By Sam Arneson
Alright, listen up, y’all ‘cause this is it. I’m about to Andre the Giant on this column. I’ve never had half a page to myself before, and I’m using it to get some things off my chest. I’m not holding back on this one. Just kidding, I’m holding back because I want to walk at graduation, and my mom would be super upset if I was really mean in this column. (Hi, mom!)
First off, to all you people who stand in huge groups in the middle of the hallway between classes: you’re the worst type of person. I hope you get trucked by a golf cart.
Secondly, if you walk around school playing music on your phone without wearing headphones… you need to re-evaluate your life. Go to Five and Below and get a pair of headphones for $5.00. Added bonus: you won’t get punched for looking like a moron.
Third, don’t be a jerk to people you don’t know. I know it’s cliche, but you never really know what a person is going through. Conversely, personal problems aren’t an excuse for acting out and hurting other people.
Fourth, and this relates to number three, yes, you have the right to say whatever you want, but that does not exempt you from punishment or retribution for your words. That being said, talk is cheap, and you should (usually) never physically assault someone for their words, but that also doesn’t mean you won’t get hit if you’re being a jerk. General rule of thumb: be cool, don’t be a jerk, watch what you say and don’t get too offended when people talk trash.
Number five, cyber bullying is dumb. If you have a problem with someone, say it to their face and own up to your words. If you’re being cyber bullied, log off. Or shutdown your computer. Or block the number texting you. It’s not complicated.
Sixth, find friends who will be competitive with you. I’m very blessed to have a best friend who puts up with my crap everyday and even goes to the gym with me to put up with even more of my crap. I trash talk him all the time, and I’m probably way too competitive about stupid stuff, but he pushes me to be a better person, athlete and student, and I (hopefully) do the same for him. Healthy competition is fun, it’s important, and it makes you be the best version of yourself.
Seventh, don’t be a tool.
Eighth, find something you’re passionate about and stop caring what other people say about it. I have friends that are tap dancers and ballerinos, and they are crazy good at their respective activities. If you’re passionate about what you do, you’ll be more confident, you’ll care less about what others say, and people won’t say much about it because they’ll respect your confidence and dedication.
Ninth, it’s okay to know you’re good at something, but practice humility and don’t always think you have to be perfect or know everything. Ironically, I still struggle with this. A lot. Apologies for the hypocrisy.
Tenth, call yourself out every once in a while. If you mess up, admit it before other people notice or can blame you. It actually feels pretty good, and it usually makes your mess-ups seem irrelevant and unimportant.
Eleventh, try to be honest as frequently as possible. People hate getting lied to, and God knows that I’ve lied my butt off several times, but I’ve since learned to not put myself in positions in which I need to lie. Ask Mr. Wilson, integrity is sexy.
Lastly, I want to give some shout-outs to people who have helped me along the way. I won’t say names because I didn’t consult anybody about this beforehand, but hopefully, if you’re listed, you’ll know who you are. To my best friend in the world- thanks for putting up with my crap and pushing me in school, in the gym and in life. Also, 1v1 QS me, n00b. To the man who’s been my mentor through my (brief) swimming career, thank you for everything you’ve done for me. I will be forever thankful for your support, your kindness, and your ability to be a role model to me, especially in your community service. To the teacher who greets me everyday in the hallways after 5th period- I know I was a crappy student last year, but thank you from the bottom of my heart for being a role model in my life. Your strength of character and your mama bear-like kindness has been an inspiration to me, whether you realize it or not. Lastly, to the man who reads my speeches, thanks for being a great friend, an amazing role model and a good sport when I let you beat me in wheelchair racing.
Whelp, folks, I think that’s all I got for now, but I would like to thank all my friends out there who I didn’t put on this list. Especially my former band mates and friends that I’ve known since elementary school. You guys have been instrumental (HAHAHAHAHAHA) in shaping me into being a better person, and I thank you for it. Mom, if you’re still reading, I just want to say thank you for everything you’ve done for me and for having patience with me when I was bratty, selfish, arrogant, thoughtless, inconsiderate, rude and a tool. I love you so much, and I couldn’t have asked for a better mother to guide me through the trials and tribulations of life.
Enough emotional stuff. Keep it real, East. I’m out.