Everything I Learned In A Year (unfinished)
All of this isn't done yet, mainly because in the past week I've had five final exams, had to buy a new house for next year, had to release this spring collection, ship out 150 orders out of my dorm room, and pack my entire life up and get ready to move home. It'll be done in a few days, like there's a lot more to talk about. But the story starts here. Kind of. And it's a long one. And there's going to be pictures and there's going to be lots of me talking and lots of you hopefully following along. But I'm going to show you what i learned about life, about people, and about being happy when i got thrown into a new city knowing not a single person except myself.
Before I start with the story itself, I'll tell you how I got here. You're probably thinking something like "why didn't you go to a school in Massachusetts" or I get all the time "why did you even go to college". Well, here we go. Or I should say, here we went.
The whole "college process" was weird for me. My mom hired this woman who was my "college advisor" and basically this woman got to know everything about me. She knew how I worked, how my brain put things together, how I wrote, how I learned. We became friends. Her and I would hangout every week on Wednesday nights and she basically helped me apply for schools and figure out how to maximize scholarship money and all that.
She was actually the one that sat me down and told me I needed to be at a school in the city.
Harvard told me that I didn't fit their criteria. Maybe it's because I didn't have family that graduated from there maybe because I didn't get a perfect score on my SATs maybe because I had overslept and been two minutes late to an interview at Starbucks with their admission team. But that's fine. The woman told me it was a long shot. But she told me that Boston was too small for my mind and that there was no school that fit me in New York. I wanted to go to Fordham in the Bronx but I didn't want to pay $63,000 a year (which is $252,000 after all four years) and be drowning in student loans later in life. That'd be a lot of T Shirts to sell to get myself out of debt. And at that point, is a degree worth that much? Not in my eyes. I had learned that big schools like Duke and Syracuse and the University Of Ohio were incredibly fun, and would give me something to do every day every night for four years, but they just weren't for me. I knew that I needed to be somewhere that was still "college" with the parties and the fun and the movie-esque experience, but with a city integrated into it. Sadly, that doesn't exist in New York and that will never be a thing in LA because LA is too damn big. So I sat down one time and googled "What Is Chicago Like".
I didn't learn anything from the google search, but I learned a lot from my advisor woman. She told me it was the only place that fit me perfectly. For some reason I've always cared a lot about my grades and about learning and being an intelligent person, so I always feared the idea of walking into a lecture hall for a class and sitting next to 500 other kids. You become a number at that point and your teachers will never know your name. They'll never know what you like doing, what you're good at, what your personality was like. So I wanted to be somewhere with small class sizes, a fun and existing campus, a lot of parties, a scene for clothes, photography and music, but all in a city.
Seemed to me like I wanted it all, and we had to find that. My advisor told me about this place called DePaul. I guess she was adamant that it'd be the best fit for me. It has a top rank business school and the number one program for grad school Advertising. She kept pushing me to get into advertising, but at the time I had no clue what that word meant. Not even a little bit. We applied to their business school. A few weeks later all the college letters came back. I went something like seven for nine. But I got the joy of putting my denial letters from Harvard and Boston University on the Denial Board in my high school. DePaul gave me a really awesome scholarship, so it was either go to a school in the middle of nowhere and drink a lot of beer with my new "bros" and join a frat and give up on my creative mind and stop the brand and have 'fun' for four years and spend a lot of money on tuition and find myself 25 years old with $150k to pay off in college debt or I could go to school in this new big city called Chicago where I could experience it all. And I really didn't want my mom to spend all her hard earned money just for me to get a single degree, so one night we were at dinner, it was just her and I, and I was like "mom, I'm going to do Chicago". She smiled back to me across the dinner table with joy on her face and in her eyes and she blurted out "Let's do it! You're going to love it!".
The summer came to an end and each of my friends went off one by one to school. And the times got sad and the goodbyes felt real, because for the first time we were all going our own seperate ways to go make our own new friends in our own new towns and experience life in our own new ways.
