Of life lessons, fun and tequila

 BEYERS DE VOS

 I have a dilemma. I have 450 words with which to impart some form of great wisdom to you on the first day of the rest of your life. And I’m frantically resisting the urge to write about beginnings and change and all of those typical things people want to preach about when you arrive in your first year. Usually in orientation week speeches.

At the same time I have this strange inclination to lecture you about how quickly this whole experience will fly by, how you should stop and smell the vodka while you can. Because before you know you’ll be third year (or fourth, or fifth), about to get your degree and freaking out, the big bad world just around the corner.

But instead of repeating what many articles in the paper will no doubt tell you anyway, I decided to write about a small, but very important, thing: fun.

In between all the life lessons and silly philosophies we tend to forget about fun. As I write I’m semi-recovering from a week where I left my name in too many places to mention without causing damage to several reputations. And it was awesome. I had one of the best weeks of my life, with people who mean more to me than – if I can call on an old cliché – the world.

But, see, university is a serious thing. This is our livelihood on the line. Screw this up, buddy, and that’s it. Who knows where you’ll end up? 

To which I say: pish! I have too many friends who are so busy getting ready for life that they aren’t actually living. They don’t seem to enjoy life much, and worse, they don’t seem to care. Fun is for later. Which is a crazy way to look at things. Imagine finally getting your degree at 30 (which, let’s face it, is old) and realising that you’ve never done anything but study. How sad.

Look, I’m not saying you should be a drunken bum wasting mommy and daddy’s money. Not at all. Nor am I in any way selling the idea that you need booze to have fun.

My message is simple. But, I’m running out of space, so I’m going to cheat and borrow someone else’s words: as Anthony Robbins said, “Have fun, be crazy, be weird. Go out and screw up! You’re going to anyway, so you might as well enjoy the process.”

One tequila, two tequila, three tequila, floor! That’s how it goes, right? I’ll let you go discover that for yourselves. The point is that you do. Because this experience has to be about more than academics, even if the only other thing you ever do is determine your tequila threshold.

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