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The Truth About the Fact: An International Journal of Literary Nonfiction

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The Truth About the Fact: A Journal of Literary Nonfiction is an international journal committed to the idea that excellence in the art of letters can play a vital role in transforming the planet we share.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Dear Freshmen JR...

Dear Freshmen JR,

            Let me start by saying that I love you dearly, and that the memories we share will last a lifetime, or, at least until 2013. That said, you’re an idiot. I’m going to tell you some things you think you already know, but your idiot self will need to be reminded of on a regular basis.

            Not everyone is going to appreciate your outspoken nature, your strong opinions, or your biting wit. In fact, some people will think it’s obnoxious. Some people will hate you. Your instinctive first reaction will be to be more outspoken, more opinionated, and more biting with your witticisms. This is exactly the wrong way to make people appreciate your personality. I’m not telling you to tone it down, because you and I both know that would be counterproductive, and probably result in you doing exactly the opposite.

Instead, I’m telling you not to change anything. Ignore the opinions of those who find you distasteful. Some of them are going to warm up to you after a while, and the rest are people you wouldn’t want to be friends with anyway. That said, at least try to think before you speak. I know being your natural abrasive, disagreeable, contrarian (look up this word, thank me later) self is something you take a great deal of pride in. That doesn’t have to change. You can still be all of those things, but you can phrase them in a way that doesn’t make people want to punch you in the face. That way, people will be a lot more receptive.

            Go on youtube and type in “Christopher Hitchens.” You’re welcome.

            Get a kindle fire. You’re welcome.

            The friends you have this year, with only a couple exceptions, are not going to be the friends you have in 4 years, so enjoy hanging out with them while you can. There won’t be any major falling outs or altercations. You’ll just drift apart over time. People change schools, join different social circles, and eventually, your interests don’t overlap as much. This isn’t a bad thing. You’ll meet new people. And don’t worry, the really good friends you’re thinking of right now that you’re scared of losing aren’t going anywhere.

            STAY AWAY from girls named after precious gems. I CANNOT STRESS THIS POINT ENOUGH. STAY.A.WAY.

            Don’t do that stupid cocky chuckle and decide to ignore that last piece of advice. I know you’re going to, I’m just asking you not to.

            While we’re on the subject, don’t worry that you weren’t mobbed with girls immediately after arriving at college. Also, don’t get excited that you live in a co-ed dorm. I assure you, you’ll barely notice.

            Make peace with your parents. Your dad may be kind of a dick, but he’s a dick who loves you. Remember how he always made sure the vending machines at his work were stocked with your favorite kind of soda? He kept doing that, even as your tastes changed. Seriously, there will be a Diet Dr. Pepper one by 2011. He may not know how to show it all the time, but he cares about you a great deal. Your mom may be a bit overprotective, but she loves you more than anything else in the universe. Remember that the next time you want to get mad at her for nagging you. Believe it or not, some of the bad things that happened to you weren’t their fault. Try to figure it out before you turn 21 please.

            At this point you may be getting the impression that you’re not quite the hot shit you think you are. That’s true. But you’re still awesome. Trust me, you’ll love what you become. You’ll be scared of graduation, but you won’t be paralyzed by fear. You’ll be fine. Asshole.


With Love,

Senior JR, a week before graduation.



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