News about the future:

In 20 years you're going to hit mid-life, break down, reassess your life, wear more leather, purchase a bitchin' red sports car, marry a girl 20 years younger than you, get a tattoo and systematically voyage to every island mentioned in the Beach Boys' hit song "Kokomo." As you look out on the Caribbean, your eyes will reflect the hues of a golden sunset and before docking at Key Largo or Montego, you'll probably think about where it all went so wrong.


Right now, many of us are experiencing a quarter-life crisis, frantically trying to figure out what steps to take to insure that we will eventually enjoy a misguided and utterly confusing mid-life. If you know that in 20 or 30 years you want to be at "Z," and you're presently at "X," now is the time to ask "how do I get from X to Y, Y to & and & to Z?"

All of us are thinking about the future, our place in it and how we can blitzkrieg our way to the crisis years and from there, to the get-drunk-on-the-golf course years. First off, take your time and don't try to date your future mid-life crisis wife now. In all likelihood she hasn't developed verbal reasoning skills yet, and telling her parents that she's "the one," while she rolls on the floor and plays in her own dribble, could prove to be disastrous.

"We all need to calm down," says possible future doctor, Amy Oopsicutifoff '02, who is also considering a job in sales, HR or finance, "and understand that time will march on and while today they've added lemon to Diet Coke, tomorrow it could be lime or olive ... there's no end to the radical possibilities the world could throw at us … ugh … I'm just so confused." Dr. Amy appropriately broke down mid-advice and walked off towards Gannett.

Her words of blather didn't really help me, but I'm hoping they can help you. Regardless, I defer to my main point.

We stand on deck to join the world, and thanks to a unified international hiring freeze, it looks like many of us may not be able to sell out and go directly into investment banking. That means making new plans, writing new rules of social engagement and forming new understanding about what we need to do to make sure we don't all become gym teachers or those legless guys strolling around Collegetown. I will now lay the proverbial smack down and present the three most important life lessons that will insure your success.

First, start using your smartativity. Cornellians currently receive much undeserved pestering because of our supposed intelligence. Being part of the Ivy League has its rewards; one of which is being assaulted by other people who say things like "Don't you go to Cornell? Aren't you supposed to know these sorts of things? What's my belly button lint made of?" Well, these lumaceous endorphs say these things because they don't know that the real thinkers go to Harvard, Princeton, Yale and Dartmouth. Cornell, Brown, Columbia and U. Penn just graduate a lot of lawyers, doctors and consultants. Presently, we're not the ones developing new schools of thought ... but maybe that's because we haven't been trying. To be successful we need to at least feign intelligence and start using the aging gray matter between our ears for something other than a tasty cracker spread. We need to be thinking about changing the world.

Shun the "Ivy Dream" and be more than rich. Be well-groomed, ready to invent devices to cure society's woes ... and be rich. I for instance invented "cold fusion" and "Refrigeratable Crackers," last week in the midst of a commercial break during Friends. Cold fusion wasn't that interesting so I scrapped what notes I had … but Refrigeratable Crackers may change the world. Think crackers … only colder!

Second, don't be that jackass who incomprehensibly mumbles all the words to "It's the End of the World as We Know It," but somehow manages to vociferously yell "Leonard Bernstein" at the appropriate moment, as if you know the lyrics. Have some goals for yourself, and make learning those lyrics one of them. If you can't learn the words, forget R.E.M. and focus on creating an online betting pool for the up-coming Temptation Island 2.

Lastly, be wary of anyone trying to sell you a World's Greatest Dance Collection CD that includes "Mony Mony" within the first three tracks. Somehow I got duped into buying one of these CDs, and while I should have asked then, I'm stuck wondering now, "Who in the holy name of God made 'Mony Mony,' one of the world's greatest dance songs?"

Following these steps will keep you afloat in the tides of crisis. For a short while, many of us may become whimpering nostalgic post-pubescents yearning to recapture our fleeting childhood. We'll purchase "Remembering the 80s" magazines and download the three-disc White Lion Anthology -- all in the name of holding on to your psyche while you try to find someone who'll give you a four foot by four foot cubicle to spend the rest of your life in. Do what you must, but don't tattoo "Hire Me" on any part of your body.

School can get on your nerves, and life can wear you down. Hell, we go to a school where you can't park near a library until 5 p.m., and even after that, the spots are only big enough for bitchin' red sports cars.

But remain calm, always apply your ointment and realize that in a few years you'll get your tertiary life crisis, and that one may involve a secretary.