Every year, know-it-all grownups like to give their advice to high school graduates. Which is funny, because we all know the one group of people LEAST likely to take your advice is high school kids. But we do it anyway, mostly because it makes us feel like we’re wise, when we really ain’t that much more smarter-er than the kids. (I’s got a public edu-ma-cation.)

Here are my top 10 rules for the college-bound high school graduate.

Rule #1:

Credit cards make you an automatic liar.

The concept behind credit cards is that you are promising to pay someone later for something you get today. It's like Wimpy trying to get hamburgers from Popeye. (What do you mean, “Who’s Wimpy?” Oh, you kids. Never mind.)

Of course, if you go to college, you'll be poor for quite a while. And that "minimum balance due" amount is a tempting but cruel mistress.  So, it's simple math:


Of course, you’ll be broke a lot, so your real equation will look like this:


Trust me on this one, gang. The postman brings two bills each month to remind me of my wicked, wicked lies. He points and laughs at me.

Rule #2:

Clichés about college kids loving Bob Marley and eating nothing but ramen noodles are mostly true. That's why they're clichés.  Embrace the ramen noodle.  Don't fight it.  Embrace Bob Marley, too, while you're at it -- but be warned:  Weird white kids in dreadlocks will suddenly be attracted to you.  Good luck with that, because they never know when to go away.  Or bathe.

Your new roommate is here, dude. What smell? (iStockphoto)
Your new roommate is here, dude. What smell? (iStockphoto)

Rule #3:

Roommates are like hay fever -- they will come and go with the seasons, and some will be more severe than others. Also like allergies, there are some people that you cannot and should not live with, but you won't know that until they're already ground into the carpet. I’m just saying, many a rock-solid relationship has been viciously ruined by a late rent check or by misplaced underwear. (Oh, you'd be shocked.)

Rule #5:

You may lose the ability to count as you grow older.

Ruel #6:

Your speling may go, to.

Rule #7:

The human body can go an incredible amount of time without sleep. Great brains usually stay awake longer. If you are attempting to pickle your brain on Dollar Night down at the local watering hole, however, this will not hold true.  It should be noted that great brains are usually cranky and boring, while pickles are delicious.

Rule #8:

Some college professors are only a wet ramen noodle away from raging mental illness. Others are far smarter than you and may make you feel stupid. Sometimes, both personalities live in the same instructor. They always teach classes you can't drop. Suffer well, and know the Kingdom of Heaven is your reward.

You'll see this a lot, too. (Hemera)
You'll see this a lot, too. (Hemera)

Rule #9:

Lots of kids go to college thinking that when they get out, a great job will await them.  For some people, this is absolutely true.  For others, it's bull doody.  If you happen to be one of those whose college degree ends up worthless, I have good advice.  If you tear your degree into little strips, it works wonders as toilet paper.  And you'll always be on the lookout for more toilet paper, seeing as you're going to be broke a lot.  That degree may LITERALLY save your butt one day.

Rule #10:

Adults are always, like, "You don't know how good you have it," and "You think you know everything," and "The world doesn't owe you anything," and other lame downers.   I would never tell you that.  It's much more entertaining to watch you stumble into that on your own.  Bend over, junior -- here comes the world!

And, in the event you never get over yourself, know that you, too, could have a promising career as a DJ.