ask me, that’s kind of cool.

This is not to say that we all of a sudden know everything and are experts in every field imaginable. Some days I wake up feeling like the same, dumb 18-year-old freshman I was at Sleeper Hall in Boston in 2007. All I’m saying is that we’re old enough to understand that most people in the world fake it until they make it. You can’t walk out of college and claim to be an expert in any field and you sure as hell aren’t born an expert in a damn thing.

It’s important to keep in mind that we’re all kind of faking it until we make it. We’re figuring it out as we go. No one should feel like they’re in this thing called life alone. And while it’s time for most of us in our mid-20s to say goodbye to the kids we all were, it’s important to remember there are a lot of sensational things in front of us.

It’s still okay to play beer pong once in a while. Just keep in mind you don’t have to play for five hours. Oh shit, I think they figured out I’m talking to myself.

Happy Friday!

This post was written by Billy Kirland, co-founder of The Millennial Man. 

Post College 20s

High school: the incessant acne, not having a clue how to talk to girls, chronic masturbation as a result of not knowing how to talk to girls, and of course the pressure of choosing which colleges to apply to. All but one of these was a major problem I struggled with in high school. Unfortunately it wasn’t the not having an idea how to talk to girls one.

Choosing colleges never stressed me out, partly because my mom did enough stressing for me and every kid whoever went to high school, but also because I truly enjoyed researching all the different colleges. It was fun toget onto Princeton Review and jump from college to college, check out all the different rankings, strengths and weaknesses of each school. I’d let my imagination run wild and picture my life on all the different campuses. What would I do? Who Would I be?

This could have been the love of my life had I attended Chapman

This could have been the love of my life had I attended Chapman

Perhaps I’d go to Chapman, become an espresso drinking Philosophy major. Perform beat poetry at local cafes where I would meet a girl named Charlotte. We would complain about all that ails this corrupt world while slowly falling in love. After graduation we’d enter the Peace Corp together, until the reality of going into war zone Africa set in and we broke up, leading to me returning home and working for a bank.

Or maybe Georgetown, where I would major in Political Science, work my way up to editor of the campus newspaper, and befriend all the children of politicians and use nepotism to get an internship with a Congressman over the summer. Eventually I’d fulfill my destiny of becoming a back room dealing leading member of the GOP.

I imagined going to Arizona State, joining a fraternity, partying, and giving into total debauchery. Before eventually dropping out of school to start my own independent porn production company and building myself into a modern day Larry Flynt. I really missed my true calling with this one.

My future lay before me and it felt great to have so many options. The other day I realized that my post-college 20s makes me feel the same way I did back when I was researching colleges. The only differences are instead of the next four years, it is the rest of my life and this time time I have the freedom and power to make all the decisions.

It's all about Yoshi! Look at that perfect form as he prepares to take the Rainbow Road shortcut.

It’s all about Yoshi! Look at that perfect form as he prepares to take the Rainbow Road shortcut.

As great as college was, it is an amazing time forged by wonderful friendships; I don’t want it to be the “greatest four years of my life.” I hope those four years always remain ahead of me. And looking back the importance of where you go to college and how well you do there is greatly exaggerated.

It is by no means without its benefits, but life is a constant education and since being out of college I realized what a bubble it was at times. I’ve learned more in the two and half years since I graduated than I did in college. In addition, now I feel like I’m actually moving forward and trying to accomplish things that matter to me. Although figuring out all the shortcuts in Mario Kart and making the last cup in beer pong were both near and dear to my heart.

The future is scary, but I take comfort in knowing that I have this time in my post college 20s to figure it out. And just like choosing and getting into the right college, there are many ways of going about it. Nothing was more annoying than kids who got into college early decision.

They would always emphasize how they’re only applying to “one” college as if they went up Mount Sinai with Moses and handed the perfect college. I wasn’t sure of anything I wanted in high school. If I didn’t have a school uniform and my meals weren’t cooked for me I would probably still be wandering around naked, debating whether to go to Portillo’s or Chipotle for dinner.

These confident ciphers used to fill me with jealous rage to the point that I fantasized about punching them in the face.* Now, I admire them for knowing exactly what they want and having the drive to achieve it. I’ve realized how rare of a gift this is in my post-college 20s. There are not too many people who start the career they want and find the person they want to spend the rest of their lives with, right out of college. Most of us spent this time searching, for what we want to do, who we want in our lives, and most importantly, who we are.

*Had I actually done so, it would’ve hurt me far worse than them.

Post-college 20s allows us to be bolder because if we change our mind it is a lot easier to transfer. There is a big difference between looking at a college from the outside compared to it being your daily existence. Sometimes regret sets in as our dream college turns into a nightmare that we look to escape. The issue with transferring colleges is starting over and mingling with people who already know each other. Ideally it needs to happen right after freshman year, sophomore at the latest, since college is limited in time.

Post-college life is much more open-ended, which allows us to take risks and have time to make changes if we fail epically. We can take a job and if the thought of spending the rest of our working life there makes us prefer to drink arsenic, then we can quit and find another job. Real life costs add up and it is easy to take a safe job that helps us pay the rent and deal with the massive mountain of college debt that piles up.

However, unless you were unable to avoid the epidemic known as teen pregnancy, costs are just going to keep piling up and it is a lot harder to take chances when we have mouths to feed.* As difficult as things may be right now, it is not harder than the pain of living with regret the rest of your life.

*Just ask Shawn Kemp.
Oh Juan Pablo! ABC's blatant attempt to pander to the Latin American community.

Oh Juan Pablo! ABC’s blatant attempt to pander to the Latin American community.

Date, get out there and date as much as possible. There is no other way of figuring out what kind of person you’re interested in than going on dates with as many different people as possible. Juan Pablo shouldn’t be the only one with dating options these days. This goes for you too, ladies. There is no word I hate more than slut. It is a vile word that puts women down for enjoying what of the great pleasures in life. Don’t let anyone slut shame you out of dating, ladies.

When we’re deciding what college to attend, we do extensive research and go on multiple college visits. If we’re willing to do that for college, four years, then the rest of our, hopefully long, lives deserve ten times the effort. I’m not trying to promote promiscuity and suggest we should all be participating in orgies. But think of dates as college visits, explore, ask some questions, and imagine what it would bring to your life. And remember, transferring is always a option, so don’t be afraid to dump his lazy ass or run away from her crazy.

The future is wide open and we now hold the keys. I could fulfill my dream of writing on a television series, a path I’m happily pursuing now. But things may change, I may decide that what I do isn’t as important as who I do it with and decide to make a grand romantic gesture, Noah Bennett style, to a woman I’ve loved in my past or will love in my future. We could move away to a small town and I’ll sell insurance. We’ll raise eight kids and take pleasure in a happy life together.

Or maybe I’ll decide that, similar to my choice of college, my future was decided at birth and I’ll move back to Chicago, go to law school, and join the family law firm.  We can drive down any path we choose as long as we are willing to fail and accept the consequences. Failure should not be feared, but rather embraced. It is the best way to learn and this is what post-college 20s life is all about.

This Post Written By Tom Demetrio, Co-Founder of Millennial Man