With the advancements in technology and the Internet came a decline in manliness and self reliance. As you morph from a high school/college student into a man and enter the workforce and real life, there are a few things you should know:
How to Keep your Car Running
You do not have to be able to reassemble the carburetor on a ‘69 Impala blindfolded, but some level of auto maintenance is a must. The most basic things you need to know should be changing a tire, jumping a battery and checking/maintaining fluid levels. You should also have a basic set of tools in your trunk.
Drop the YOLO Lifestyle
You are no longer an 18-year-old party pig, it’s time to get your shit together! Constantly breaking and not having a cell phone is unacceptable. Losing your wallet, leaving your card/tab at a bar, locking your keys in your car, running out of gas and getting black out drunk are the behaviors you need to leave behind in your teens. Sorry, not sorry.
How to Dress Properly
Shorts, tank tops and sandals are quite comfortable and definitely have a place: it’s called the beach. Your attire probably changes depending on your work situation, but every man should have at least one decent (i.e. tailored) suit and several casual outfits you could wear to work or out (does not mean you have to dress like a frat daddy). Since you no longer live at home, you should also have a basic grasp on doing laundry, tying a tie, ironing and sewing.
How to Groom
If you go into public, work with other people, or exist in 2014, other humans are going to see, touch and smell you. Shower, brush, floss and wash your hands after going to the bathroom. Manscaping is fine, but that doesn’t mean you need shave your chest and legs. Women like men, not boys.
How to Maintain your Dwelling
Whether you rent or own a condo, apartment or a house, you should be able to fix a few problems without relying on a maintenance worker. Clean the place regularly, know how to solve basic plumbing problems (leaks and clogs), change filters and maintain your lawn and/or patio. Note: camping chairs and plywood do not count as patio furniture.
Take Care of Business
Budget your money, pay your bills on time, pay your tickets, maintain a decent credit score and SAVE MONEY every paycheck. It sounds stupid and it’s difficult, but it is necessary. I wish I could tell this to 21 year-old CJ Morgan.
When to have a Pet or Not
Owning a pet is a huge responsibility that should not be taken on until you have ALL your shit together. Do you work at least 25 hours a week and live in a space smaller than 800 square feet? If the answer is yes, you should not have a pet (especially a dog). Dogs are not meant to exist in cages all day while you work and then go out.
How to Go Out
It’s okay to go out and have a good time. You are young, and life should be fun, but don’t freeload. Nothing spells out “a-s-s-h-o-l-e” like a cheap friend who mooches, never buys a round or pitches in for the tab, and never leaves a decent tip. Don’t go crazy buying the bar shots, just contribute equally.
How to Date
If there are any “old school” rules that still apply, they would fall in the realm of dating. First and foremost, you need to be a gentleman. Pick them up (unless you both prefer to meet in public – but still offer). Compliment your date, open every door, and offer to pay for everything. Don’t try to get laid and treat them with respect, even if it does not go well.
Cook, Light a Grill and Eat Decent Food
Fast food, pizza and take-out might have kept you alive this long, but cooking and eating actual food is the only thing that will keep you alive when you get older.
How to Disconnect from it All
Turn the phone off, get away from the Internet and breathe. Being connected to the world and all the information that has ever existed is a great thing for society. It can also be your doom! The mind needs rest and you can’t truly do that while arguing on Twitter. Learn to regularly shut it all down and go outside