And ever since I was younger I got really emotional when it came to permanent change. I talk about it all the time, like I hate the phrase "The End". I hate it. It's so sad. But at that point, my life in Danvers Massachusetts was coming to an end and it was time to get out of my home town and jump into the real world. I remember sitting outside weeks coming up to leaving just until 5 in the morning so I could watch the sunset by myself. I used to just think about the times I had in that town and the happiness it brought me. The early mornings driving to highschool and the late nights out with everyone. It taught me to be a kid. But it hit me, and I realized that as life goes on, everything comes to an end. And it got to me, you know, the idea that no matter what I'll do, I'll never be a senior in Highschool anymore. I'll never permanently live at the house I grew up in anymore. I'll never live like I used to. And it was sad. But I realized that that's just how life works. And with that, I knew it was time to see the world and make new friends, see what was out there, and make the absolute best of it. It was time to go to college.
When I say this, I mean it, I really knew nothing about Chicago Culture. And before we start the story, no I didn't think it was some gun-infested war zone. I'll keep this anecdote short but when I was 16 - 17 I got hired by this company that sold those hoverboards and they had this crazy yacht-like thing and I used to go out there in the spring time of my junior year, like they'd fly me out every weekend and I would take photos and run their online store for their silly hoverboards and it was cool I got my money and got out in time but I used to sleep on the boat in Chicago right downtown and it was the most beautiful thing. So I knew Chicago was pretty. And I knew how to navigate the airport and get around downtown, but that was pretty much it. I didn't know what the real culture was like.
I'll never ever forget, it was two nights before moving to school and there was a concert in Boston for this artist Wintertime and I went with some friends. My homie Greg who is one of the day one Boston concert photographers was there and after the show we ended up hanging out at the venue and getting food. He's like 25 or something and he's just so up to date on culture and whats going on in every place at every time. Greg was always my big brother when it came to meeting rappers and everything because he would get me into everything and let me chill on stage even when I was like sixteen with a camera in Boston.
He was stoked I was going to Chicago. Almost as happy as my mom seemed to be. But way happier than I was. It wasn't that I was unhappy, but that I was just a little scared. I just didn't know what this new chapter of life was going to be like. Greg got into telling me the story of Chance and the real intertwined way that the Chance The Rapper team came from the bottom to the top. You wouldn't really believe me if I told you, but a ginormous part of it has to do with a few certain people in Boston, two of which are from my local area that moved to Chicago for school and just were people that helped bring the team to what it is today. Greg told me "Bro you need to follow this dude named JoeFreshGoods. He runs the Chicago streetwear scene. That's someone you gotta look up to". So I did, I followed this guy Joe on twitter and found out he's got some store in the city and that was that. So moving to Chicago the only "scene" person I knew to get info from was this dude named Joe. That was it. Woohoo, one person.
Oh, I had one friend. The person who is my roommate. If you didn't know, everyone in college uses Facebook. Furthermore, when you get accepted to college you join the "Accepted Students Facebook Page" then when you figure out where you're going to join that schools' "Class of Whatever Page". On the Facebook page a lot of times people describe themselves and try to find a roommate like them. I found this kid Mitchell on there pretty early on. He liked the same music as me, loved film photography, and seemed to have nice style. He just seemed very put together, not a jock or anything, liked what I liked, so we talked and we were like "hey, let's live together in a small room and share a small closet and be friends for an entire year of out life." We both figured, hey, why not. So we signed off that we were roommates. So I guess at that point, it was all about hoping we got a cool room and hoping we were both cool with eachother. Which I knew we would be. But that in itself is a lesson I learned. But that's for later on. There were a lot of cool people on the Facebook page. Kids like myself. Kids interested in art and being themselves. I was really excited to finally meet them in real life. You know, you can only learn so much about someone through their facebook page.
I watched the sunrise one last time in Danvers. I drove my car around the town and just listened to music like I grew up doing. I waved goodbye to my house and car, made sure I had my camera, laptop, chargers, and all my clothes that i'd need for a year, and I got in the car to the airport. "Lets go Mom!" I yelled as she locked the door. "I'm coming! Are you excited?" she yelled back over her shoulder. Through the tiredness and beyond the sadness of leaving, I gathered enough energy to reply with "Can't Wait". I guess in the moment, I could have waited. I could have waited a while longer. I could have imagined going back and restarting highchool and loving every second of it all over again. But in the moment, I thought to myself "here goes nothing".
So, this is Chapter One, and this is Everything I Learned About Life In A Year At College.
"Looks like a nice clear flight from Boston to Chicago" I hear over the speaker in the plane.
