Dating, Relationships, & Sex, Lists, Theory & Essay

Words Of Advice For A New College Grad

Between WorldStar spam, the dozens of daily requests to promote premieres of movies starring people you thought were dead, and the 125,000 times per day that people ask us how to create avatars, most of the emails we receive at the VSB account are somewhat anti-climatic.

Every now and then, though, something thoughtful and unique will find our inbox.

My name is **** and in 6 days I’m graduating from college and being
forced to go be an adult or whatever. I am excellent at being a
semi-responsible youngin but not really sure how I’m supposed to go “be
grown” the day after that cap and gown come off. I was wondering if you
all could do a post with your own advice for a fresh-out-the-classroom,
young VSS and invite your hilarious readers to add their own.

Of course I had to oblige.

1. There will come a time in the next year or so when your life is going to feel exactly like the first half of the chorus in Drake’s “Over”…

“I know way too many people here right now
That I didn’t know last year, who the f*ck are y’all?
I swear it feels like the last few nights
We been everywhere and back
But I just can’t remember it all

What am I doin’? What am I doin’?”

…and that’s perfectly ok.

You will doubt yourself. You will experience angst. You will be wondering if you went to the right school, chose the right major, chose the right job, slept with the right guy(s). And, worst of all, you’ll see other people your age who are seemingly unaffected by these types of thoughts, and it will frustrate and maybe even depress you.

Thing is, despite their perpetual self-fellating tweets and Facebook status messages (“OMG! I’m so sh*ttin on life right now!!!”) they’re all feeling the exact same way you are.

My point? We all went through it. Sh*t, some of us still are. Don’t get allow yourself to get too discouraged and defeated if you haven’t quite figured your plan yet, and don’t forget that you’re far from the only one who’s going through this.

2. Be prepared for the fact that every guy your age that you’re interested will be an asshole.

Thing is, since you and every other 21 to 23 year old woman is an asshole too, this shouldn’t be too much of a problem.

3. Don’t allow yourself to be guilt-tripped into keeping certain people around/in your life just because they’ve been around/in your life.

While I’m not saying that you should just start rocking a pair of shorts that says “Deuces” on the back and tell all your old friends to “watch my ass, bitch” when they try to talk to you, you’ll find that some people just aren’t built to be able to accompany you on this journey. Discarding them (or, even better, letting them discard themselves. If this doesn’t make any sense now, it will shortly) doesn’t make you a sell out.

4. Still haven’t figured out that plan? Go back to school

In fact, even if you have figured out that plan, go back to school and think on it some more. Trust me, if you do plan on continuing your education, the longer you wait, the harder it’s going to be for you to get back into “school” mode.

With that being said…

5. It’s true. Your degrees definitely won’t keep you warm at night.

But, they do have a funny way of keeping gas in your whip, food in your fridge, hot water in your shower….

Basically, so the f*ck what if you don’t have a (wo)man right now. If it happens it happens. If it doesn’t, it doesn’t. Either way, don’t allow the pursue of the p (penis, p*ssy, women who smell like patchouli, etc) to hijack your entire being. Plus, think about your friends that are in relationships. Now, think about how many of them are actually happy. (Real happy. Not Facebook happy) Do you really want that relentless God-awfulness in your life?

I didn’t think so.

Anyway, people of VSB, that’s it for me. Can you think of anything else you’d say to a 20 to 22 year old doe-eyed VSB or VSS right now?

Also, if you happen to be one of those snot-nosed youngsters, take this time to pick the old-ass brains of the old-ass regulars. Do you have any questions about “life” that you’d like answered?

Lastly, old-ass VSB-ers, is there anything you wish someone would have told you when you were graduating from college?

The carpet is yours

—The Champ

If you haven’t purchased the paperback or the $9.99 Kindle version of “Your Degrees Wont Keep You Warm at Night: The Very Smart Brothas Guide to Dating, Mating, and Fighting Crime” yet, what the hell is stopping you? (No, seriously. Tell us and we’ll send Chuck Norris or Liz to fix it)

Filed Under:
Damon Young

Damon Young is the editor-in-chief of VSB. He is also a columnist for and EBONY Magazine. And a founding editor for 1839. And he's working on a book of essays to be published by Ecco (HarperCollins). Damon is busy. He lives in Pittsburgh, and he really likes pancakes. Reach him at Or don't. Whatever.

  • Jessica

    #3 is so true, but I’ve been following that sht all my life. For some reason it was much easier to do then, than now as an adult.

  • No relevant comment, just wanted to shout out my fellow c/o 2011 grads!!! ::slithers back into the kingdom of lurkers::

  • Amazing how relevant this is even though I’m 2 years out of undergrad and 3/4 of the way done with an M.S. Degree…

    I think the only thing I’ll add is to remain patient, and take the time after college to explore and/or reassess your passions…the job market still sucks, so it might be a while before work shows up, so take that extra “free time” to also explore the things you’ve always wanted to do but may not have had the time or the inspiration to do…it just might create a path to work that you may not have considered otherwise…

  • Tes

    *sighs, taking out the notepad again*

  • 1) Use condoms. They’ll be plenty of time for risky sex when you get into your mid-30’s.

    2) Pay your bills. That credit score will ride you for years.

    3) Live way beneath your means. Let the other folks aim for big-pimping life. You get comfy at not-pimping and…

    4) But as little as .5% of your pay into your 401K

    5) Don’t try to beat a drug test. Just don’t do drugs. It’s the best way to NOT lose a job because your hair (they’re beyond asking for urine) came back dirty.

  • Infrequent commenter, long time reader.

    As a VSB that graduates in 3 weeks myself, this post is definitely right on time.

  • Don’t try to compare your experience to others at your age. Things happen at different speeds and different paths. Don’t t think your life is bullsh*t just bc you haven’t reached some “Keeping up with the Joneses” benchmark. There is no manual nor rules to this sh*t, do’t be discouraged, just keep it pushing and it’ll happen how it is supposed to and sh*t.

  • IsOurChildrenLearning?

    I think #3 is a great tip and an important part of adulthood. People have to keep that in mind during the course of their life. Not everyone that is placed in your life is meant to stay there. Sometimes you have to go your separate ways even if there wasn’t any official falling out. People can pull you down without intending too, and you can be pulled down without realizing it.

    Likewise, surrounding yourself with people who want the same things out of life can really motivate you and keep things in perspective.

  • – You can’t eat pride.
    There will come a point where you’re going to have to work a job that you know damn well didn’t require a college degree. Don’t sleep on said job, because most employers won’t hire you without experience, despite the fact that you’re looking for experience. (That last sentence is known as a “contradiction”.)

    Either way, know that you need (any) type of money in your pocket, and you may live with parents who will charge you rent. Or at least make guidelines as long as you continue to live in their house rent-free.

  • BlackGirlWhoReads

    Hmm, what advice would I give?

    1. Take chances- This is the best time to make mistakes since the loans don’t kick in for six months

    2. Don’t let people, see: parents, rush you into a decision that you might regret. This is not the 70’s. Things are [a little] better now.

    3. Your life will not miraculously change after you cross the stage. Addendum: And no one is waiting on you at the other end of the stage with a job, so I hope you have a plan.

    4. He who fails to plan, plans to fail.

    4A. He who plans to fail, fails to plan.

    4B. If you want to make God laugh, tell Him your plans.

    I say all of this nothingness to say, go out and do something. Anything. It’s okay to keep working at the same job if you don’t have another one lined up. You have two years to sort things, and figure things, out. Take your time but not too much.

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