For some reason (I have quite a lot of free time) I have devised a list of seven things every teenager should know, mostly because I don’t know and… yeah, I have no idea. I’ve never actually posted anything here before but I figured I might as well put something up that makes me seem all-knowing. So here is a list of things that I know which you do not.
1. Know what a sleep cycle is
Believe it or not, the length of time you sleep is not directly proportional to how tired you will be when you awaken in the morning, irritated, bleary eyed and not quite sure if you did that homework for Mrs Brown. (or in my case, waking up on Sunday, going downstairs, watching TV for half an hour, and then realising it’s Wednesday. Woops.) If you recognise this description then I’m sure you can benefit from a little learning on ‘sleep cycles.’ And if you don’t recognise this, you either do not require sleep, therefore making you a medical miracle, or you are such a morning person the thought of getting up in the morning makes you giddy with excitement.
Reader challenge 1: Use ‘giddy’ more often. Giddy is a nice word.
The thing that makes us less tired, and more alert for that maths lesson tomorrow, is the number of sleep cycles we go through. One cycle lasts for, on average, 30 minutes, and so you (yes, you, stop leaning on the desk. Sit up straight.) can adjust your sleeping pattern so you wake up at the end of a cycle (for example 7.5 hours or even 9 hours if you have nothing better to do with yourself.) If you wake up frequently during the night (probably due to your cat scratching on the door like a maniac) then you won’t be completing sleep cycles and will not only forget your homework for Mrs Brown, but fall asleep in her class. Good job.
2. Never lend out pens, pencils or erasers without first referring to the “Rule of Stationary Lend-outs.” (RSL)
You know that one guy (we all have that guy) who seems to rely on others to give them equipment every day? I have had instances where my pen has stopped working and I can’t use my spare because of THIS GUY. It’s a tough life.
Before you ever waste your precious ink on that guy again, consider the Rule of Stationary Lend-outs.
(A) Your relationship with the guy (let’s call him Bob from now on) should extend to, at a bare minimum, the occasional chat; with smiling from both sides, eye contact and *gasp* maybe even a joke or two. (Your mother jokes prohibited) DO NOT give a pen to someone if you do not know their name. You will regret it later when you sweet, sweet ink is depleted onto Bob’s page. Probably just doodling anyway, you know what Bob’s like.
(B) Do not lend out any pens/pencils to anyone with a chewing habit. You will get back a pen which appears to have been mistaken for an acorn by a squirrel.
(C) Do not lend pens to anyone who looks to be likely to steal it. If they ask for a pen daily for a simultaneous two week period then they are likely too lazy or it is against their beliefs to buy a pen and may suddenly decide your friendship is less important than a writing utensil. If they confront you about the theft, tell Bob you aren’t angry, just disappointed.
3. Avoid hysterical laughter at an ill-advised time (funeral, maths class, mental status examination etc.)
You may be laughing at your friend’s recent test results, this article (hint, hint?) or perhaps, most unfortunately, your own test results.
4. Learn various common misconceptions
There are various beliefs which half the universe seems to believe for some reason. Prepare to have your mind blown.
A) Cracking your knuckles does not lead to arthritis.
B) Being out in the cold cannot give you a cold – this is caused by germs, obviously.
C) Waking up a sleepwalker is not dangerous. You should wake them up, especially if they’re about to sleep-cook or sleep-climb-out-of-3rd-story-window.
D) Toilets do not flush in the opposite way in each hemisphere. Stop paying attention to this sort of thing.
E) The goldfish has a memory span of more than 3 seconds. Give the poor fish a break.
5. How to be socially awkward
Why you would want to be socially awkward I have no idea and the fact that I know a significant amount about this should make me reconsider my own social status. But OH WELL. Yes, I LIKE CAPITAL LETTERS AS THEY ALLOW ME TO SHOUT OVER THE INTERNET.
(A) Several good conversation starters to use:
“Look at the weather. That is some nice weather.”
“It’s a big world out there, ‘insert name here.’ “
“What is wrong with your face!?!”
“Sorry if I sneeze on you, I have a cold.”
“So my uncle is taller than average for his age…”
B) Excessive eye contact. Stare at them until you’ve forgotten what the rest of the world looks like. And open your eyes as widely as possible for maximum effect.
C) Laugh uncontrollably at every normal thing they say. If they tell a joke, stare at them with a blank expression.
D) Be random. During conversations say things that are completely out of context. Some examples:
“Yeah, I do like jellyfish, but starfish have a more developed nervous system.”
“SOAP! BANANA! MONKEY! GUITAR!”
“See that door over there? Yeah. That door. I like that door. Stay away from it.”
6. Don’t be annoying on Facebook
Considering Facebook probably absorbs half of your waking hours, I think a certain level of etiquette is necessary. Things to avoid are:
A) Hashtags. These serve no purpose on Facebook and will not get across to the reader any point you cannot make through writing. The exception to this rule would be when smartphones add your message to both Facebook and Twitter at the same time but, meh; it’s probably just a self-pic of you in the bathroom doing weird things with your lips. (“duckface") However, if you are a duck using Facebook this look is perfectly acceptable.
B) Don’t upload 32 pictures of your new hair. One will suffice, thank you very much.
C) I don’t even know how this became a thing, but people upload a picture of themselves accompanied with song lyric/ inspirational quote. Seriously, I’m not really sure the relevance Jay-Z has on your new dress and attempt at a duck face. But thank you, that’s a very inspiring lyric about partying all night and sleeping all day.
D) Reposting of chain letters. That should be a whole new tip, Number 6.5. You will not be kissed tomorrow by skateboarding down the street on your head while balancing a glass of water on your ear while feeding your pet rock while performing Gangnam Style.
E) The awkward moment when your awkward moment isn’t awkward. The word is not interchangeable with ‘annoying’.
F) Lots of passive aggressive status updates. I’m not kidding, at least 70% of the statuses I see fall into this category. Okay, you don’t like ‘two faced people’; you told us that three times last week. You don’t have to tell me about every emotion you ever felt, Facebook people. Every time I open up Facebook, look at my newsfeed and see five of these in a row, it’s as if the Magic Kingdom is melting in front of my eyes.
7. Use long words to impress people
In classification for myself to grant you to thoroughly assimilate the proposition I am manufacturing, I am corroborating it alongside a paradigm as I am adopting protracted and abstruse discourse which I am indubitable is either enthusing or just disconcerting you.
Reader challenge 2: Pretend to be impressed.
Originally published on December 13, 2012.