I looked out the window and waved goodbye to Boston. We were up in the air and the city slowly stayed behind us.
It was a nice clear flight. The sun was out. I stared out the window just about the entire time.
My mom, sitting a few rows infront of me glanced back at me and smiled. She held her thumb up in the air and mouthed to me "here we go!". At that time, she was much more excited about this whole "Move To College" thing than I was.
We got to Chicago and spent the first night in a hotel. Check in wasn't until the next morning.
I slept most of the day. We walked around at night. We got food and I kept saying "how am I supposed to be happy here". I genuinely was upset that night. It was weird. I just felt out of place. Like I didn't know anyone and I didn't belong. But I knew that feeling would pass.
And it did. And the next morning came and we checked out of the hotel and I wheeled two big suitcases full of clothes to the uber. And we drove from the Chicago Loop (downtown area) fifteen minutes north to Lincoln Park where we got out, and for the first time in my life, I felt college.
So the real story starts here. It started when we unloaded the bags from the uber and a bunch of people in college-esque shirts ran up to help us.
"You're living in U-Hall. It's University Hall but around here we call it UHall, it's right on the right!" this girl said to me. as she pointed to my new house. It really was kind of like the movies.
"Around here?" I thought. What's it like around here?
This was the first time I really thought about it like this, but college is really like Sleepover camp. I went to Sleepover camp my entire life and it was the best place in the world. In the beginning of each week people from all over the country come and the councelors help the families move the stuff into the cabins and pick a bed and get situated, then they say their goodbyes and head on their way.
There was a line of people outside this new place that was soon to be my home. Every family had their own assorted messes of clothes, furniture, plastic containers, and suicases.
It felt like Sleepover camp on a Sunday. But it felt like one of those college movies. For the first time, everything felt right.
I got a text from Mitchell saying our room was beautiful, and man there was no more relieving feeling than that. But I was so exited to see it for myself.
We checked into the dorm and got a key to my new room.
"You're living through this door right here, up the stairs to the second floor, through the common room on the left" the woman behind the table said to me as she handed me the room key that looked like it was made in the 60s.
"Welcome To College!" she finished with a smile on her face.
I grabbed the key and I thought about the sentence she said. And the way she said it. She sounded so happy.
"Welcome To College" i said under my breath as I dragged the suitcases up the stairs.
"Welcome To College" I kept repeating, well, until it felt real.
I lugged the suitcases up the stairs and walked through the hall. Just like a sunday at camp, each family was moving their kid into college. What a crazy feeling. Everyone had their door open and each room had its own story. Each person had their own story and their families had them too, but each room also was about to start their own new story. Well, so were we.
We found our room and walked right in, the door propped open by a doorstop.
"This.... is... your.... dorm room!?" my mom said as she took a first glance in.
This place was beautiful.
"Hello!" Mitchell's mom said to me in her southern accent as she ran up and hugged me.
I didn't really get why everyone was so nice!
Mitchell turned away from his bed that he was making
"Chris!" he said with a smile on his face. "We got a walk in closet, look!" he yelled as he pointed to the closet.
We really did have a walk in closet. I think my mom was more excited about the excessive closet space than I was.
But we unpacked everything, put a couch under my now-roomate's bed, and the Goodbyes began.
I hugged my mom goodbye and she gave me one of those, you know, generic college "Goodbye Sweetie You'll Do Great" hugs.
The parents left and, well, college started.
"So.... uh.... we live together now" I remember saying to Mitch.
Standing on his desk trying to hand some sort of light fixture from the ceiling he looks back down and says "Sure do! This is kind of crazy isn't it!?"
I laughed to myself as I started hanging up clothes. I guess I was a little excited at this point realizing we had a full walk in closet.
"Real crazy" I said as I hang up a shirt. "Real real crazy".
It's not too-good of a photo because it came from my phone with my hands partially still trembling at the idea of having not a single friend in an entirely new place far away from my initial comfort zone, but this is what my side of the room looked like on Day One.
The rest of Day One really was something out of a college movie.
Everyone opened their doors and people just ran down the hallways walking in and out of everyone else's room. I remember kids walking in and being like "woah dude those supreme hats are crazy" and I remember thinking "woah, people actually like this stuff too!?".
Time went on and Mitchell and I stuck together as a team. First Friends, right?
