A bit of pre-apocalyptic advice from Oliver Johnston '11


Oliver Johnston, Peddie Class of 2011, commandeered the Daily Dose email this morning to provide a bit of pre-apocalyptic advice to current Peddie students. 

As most of you know, tomorrow is the date in which the Mayan calendar comes to end along with the world as we know it. To mark this occasion, and I guess to celebrate the last Dose ever, I have come out of retirement to write a very long final Dose. For those of you who don’t know me, I am a former Head Dosemaster and have effectively stolen the Daily Dose as nobody since my time has changed the password. I’m going to talk about how Peddie DOESN’T prepare you for college:

1. Being in a room with a member of the opposite sex with the door closed.
During my first week of college, I befriended a young lady whom I thought was attractive and we went back to her dormroom to hangout. As soon as she closed the door behind her, I realized I was not prepared to handle that kind of privacy. I began to panic and insisted we keep the door open. She described me as “psychotic" and cautiously propped the door open (probably to have an escape route just in case I got worse). Needless to say, she hasn’t texted me yet after that day even though she said she would. It’s been over a year.

 2. Having a Headmaster that isn’t as cool as Mr. Green.
Again, during the first week of college our Chancellor welcomed us to the university. At no point during his welcome speech did he start rapping “Rapper’s Delight”. Fun 100% True Fact about Mr. Green: He can rap all of Rapper’s Delight. I’m sure he wants this information publicized as his next career is becoming a rapper on tour with 2 Chainz.  Ask him to drop some rhymes.  I am really not kidding; he can rap Rapper’s Delight.

 3. Thinking a teacher (or professor) knows you since you’re in his/her class
My chemistry professor last year was a small, very old, British man. Someone described him perfectly by saying he looked like a pterodactyl. Since at Peddie the teachers know who you are, who you are usually with behind Swigg (working on art of course), and your name, I figured he knew me. This was a rather irrational thought as I was 1 of 324 people in his chemistry class. So I saw him across the street and, not sure why I did this but, I screamed “Hello Dr. Golde!” in a way that made me once again sound psychotic. Startled by this crazy person screaming, he looked across the street at me and gave me a confused look. In an ironic attempt to sound less crazy I panicked and screamed “Chemistry Rocks!”. I had just screamed “Chemistry Rocks” across the street at a widely published British chemist with a PhD in Chemistry. I later avoided all contact with him.

 4. Having a social life on Friday nights
This may come as a shock for some people. But, most teenagers, and I swear this is true I saw it on Ellen, do things on Friday nights. I KNOW! I freaked out too! I found myself at a party on a Friday Night wondering if I had any work due the next day. I could’ve broken every Peddie rule within 3 minutes at that party, but there I was just sitting and wondering about what work I had to do for the next day.

Now there are many other things that I could list, but the world’s ending so I’ll cut it short. College, in essence, is just like Peddie without all the rules. Which can be good and can be bad. What is most important is not the college we go to, it’s the skills we acquire along the way. Peddie does an excellent job teaching integrity, leadership, and courage. These qualities will take us far in life no matter where we end up.

If, by a small chance, the world does not end tomorrow, all of us will have to keep trudging on through life. But let it be known that for any one of us, any day could be our last. Let that define what we do and the way in which we interact with those around us.

In this type of talk, I offer you a challenge. If the world doesn’t end tomorrow, upon coming back from break, meet one new person. It can be anybody, just as long as you haven’t talked to them before (I expect teachers to do this as well). I understand that it’s difficult to strike up a conversation, so here is a script you can use...

  “Howdy, my name is___________. Some awkward and likely very handsome man from the Daily Dose wants me to meet you. What’s your name?”

After this, there is likely going to be an awkward pause. This is where you break out the big guns with one of any of these “proven-effective” conversation starters.

1. Kelly Clarkson didn’t deserve to win American Idol. Am I right?
2. Channing Tatum or Ryan Reynolds, who’s hotter?
3. I like cats, can I have your number?
4. Mark Sanchez….enough said.

Good luck.

Make Good Decisions, and Stay Positive

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