Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Table of ContentsINTRODUCTION

Misery & Bliss 

  • Becoming…well…not miserable!
  • Finding and Following Your Bliss
  • Our Mantra:  ‘Know Thyself.  Have a Plan.  Assume No One Else Cares.’

(Parents in Parentheses) 

  • Roles & Responsibilities
  • “Thank Me at Thanksgiving”

How to use this book Please Return This Book to its Proper Owner

  • Looking forward
  • A Caveat Before You Carpe
  • Just one guy’s thoughts

Carpe College! 

  • An Idea (with some assumptions)
  • More Bliss

Beginning at the Beginning 

  • The Sad State of  ‘Schooling’
  • A Hard Dose of High School Reality
  • Pavlov & Passivity
  • Reclaiming Your Inner ‘Toddler Terror’

Wow, That Was Harsh! 

Carpe College!

Swinging From the Trapeze at the County Club 

  • Mall vs. Country Club
  • Trapeze vs. Safety Net

Learnin’ vs. and Livin’

Learnin’ and Livin’: An Intro 

  • It’s About Both
  • Active & Intentional
  • Ah… The Mantra!!

Learning:  The Academic Part (aka ‘The Game’) 

  • Complicating Matters
  • Game Strategy

Know Thyself 

  • ‘Who am I?  Where am I going? Why? How?’
  • Hanging with High School Success
  • What’s Your Function?!
  • What Happens When the Institution Can’t Bend?
  • Have You Been Lying to Yourself?
  • Grow Thyself

Have a Plan 

  • The ‘June Question’
  • The Famous Formula (aka Smells Like Teen Freedom)
  • What’s your ‘EMO’?
  • A Light Sunday Night?
  • The First-Year Testing Ground
  • Free Your Mind & the Rest Will Follow
  • Your Prefrontal Cortex Walks Into a Bar

Assume No One Else Cares 

  • Being Nice & The Frisbee Guy
  • Master This!
  • The Pebble in the Pond (Guess What?  You’re the Pebble.)
  • Some ‘Ripple’ Considerations
  • A Potential Problem:  Team Projects
  • Assuming No One Cares Even Though They Do

How Do I Look? (aka Keeping Up with the Joneses on the Yellow Brick Road) 

  • Looking Left and Right
  • Insidious Comparisons
  • Dorothy and the Dudes
  • That Still Small Voice Within

Living: The Non-Academic Part (aka ‘The Game of Life’) 

  • Gurus:  Twain, Thoreau & Campbell
  • Book Learnin’
  • Livin’ Deep
  • Findin’ Your Bliss

“I’m Thinking College, But He’s Talking About Career?!” 

  • The Job of Getting a Job
  • Bring In Da Funk!
  • Meet Interesting People (Peers & Profs)
  • Do Interesting Stuff (‘Bulletin Board Bingo’)
  • One Final Interesting Note About Becoming More Interesting

Keep Your Eyes on the Career Prize 

  • The Carpe Career Plan
  • The List
  • The Letter
  • The Leap

Explore Galore! (aka Try Anything) 

  • Exploration & Discovery
  • No Pain. No Gain.
  • Screw Ups: Academic, Social & Cultural
  • F3:  Fix It.  Forgive Yourself.  Forge Ahead.
  • Be Careful With Contempt
  • A Crazy Conclusion


Finessing Your Freedom 

  • The Ties That REALLY Bind in Your High School Spring
  • The Great Experiment
  • The Gift:  One Day of You
  • ‘Try Easier’

Do No Harm (aka Let’s Play Doctor) 

  • You Make the Call
  • Nothing Good Happens After Midnight
  • Disney Wisdom

Week 1 Wisdom (Stuff that often doesn’t make the list) 

  • Reinventing Yourself
  • Feet First

Doorstops & Chopsticks 

  • Everyone in the Same Boat
  • Open or Closed
  • Rocky Mountain Oysters and Yo-Yo’s

Don’t Hate the Mate 

  • Boomers, Millennials, and Rooms of Our Own
  • Sharing Space & The Situation
  • Communicate.  Communicate.  Communicate.
  • Breaking Bread
  • Truthfully Tackling the Tough Stuff
  • Recruiting Your RA
  • You Are Not Henry Higgins
  • Summon the Safety Net
  • Finishing Strong
  • Roommate Royalty?
  • Treating Special Cases Specially