It was just like sleepover camp on the first day. No one really knows eachother and people spend a lot of time sitting on their beds waiting for someone to talk to them. Everyone still had that "woah i'm officially moved away from home for about...ever" feeling in the back of their mind and everyone was there to make friends.
And it was the first time I had realized: for the first time ever, you can be whoever you want to be when you get to college.
I guess that's one of the biggest lessons I've learned over the course of the year, and that's something that made this experience as wholesome and amazing as it was, everyone was just themselves.
You know, in highschool and stuff everyone knows everyone. Everyone knows people's reputation, who they've kissed, what they do on the weekends, if they're "cool" or not, and the activities they're into. You know what I mean? Like everyone knows everyone. I guess that's just how the system works.
But once you leave that structured system and you make it to the point where things open up and you get tossed into this whole new "hey you're one of 20,000 people, go make friends" realm, things become more clear and you begin to realize that being yourself is the number one most important factor to it.
And one thing I've spoke on before, but college just made so clear to me is that (and excuse my french)
No one gives a fuck about how cool you were in highschool the second you leave highschool.
And that's beautiful. Each and every person has the opportunity to be whoever they want, however they want.
I met people on that first day that I could just tell were endlessly thankful to be out of their small home town. And I met people who wish they were back home sitting in someone's basement with all their hometown friends. But through all of it, I met people that knew that they had to introduce themselves in their own unique manner. Like everyone had a clean slate to be whoever they chose to be.
And we got these name tags to put on our dorm, and we had to write our pronouns on them. I had to ask someone what this meant. I'll get into all of that leter.
but we had been finally moved in, and our parents were back in the houses we had left, and we were on our own, and the beginning of college had begun.
At our school they run this program called "Discover Week" and basically all the freshman move into school one week early and take one class (the same class) all day every day. But it wasn't like a generic class. And we got to pick which one we wanted to be in.
My roommate took Photography and I took Careers In The Arts.
Basically every day we would meet with our "class" at like 10am and just go around the city and learn about what our topic was until 5pm.
So for us, we got to go to every major museum in the city and meet the creative directors, the owners, the buyers, and everyone that calls the shots.
We got to learn how to take the train and we got to learn what areas contained what.
And that's something unique to Chicago, and our school in general. A block away is the train station and with school we get an unlimited train card so you just hop on, figure out where you want to go and the entire city is at your fingertips.
And that first week was mayhem.
We got to meet so many people. I probably became friends with 500 people that week.
Every single night there were ginormous parties.
The frats used to throw parties every night to meet the younger kids so they could see who they wanted to recruit.
And yes, it crossed my mind in the beginning.
They just showed us what it's like to party the real college way. Like hundreds of people in big houses with unlimited alcohol being served behind a bar. It was college.
And it was incredible. It was really go-go-go for that first week. We'd be up till 5am, sleep till 8:45, go to that class, get out at 4pm, nap till 6, eat till 7, make friends till 9, go to parties till 4:30, and repeat.
And the days were fun. We had class all around the city. In every beautiful place possible. That green photo below is our Quad, which is right outside my window basically. Full of flowers and palm trees (somehow they planted palm trees). That's my friend Sophie in two of those photos, we had class together. There's Mitchell one early morning before he went to go do "photography". I never knew if he took photos or just walked around with a camera around his neck.
Time went on and regular school started. We didn't get to pick our classes, they were just kind of assigned to us. I had an english class, uhhhhh, a business class, that art class that kept going on for a few weeks into the quarter, and some design class.
See, but our school is unique. It's on the quarter-schedule. Kind of like highschool. At our school they value learning a wide variety of things within your field and taking it into your own hands to understand how to implement them into your life, rather than just learnign a few topics in great depth over the year.
So each quarter is ten weeks long. Eleven with finals. So most schools take like 5 classes per semester, being 10 classes a year, but we take 5 classes per quarter.
I learned early on that it's very do-able to cram an entire semester worth of material and lessons into 10 weeks, but it just made for very little-to-no time to dilly dally.
Everytime we got to class it was something new, right in our face, right away. Zero time was ever wasted. And I loved it. It was so go-go-go and I kept right up.
But through all of this and through the initial blast of "welcome to college" came what I'd say as the "Off The Bat Friendgroup".
That's kind of a corny name for it.
