For the last year and a half, I have collected adages whenever they popped into my head. I knew that, one day in the future, I would lack the time to write a proper column and could simply print a list of maxims instead. That time came this week. Forgive my laziness. Hope you enjoy!
1.One of the easiest routes to happiness is to surround yourself with people who actually care about your happiness.
2.Don’t conclude you’re Emperor of Rome because you play in a sandbox. You’ll look like a fool. In other words, don’t take yourself or what you do too seriously.
3.Remember to dance often.
4.Being respectfully assertive almost always pays off.
5.You can’t win by playing someone else’s game—only your own. If you fail to reach your goal playing someone else’s game, play your own game to get there.
6.The best bathroom at Duke is located on the top floor of the Friedl Building. The second best bathroom is the one on the right-hand side in the Duke Chapel.
7.The best resources you can cultivate in college are relationships, not credentials.
8.Don’t burn bridges. Those you compete against now will be allies upon graduation.
9.Always remember that health is a gift.
10.If you can only ever remember one thing in this world, remember that you are loved.
11.Live life believing good things are coming your way.
12.One way to be well liked is to give people a reason to feel good about themselves for liking you.
13.Do at least one crazy thing per year, especially during the summer.
14.Enthusiasm for life is almost never a bad thing.
15.Always seek to be original. It’s in tremendously short supply.
16.If someone asks for a favor, there is almost never a good enough reason to say no.
17.If someone asks you to dinner, there is almost never a good enough reason to decline.
18.Get inside the Chapel at night. It’s amazing to be there when it’s dark and empty.
19.Put in the time with great humility, but don’t forget to collect your paycheck.
20.If you don’t feel you’re worthy enough for something, you probably won’t attain it.
21.Our generation is obsessed with getting there. More important, however, is getting there prepared.
22.Music makes problems seem smaller.
23.It helps tremendously to give people a vested interest in your own success.
24.Volunteer one hour per week, preferably with the same community each time.
25.No matter what you might think, life has a habit of going on.
26.Attempting to hide ambition is a very risky endeavor. It’s better to be up front about it.
27.Humility and ambition are not mutually exclusive. Neither are assertiveness and deference.
28.Solicit advice constantly. Ignore it when you need to.
29.Don’t expect your life plan to be accurate, but always have a life plan.
30.Make a list of people to stay in touch with and stay in touch with them.
31.Go to career info sessions you’re not interested in—you’ll still learn something.
32.It only takes two misspoken sentences to ruin someone’s opinion of you.
33.You probably care too much about what other people think of you.
34.Woe be unto him who underestimates a woman solely because she’s good-looking.
35.Never underestimate someone who’s good at a party; it’s one of the most generalizable skills you’ll learn in college.
36.You can’t play a game of thrones if you don’t know the rules.
37.If your house is on fire, don’t fix the kitchen sink. Put out the fire.
38.A year after graduation, no one will care what fraternity or sorority you were in.
39.No one cares how much you can drink.
40.You’re probably significantly busier than you need to be.
41.You never “don’t have time” for something. You have time for those things you choose to have time for.
42.A little self-deprecation goes a long way.
43.Stand for something. It’s easy to be everything to everyone, but then become nothing to no one.
44.Follow up on emails. Always respond promptly.
45.Networking is a mutually beneficial human capital transaction. Leeching is the act of using someone for your own gain. They are different. Do the former, not the latter.
46.Learn how to delegate. Don’t micromanage people—it shows lack of trust.
47.Please don’t be that person who tries too hard at the recruitment info session.
48.When at a loss for how to respond, always be deferential.
49.Being fake is worse than being mean. At least you know where a mean person stands.
50.On almost every occasion, ignore those who say you can’t have it both ways.
51.Make kindness your default.
52.Play the long game.
53.Acting like you’re special is often the quickest way to show you’re not.
54.Always pay people back, and always pay them back on time.
55.Spend time alone, and ask yourself existential questions.
56.If you’re a Democrat, befriend a Republican. If you’re a Republican, befriend a Democrat. If you’re a socialist, try to find a friend.
57.If you’re not the most intelligent, be the most strategic.
58.If you’re forced to decide between being respected and being liked, always choose the former.
Daniel Strunk is a Trinity senior. His column runs every other Monday. Send Daniel a message on Twitter @DanielFStrunk.