Quick Tips for Roommate Survival

  • Avoid Alarm Annoyances
  • T-Shirt Trivia
  • Stock Up on Supplies
  • No Sweat?
  • Cleanliness is Next to Godliness?
  • Don’t Touch it or Borrow It Without Asking!
  • Stay Gold, Ponyboy
  • This is Water

Five-Alarm Mac-n-Cheese (aka Just Add Water & Don’t Be the Perp) 

  • Swearing Twain Could Be Proud Of
  • Fake Bake Too

Party Like a Smarty (aka Don’t Make the News!) 

  • In Vino Veritas
  • Know Your Limits
  • Sober Soldiers
  • Your Pour
  • Go Blue
  • Don’t Go It Alone
  • By the Numbers

The Longest Title for the Shortest Chapter 

  • Don’t

Waddya Mean, Don’t?! 

  • Motive and Opportunity
  • Reach Out

Your Sex Options (aka Your Parents’ Favorite Chapter) 

  • Keeping It Simple?
  • I Want Your Sex
  • When It’s No Longer Sex

Clamoring for Community 

  • Lofty Ideals
  • You Decide
  • Dad and Jill

Laundry Lessons (HINT:  It’s not really about laundry!) 

  • Another Formula
  • Some Plans
  • Some Options
  • No Answers

Teenage Wasteland (They’re All Wasted!) 

  • Time Wasters (Social Media, YouTube, Gaming and the rest)
  • Embrace ‘em
  • Contracts & Clocks
  • Some Strategy
  • Acknowledge What Everyone Already Knows
  • Single Tasking
  • A Senior Moment

Homesick My Ass! (aka Don’t Be Such A Wuss!) 

  • Gird Your Loins
  • The First Month
  • Homecoming
  • Technology & Weaning:  Shedding & Skyping the Parents
  • The Family & Friends Hour
  • Who’s In Control?
  • Controlling Collisions
  • Write a Letter

The Great Depression (aka Down in the Dumps) 

  • Safe Somethings
  • A Walk

Fonts of Wisdom 

  • History Meets the Homesick Blues
  • Wisdom Comes From Far & Wide

Mouth Bacteria Make You Fart 

  • B.S., Brilliant or Both?
  • Trust But Verify

If You’re Cocky and You Know It, Clap Your Hands

  • Humility vs. Hubris
  • Winter Break Breakthroughs
  • Some More Sneaky Surprises
  • Course registration (again)
  • Housing for year two (already)

Advocate & Act 

  • Keep Your Goals Front & Center
  • Speak Up
  • Help Them Help You
  • Net Results

Mind & Body:  The Dynamic Duo

  • Exercise Regularly
  • Eat Well
  • Get Serious About Sleep
  • Lose the Laptop
  • Review & Revisit

Look, I Can See Your Breadth!

  • The Terrain
  • Stealing Strategy From Scouting (Be Prepared)

Thinking Inside the Box 

  • A Place for Everything
  • Being Present

Tempus Fugit (More Latin?! You’re Killing Me, Smalls!) 

  • High School Happened. Embrace the Pace.
  • A Broader Plan
  • A Very Unique Gift
  • Oh Yeah.  Don’t Forget the Mantra
  • Sorry.  One More Thing.


  • Appendix A:  The June Question (and a few more)
  • Appendix B:  ‘Don’t Hate the Mate’ Share Sheet
  • Appendix C: Weekly Planners
  • Appendix D: Checking In Charts
  • Appendix E:  The Homestretch
  • Appendix F:  Bolstering Your Breaks:  Thinking Big
  • Appendix G: A Note to Struggling Students Whose First Year Goes Poorly
  • Appendix H: Commuter (And Community College) Care Package
  • Appendix I: Student Athletes
  • Appendix J: FREE Advice From Former First-Years
  • Appendix K:  ‘Look It Up’ Resources
  • Appendix L:  A Very Potter Guide to College Stuff

About the Illustrator 

About the Author 

Your Notes