But when you get to college, you instantly find a friend group. Maybe not instantly, but for us it clicked right away.
Just people you see all the time and that you want to hangout with and that you go to parties with and that accompany you when you get food. And we found this group right off the bat.
And for me, in highschool, i never had a friend group. Like I never had five dude friends and six female friends that all shares similar interests. I never went over people's houses and had good relationships with everyone's parents. Like I did over time but it was never set in stone.
I just had my bestfriend Hudson who lived 3 towns over and my best friend Serafina who lived a different 3 towns away. I met them senior year and they were my first ever gang.
So when we finally made our friend group in that first few weeks, it was amazing.
I would sit there at night and say "I finally found friends. Real Friends".
Time went on and we all spent every day together. We had this big text group message and we'd all eat meals together. It was really fun. And it showed me that there's so much more to life than sitting in your hometown with the same people you grew up with, because in two weeks I had made more unique, caring friends than I had in eighteen years in Danvers Massachusetts.
And this really taught me something that living in your hometown doesn't give you knowledge about: PEOPLE FROM ALL OVER THE COUNTRY ARE COOL.
People always laugh and my friends always joke because I can do a lot of unique things like write and make websites and run this brand but I'm really bad at geography.
But our friend group consisted of people from all over the country.
Mitchell is from Oklahoma (I still don't know where that is on the map)
Nina is from the suburbs, Rand Sophie + Ramsey are from Kentucky, Claire is from Los Angeles, I'm from Boston and it was just so much fun to look at everything and say "this is no small hometown friendship anymore". These were people who all grew up in their own different ways, with their own unique stories, coming together to smile and share time together.
And every single sunday night we would all meet in the quad because Rand and Ramsey had a band together and they played music for us. And if I could go back in time, I'd tell younger me to have used my camera more to document the great times, but I was so busy enjoying this new life that I didn't really have too much time to grab my camera or waste my life scrolling on my phone. Everything I wanted was right infront of me.
Our friend Caroline used to teach us a ton of "chicago slang", not that it was any different from anywhere else. But she used to say "hahaha that slaps" after a good joke, and one night Rand and Ramsey played this song and she yelled out "THAT SHIT SLAPS" and everyone laughed as we did. Ramsey got on the mic and he's like "That's it!" "That shit slaps!" "There it is!" and we were kind of like uhhhh what and our friend Claire yells out "The Slaps!" "The new name!"
And from that very warm sunday in the quad - on, they became The Slaps. And they still to my day are my favorite band ever.
But the moral of all of this is that even though I felt like I had no one in some moments, I learned I had everyone. Everyone goes into college knowing no one. Unless you go to a state school where everyone is from the same town. But if that's the case, most of this won't even apply to you. But do you get what I mean? Everyone's in the same boat. And you just need to go find people you click with. Go find people that like doing what you do! You play piano!? Go find people who love to play piano! You love reading? There's definitiely a reading club! You love sports? Go to the gym and go play pick up basketball in your free time. Meet people that are just like you and people that care about what you care about. Find what you love and find what makes you happy, and find people who you can share it with.
And listen to people, too.
Go into the experience with two ears wide open. Because every single person you cross has their own story to tell. And each and every story is unique.
Some people, like myself have more of an open book. What I mean by that is for example, you reading this right now, you're reading my book. No, I didn't print it out on paper and send it to you, but you're sitting there with your eyes crossing the creen from left rto right, repeating on the following line, until you finish my book. You know a lot about me, and you know what I sound like. Right? It's like you and I right now are having a conversation, only it's me talking and you listening.
That's me telling my story. I leave it here so that people can learn from it. Because this whole college thing has taught me that each and every person is unique, and each and every person has their own story to tell, and you can learn something important from every person you come in contact with.
And that's important to know. Just ask people how their day is.
Oh, I have this friend Clare. We call her spaghetti clare because she got "Spaghetti" tattood into her lip the first week of college.
Nicest girl I have ever met. Anytime she sees anyone, she just naturally compliments them. I've never once seen a frown on this girls face. Ever. Even when she was sad, she knew how to be happy. You need something done? Clare can help. That's just who she is.
And it's not only important to understand the significance of respecting a friend like this, but also learning to take something from a friend like this.
