This year, I will be an adjunct professor at my alma mater, MidAmerica Nazarene University. As a professor (Editor’s Note: He is just an adjunct, which is French “unimportant.” Don’t let him fool you.), I am concerned about our youth. Children are, after all, our future. If you teach them well, you can watch them lead the way. (Editor’s Note: Nathan thinks he just came up with that. He didn’t. What a jerk.)
One of the biggest issues that our youth face, ranking right after the failing school system, childhood obesity, a terrible divorce rate leading to broken homes, and “Twilight” on the list of this generation’s issues, is a lack of friends. Kids seem very concerned about having friends to help them get through school and life.
Since I am one of the leading experts on friendship (Editor’s note: Nathan only has three total friends, one of which is his pet turtle, Geoffrey. He is certainly no expert.), I would like to help the youth prepare for this coming school year. Here are five tips that will guarantee you a plethora of friends.
Trust me. I’m a professor. (Editor’s note: Nope.)
Tip 1: Don’t Be the Smelly Kid
Every class in America has one. No matter what age, there is always one child who thinks baths are unpleasant, showers are from the devil, deodorant is a demonic torture device sent to Earth in a flash of hellfire to torment our armpits and cause us to slowly die a terrible but incredibly fresh smelling death.
That is just stupid.
If you want to succeed in life, bathing is important. Look at all of the most successful people in the world. They all look like they take 10-12 showers a day. You never see that dirty, stinky hippie petitioning for signatures outside the farmer’s market on the front of Forbes. It’s always a very well dressed and neatly groomed Mark Zuckerberg.
Strive to be like Mark Zuckerberg: even though he is a little bit awkward and offputting, he is rich and successful. More importantly, he does not look stinky. If you can avoid being stinky, you’ll do just fine.
Tip 2: Practice Pretending People are Interesting
This is a tip that is valuable at any time in life. There is no better time to learn how to act interested than in school.
If you want to survive another school year, allies are important. It’s very hard to make allies, though, if you constantly are saying, “Excuse me. What you are saying is boring and makes me kind of hate you. I will be taking my leave right now. Feel free to keep rambling about the “awesomeness” of the latest Justin Beiber song.”
While you don’t want to pretend you are the world’s biggest fan of 50 Cent when in fact you prefer a nice Tom Jones melody instead, you should learn to pretend to care about what they are saying.
By nodding and saying, “Yeah” a lot, people will think you are a friendly person and not a self-absorbed jerk. This will gain you friends and friends are the most valuable commodity a person can have in school.
Tip 3: Practice Your Obscure Pop Culture References
Nothing endears you to people more than a good obscure pop culture reference.
Many years ago, the quickest way to become friends was a good “Napoleon Dynamite” quote. Since I am an old fart now, I am no longer up on the best obscure pop culture references. Something to do with “Entourage” maybe?
Nevertheless, find out what people your age are watching. If you are young, quote some “Phineas and Ferb.” For those older students, watch Adult Swim on Cartoon Network. For those taking classes at their nursing home, make sure you’re familiar with the latest “Columbo” rerun. Doing this will make sure that you are inundated with friends.
Tip 4: Pretend You Don’t Care
Nothing is cooler to teenagers than not caring.
If you don’t believe me, look at the fashion. Pants are too baggy and hang too low. The hair stand up in every single direction. Brand new baseball caps are worn despite the fact that the student was far too lazy to remove the tags prior to that particular wearing. Teenagers refuse to care.
This tip will make you especially cool if you are a preteen. All of the other preteens will say, “He/She seems so mature. I don’t know what it is about her/him.” Well, it’s your brand new skills of not caring.
Remember, though: with great power comes great responsibility. Pretending not to care can cause grades to suffer and relationships to end. Plus, old people might call you a hooligan. Just remember to be careful with this tip. You could do a great deal of damage on your way to cool.
Tip 5: Hand Out Money
People like money. If you give it to them, they will, in turn, like you. Who says money can’t buy happiness?
If you follow these five steps, you could very easily become the most popular kid at your school. After all, the most important thing about school is friendship. The friends that you make in your school will be friends with you the rest of your life, at least on Facebook.
Everyone knows Facebook friendships are better anyway.