Hey kids, welcome to June! Part of the etymology for this month comes from the Latin word iuniores, meaning “younger ones.” It’s a fitting name for a month that means the beginning of crotch-murdering heat for everyone but the youth who are celebrating the beginning of summer vacation.
The start of summer is also the opening of a new chapter in the lives of young people who spent this past year as high school seniors and are looking ahead to becoming college freshmen or stepping into the uncertainty of the modern job market. This month marks 20 years since I faced that same uncertainty, so I feel qualified to offer a fistful of advice to young graduates as they step into the world.
This is my best attempt at offering the information no adult wanted to tell me about — but that would have been terribly useful in — the next decade of life. Like everything that appears in this column, take it with a grain of salt, a lime wedge, and a shot of tequila.
Do not get in the habit of drinking or doing drugs alone. Altering your mind should be a social occasion. By yourself, it’ll lead to depression and other dark places, or worse, weight gain and surprise Amazon packages.
GEMINI (May 22-June 21): Men, it’s not that women don’t like nice guys; they just like guys with the balls to step up and make the first move. This is a trait common among assholes. Take a shot, and you’ll be amazed to find that even the most “out of your league” lady is receptive to confidence. (FYI: Some people you know as unattractive are about to get really attractive, and vice versa, in the next couple years. Be nice to everyone. It’s just good policy.)
CANCER (June 22-July 22): There will never be a moment when you “get it.” If you haven’t figured it out yet, adults don’t know a goddamn thing. We’re just the only ones in a position to make decisions. Don’t wait to step up and make your voice heard.
LEO (July 23-Aug. 21): Use a condom. Sure, they murder the experience, but they are way cheaper than HIV, children, and having to talk to an idiot for the rest of your life because you nailed them once after a party. That said, take the next couple years to be promiscuous with the knowledge that you’ll probably stick to one person in the next decade and it’s best to get the fascination with new genitals out of your system while it won’t piss anyone off. Trust me, there’s no one as universally disgusted as a promiscuous person past their twenties. Sex and the City was just a TV show.
VIRGO (Aug. 22-Sept. 23): Do not get in the habit of drinking or doing drugs alone. Altering your mind should be a social occasion. By yourself, it’ll lead to depression and other dark places, or worse, weight gain and surprise Amazon packages.
LIBRA (Sept. 24-Oct. 23): Don’t send people pictures of your genitals. If you’re lucky, you’ve got 50+ years ahead of you, and the internet is forever. Ladies: Guys will never delete it, no matter what they say in the breakup. Guys: Ladies really, really, really don’t want to see it. Especially at 3 a.m. when you’re shitfaced.
SCORPIO (Oct. 24-Nov. 22): Don’t be scared of the world or its people. There are assholes out there, but they are the minority. It just so happens that assholes have the loudest voices. Traveling regularly will assert this for you, even if it’s just a day trip to another city.
SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 23-Dec. 22): Don’t get obsessed with money. It’s a drug that will fuck you up harder than heroin. Don’t get lazy, and it’ll be there when you need it. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to work hard for success; just do it for the right reasons.
Wait until you’re 21 to get your first tattoo. If you must get one now, at least get something somewhere with ample space for a cover-up down the road. Your artist will thank you.
CAPRICORN (Dec. 23-Jan. 20): You instinctively know when someone is lying to you; don’t put up with it. Anyone who puts his arm on your shoulder or shakes your hand and uses that to lead you away from the group you’re with is an asshole. Nothing they’re about to tell you is in your best interest.
AQUARIUS (Jan. 21-Feb. 19): Wait until you’re 21 to get your first tattoo. If you must get one now, at least get something somewhere with ample space for a cover-up down the road. Your artist will thank you.
PISCES (Feb. 20-Mar. 20): Take a second to distinguish what YOU really believe and what you’ve been told you believe about race, religion, politics, etc. This should evolve over time as you learn more about the world. That’s the benefit of knowledge: improvement. Be open to learning and growing. Don’t argue with people about it on social media. That’s fucking stupid.
ARIES (Mar. 21-Apr. 20): Don’t discount anyone based on the work they do. Get to know everyone; their lives are interesting, I swear. I’ve known brilliant people who love bartending, landscaping, driving trucks, and (swear to god) janitorial work. I also know vapid idiots with cars that cost more than my house.
TAURUS (Apr. 21-May 21): High school is over now. Let that shit go. It was four annoying years at the height of your hormone production that television, film, and soft drink commercials made you think mattered so they could relieve you of your ample disposable income. In fact, get comfortable with the feeling of moving beyond poignant experiences. You’ll learn you’re wrong. You will fail at important times. Someone may break your heart. Move on. There are going to be moments that are the worst thing you’ve ever experienced because you’ve never experienced them before. You’ll get past it. More time has passed since a girl I never should have dated drove me to a suicide attempt than passed before the two of us got together. My god, she wasn’t worth it. You’ll get over it. Yes, even that.