Just because I've sat there and watched her compliment people and make people's day, just out of the pure joy of her being happy, I've learned to just be a brighter person. Like just being around good people can make you an amazing person, you just need to learn to adapt their happiness. That's Clare. She's never frowned.
but it's just stuff like that, understanding the importance of learning from your friends. Sitting there and being able to idolize the happiness another person withholds. Or the artistic ability of the other. Or the pure musical talent your other friend has. Just appreciating your friends. That's so important. And in highschool, there's not a lot of that. People don't like to see you succeed when it comes to a highschool sense. Everyone wants you to do just as good as them, and if you surpass them or you prove you're happier than them, then people turn dark. But it's not like that once you get to the real world. Trust me.
Chapter 2: "Advertising"
So the teacher that taught our Discover week class, he was meant to be our "mentor" for the beginning of college. And he was, too, like I'd call him and just ask him basic things when I was confused or like one day I didn't know how to get to a class downtown so I facetimed him like "YO TIM WHAT STOP DO I GET OFF AT"
And this 40 year old man via facetime directed me to my marketing class downtown.
But during the first week of school he told me he wanted to meet with me about 'showing me something' he said.
So I got up one morning and I went to his office not far from my dorm.
"I want you to take advertising" he said to me.
"We're going to drop your calculus class and put you into an advertising class".
At first I'm like, well, cool because I hated calculus. And uhm, why?
He goes on to tell me he googled me and the brand and he just knew that I knew a lot about the online advertising world just by how I talk about the online world and stuff, and long story short he puts me into the class.
"I talked to the professor, good friend of mine, he's excited to have you in there".
I didn't go to calculus the following Tuesday, instead I threw out my Calc homework and took the red line 15 minutes downtown to our loop campus and made it to PRAD 244 jusr in time.
And I'll never forget that class that day.
We learned that advertising is the "social module used to change a consumers behavior" in order to, well, sell more product.
Ken went on to tell us about his past, saying he's worked for every big agency in the world, in London New York and Chicago, and how he's set for life, so he became a teacher to teach people what it's like to be in the industry.
I didn't really know it, but our school has one of the top 5 best Advertising programs in the country and I guess you need to apply to major in it, take exams, prove you have what it takes, then you're in. I was just sitting there hoping to figure out why I was put into this class specifically.
We went on to talk about social media, the use of the different platforms, and how the advertising world is going crazy because there's no people age 35 who understand how to reach the young people online.
I was the only freshman in the class and Ken asked "So, who in here isn't 20 years old".
I was the only one to raise my hand. The other 45 people directed their eyes towards me as I slouched back in my chair knowing a question was coming my way.
"Mr. Internet Freshman" our professor said to me as he looked at me.
"I've heard about you, and I've heard you're the prime millenial" he finished.
I didn't know what "prime millenial" meant in that moment, either, so don't feel left out.
Basically he asked me a bunch of question infront of the class like "if I want to reach 50,000 kids age 12-15 on social media in one hour, how do I do it?".
No one in the class knew the answer.
I said "Easy...." then looked around at everyone's clueless face.
"You just determine what demographic you want, may it be boys or girls, then find the age, then figure out what product we're selling, then we determine which social media influencer can reach 50,000 impressions in the first hour, we find out their rate per post, pay them to promote the product, send it to them, write a corny caption up that they probably wouldn't type otherwise, overview their social analystics to see what 2 hour interval they get the most impressions, then have them post it at that time".
One kid in the back of the class clapped. Everyone else kind of just stared at me.
This guy Ken smiled. He tapped his marker on the white board behind him.
"You See!" he says. "That's why you're here! You knew in one minute what an office of 35 year olds making $250k a year couldn't figure out in five hours last week"
"Welcome To Advertising!" he finished.
And that was it. That's when I figured out what I wanted to study in college, and mainly what I want to do in life. Basically, I can get this degree in Public Relations + Advertising here and work anywhere in the world at any creative agency working on advertisements, campaigns, and big projects for the largest most vibrant companies in the world.
Chapter 3: The Brand.
This has to be something I reminisce on almost every day. It was the end of summer in Boston and we had just done a big pop up store for OHKAY. In Boston, there really was no "teenage scene" besides the one we had created. Me and my friends, all of which were from all over the state made up OHKAYGANG and we were the only group of teenagers that did stuff. On a large scale, I mean. It was the night before I left for school. I left and we were at my house doing one last inventory check. We had sold a mystery box and in one night we had to package 85 orders, and then put all my life into two suitcases and prepare for my big journey. He said to me "man, you're going to be busy next year" and I was like "yeah man, we're always busy!". And I'll never forget it, but he threw me one of the last shirts we had left in stock with the OHKAY logo on it.
