How to: Be just like me when you grow up


I’m 22 years old and I’ve recently become a grown-up. I’m not sure when or how it happened, but it’s definitely here.

Next year I won’t be back at Simpson, and someone, somewhere is going to have to fill my shoes- both as a columnist and as a student. To all of you who worship the ground I walk on, I have some advice on how you can be just like me when you grow up.

Hire a team of ninjas to follow you around. These ninjas will watch your back and vanquish your enemies, and they won’t even have to change out of their pajamas.

Now, you may be questioning whether I actually have a team of ninjas at my disposal.

After all, where do they live? What do I feed them? How do I pay their fantastically high salaries and provide health benefits for their ninja children?

And most importantly, why has no one noticed the army of skilled martial artists who follow my every move?

The fact that no one has ever seen my ninjas is the surest proof that they exist. You see, ninjas are supposed to be stealthy shadow figures whose athletic abilities far outweigh those of the average citizen.

A ninja who draws attention to himself is not really a ninja. Only the ninja who remains unseen and undetected is real. When you are like me, no one else will ever see your ninjas, but you will know they are there.

Meet everyone on campus… twice. I’m pretty bad at names, but I love knowing people.

Nearly every person on campus has met me twice- because we meet once, I forget them and I introduce myself again.

This can be embarrassing, but usually the other people are forgiving- often because they’ve forgotten me too.

Take the initiative and bond with the random people around you. You’ll have loads of fun.

Introduce people to each other. I’m notorious for my introductions. If the conversation seems to be lagging, I will assume the people involved don’t actually know each other. A quick introduction often makes people feel more comfortable talking and interacting.

At a small college like Simpson, you’ll sometimes discover that people already know each other.

The momentary embarrassment is insignificant because your friends will appreciate your effort.

Shake hands. Interviewers say a handshake says a lot about a person. I have a secret obsession with shaking hands.

Actually, it’s not all that secret. For much of my freshman year, my friends made a pact to prohibit me from shaking their hands- for my own good.

This worked rather nicely until we came back to school sophomore year. I relapsed, and I’ve reverted to shaking hands several times in a conversation.

To be like me, you must make an effort to shake the hands of every single person you come in contact with. Don’t take no for an answer. At first people will think it’s strange, but eventually they’ll accept your frequent handshakes without question.

However, because you’ll come into physical contact with so many people, make sure to utilize hand sanitizer.

Without prevention, you could become the transmission point for countless diseases. A resurgence of the Black Plague will be all your fault. The world will die off, but thankfully you’ll be immune. Unfortunately, with no one else alive, so you’ll have no one left to shake hands with.

Play catch. No matter how bad you are, playing catch is an absolute necessity.

When you want to get someone’s attention from across a crowded room, hitting them with a flying object is the most effective method.

Flying objects add a sense of adventure to everyday interaction. For instance, if you miss your intended target and accidentally hit someone you don’t know, voila! You just made a new friend.

Be happy. You might find it difficult to maintain the required energy level. Kilos of caffeine and sugar may be necessary to compensate, but if you don’t have a heart attack, you should be able to achieve a plausible imitation.

Dear Readers,Like all of my articles, this was meant in jest. Flattering as it would be, if any of you try to imitate me, I’ll throw balled up socks at you. Thanks for letting me be your How-to columnist for the last three years. I’ve had a blast, and I’ll definitely miss you all and the way you’ve encouraged my goofiness.

Thanks for some fantastic memories,Rachel