Donald Paige is an advice columnist for The Chronicle. His qualifications include watching a lot of TV shows where a main character gives advice at the end (Full House, Boy Meets World) and he once took a psychology course in high school.
Question 1: Dakota from Dunedin writes: I have been told that the meaning of life is in the “eye of the beholder”, your thoughts?
Whoosh..what a tough question. And I have to admit, I always get a little worked up when I think about this question. My main issue is that I find this prejudicial against all of the other parts of the body that could have the meaning of life. Why does it HAVE to be inside the eye? Who would put it there? Why can’t it be in a variety of my other body parts. For example, maybe the meaning is in my left big toe (not my right big toe…that toe is a jerk). My left big toe has always supported me, never lies to me, and I just get happy when I stare at it. Maybe it is the meaning of life?
Oooh…oooh…another body part that could have the meaning of life is my epiglottis. I don’t remember what that is exactly, but I have always loved the word and it makes me smile when I say it. Epiglottis. Just a fun word. I think is in my neck somewhere….not completely sure. But if it is in there and has such a fancy word, it must be important.
My last point about this “meaning of life inside the eye” thing is that if it is true, then you would never be able to see the meaning of life. The eye can’t see inside of the eye..that’s just not how it works. I guess your other eye could see in the first eye, but the other eye is made to look everywhere else but the other eye. That’s what a skull is for….nope…the meaning of life just can’t be in the eye.
Besides, all of this is moot because the meaning of life is 2%, Small Curd Cottage Cheese.
Question 2: Mr. “scared of the next step” from Indian Rocks Beach writes, “How do you college?”
So glad you asked this question. The secret to college is three things: rice cookers, wall decorations, and on campus secluded bathrooms.
Rice cookers: You will forget to eat. You will forget to plan ahead…you will look in your fridge and go: “crud, there’s no food in here.” It’s gonna happen. That’s why you need a 80lb bag of rice. They sell them at Costco/Sam’s, etc. Buy a simple rice cooker, and you can live off that 80lb bag of rice forever. I lived off the same bag through three years of undergrad and two years of grad school. That’s right…I actually moved WITH THE BAG to a different school. By that point it had become a member of my family. I called it “ricey” and it kept all of my secrets. Even that hard break up with my girlfriend during my last year of undergrad. I was actually a little sad when I made my last batch of rice with “ricey”.
Wall decorations: This is SO KEY. You have to put something on your walls to both give yourself joy but also to make clear explanations of who you are to strangers. Your wall decorations are a kind of “here is a snapshot of my personality”. So what do you put up? Well, something has to be music based, but be careful. Pick too popular a band and everyone thinks you are just following the crowd. Pick too obscure a band, and everyone is like “oh man, they are one of those types”. You need a band that is “known” but not “KNOWN”. For example:
Nirvana – too “follow the crowd”
Sonic Youth – too obscure
Pearl Jam – stop it…your parents still go to see them in concert
Soundgarden – #nailedit.
Campus Secluded Bathrooms: Start researching this now. Put down the paper and start researching immediately. I honestly think this should be on campus tours. You have to quickly find the bathroom on campus that is relatively quiet and clean. You will have to go the bathroom on campus and no one wants to be around a billion people when that happens. Here are some bathrooms to avoid:
- First floor of main library (rookie move)
- Any bathroom in the law library (you’ll get sued by someone who has “claimed it” under squatter rights)
- Bathrooms in the psychology/sociology building (too big a risk of being in an experiment).
Here are the key places to find good bathrooms:
- The academic advising offices after drop/add period, but BEFORE the next class scheduling period. That place is EMPTY!!
- Admissions office (they get cleaned more regularly b/c of outside guests)
- Medical Sciences or Biology buildings – those people KNOW EVERYTHING about germs and spray their bathrooms down with the best chemicals to keep them clean. It’s like going into a purified inner sanctum.
Good luck at college!