Every once in a while I come across an item or article that resonates or really strikes a chord. I find myself thinking of the countless lessons my parents drove home as I cursed under my breath. I recall the resentment I felt that I was being asked to do things ‘other kids’ weren’t. Of course I grew up in 60′s when permissiveness was the new age fad and old school thinking was being challenged. I vividly recall the photos of the psychedelic flower children of Woodstock juxtaposed next to crew cut American soldiers heading off to Vietnam. Upheaval and change became common place. Comparatively, my life seemed boring.
So when I read an article that my dad seemed to have written or come across a list of timeless reminders, I get transported back to that very place when I so objected to the very thought of compliance.
If you’ve read Charles J Sykes book “50 Rules Kids Won’t Learn in School” then you’re familiar with the list below.
In the college world of athletics there is an unspoken thread that links coaches of all sports. When you observe young adults wrestling with the challenge of owning their performance or lack thereof and coming to grips with certain realities that will impact their world going forward into adulthood – you can’t help but relate.
Growing up isn’t easy. But athletes have an advantage because many of the rules that we understand as parents and know to be ‘true’ and ‘real’ are learned on the playing fields and ice arenas.
Here’s a snapshot of Syke’s Rules. They may seem harsh. Then again there isn’t one of them that any parent hasn’t learned the hard way.
RULE 1……Life is not fair; get used to it.
RULE 2……The world won’t care about your self-esteem. The world will expect you to accomplish something BEFORE you feel good about yourself.
RULE 3……You will NOT make 60 thousand dollars a year right out of college. You won’t be a vice president with a car phone, until you earn both.
RULE 4……If you think your professor is tough, wait till you get a boss. He doesn’t have tenure.
RULE 5……Flipping burgers is not beneath your dignity. Your grandparents had a different word for burger flipping; they called it opportunity.
RULE 6……If you mess up, it’s not your parents’ fault, so don’t whine about your mistakes, learn from them.
RULE 7……Before you were born, your parents weren’t as boring as they are now. They got that way from paying your bills, cleaning your clothes and listening to you talk about how cool you are. So before you save the rain forest from the parasites of your parents’ generation, try “delousing” the closet in your own room.
RULE 8……Your school may have done away with winners and losers, but life has not. In some schools they have abolished failing grades; they’ll give you as many times as you want to get the right answer. This doesn’t bear the slightest resemblance to ANYTHING in real life.
RULE 9……Life is not divided into semesters. You don’t get summer off and very few employers are interested in helping you find yourself. Do that on your own time.
RULE 10…..Television is NOT real life. In real life people actually have to leave the coffee shop and go to jobs.
RULE 11…..Be nice to nerds. Chances are you’ll end up working for one.