I caught the shirt, already packaged in a clear-polyester bagging like we do for shipping.
I looked at the tee and smiled. We had spend every minute of the previous two weeks working to make like 500 shirts to sell and to stock in the store we opened downtown Boston. It was one of those gratifying smiles, like a "damn we really did it" type smiles. As his head was in a box counting how many Large shirts there were left, he said to me
"Yo dude, seriously I want to say something" and I'm like yeah man what's up.
He pointed to the logo on the shirt in my hand.
"No matter how busy you may get, don't give up on this. Make time for this. We've come too far to give up on this project now. Make this bigger than Boston, and when you come back we'll open a store five times as big."
And I'll never forget that long night in my basement. Boxes all around. Getting done packing orders at 4am, merely just to pack suitcases by 6am to the sounds of the birds chirping.
But that is a line that pushed me.
SIDENOTE: I'll also never forget a time when I was a junior in highschool, there was this kid that I used to look up to, he had a brand that got stocked in stores and stuff and famous people wore some of his pieces, and he tweeted
"I don't get why people say it's hard to run a brand while at college"
And I always always always remember saying "if he can do it, I can do it"
I don't mention his name because when I got to becoming friends with him, I learned that he never once touched any of the products he was selling. He had it all done and shipped from overseas. He told me one night in New York "I don't care about the losers that buy my stuff to fit in" and I learned that he was nothing but a lame kid from the internet.
I think that phrase he said always pushed me to be good, too, because I always learned from that to take pride in sitting there and shipping people's orders out one by one and having the joy of handwriting each person a little note on the stickers or whatever it may be, it just feels genuine knowing that we literally sat there in a dorm room packing the stuff up for some kid to get in the mail later that week. Like that's just so real to me, and that's why I'll never strive to run this brand any other way. Back to what I was saying,
When I got to college, people knew I had the brand and people saw me online and stuff but at this point, not even myself knew what to do about it.
All of September went by and I didn't even think about making a collection, or even a shirt in general. I was too busy with life.
But it was the end of the month and it was right around the time that all the activity fairs were in full swing. Outside my window each day there would be 500+ people just outside in the quad with tables and booths showing us freshman all the endless clubs at school.
Through the midst of it all, this kid came up to me and he's like "yo, you're chris, right?".
I looked first at his Off White shoes then his Gosha shirt then back at him.
"Nice outfit, you like clothes too?" I said. "and yeah, Chris. What's your name?" I asked back.
His name is Trey and ever since then, Trey has been my best friend.
We ended up walking around the neighborhoods near school that day, talking about life and clothes. Trey told me about how he's from Iowa. I told him about how I didn't know where that was on the map.
Backtracking a little: I never had a solid partner in this thing. This whole brand that people follow and buy and represent, it's all built off my own imagination. I made the website, started doing the clothes, learned how it all went. I tuaght myself the handbook, but I had it down pretty good. It wasn't until the end of summer when I finally got a team. Once I brought a lot of the Boston kids onto the brand, that's when we started making it big. And that's when we started getting stuff done. And opening that store in Boston last summer taught me that there's power in numbers, and Ken that day in Advertising class put on the board "2 + 2 = 5. Teamwork Is The Key To Excellence".
I told Trey that I had this "project".
"You mean, the brand you run?" he said.
"Something like that" I said back as we walked through the cobblestone neighbrood of Lincoln Park.
"Do you know how manufacturing and production and websites and all of that work?" I asked him.
"I mean, not 100%, but there's nothing I can't figure out" Trey replied.
I thought about it for a minute, and I went on a limb. I knew that to do what I wanted to do, I needed more than one brain on the project, and it seemed like his brain was the best-fit out of every person I had met at that point in college. I mean, he had Off White trainers on that only came out in Italy, and he knew everything about the internet. Only thing he didn't know was basic production but I can teach that to anyone I trust. So, I went for it.
"Want to join this team with me. I already have the brand established, people like it, and I need help with this next collection. I'll teach you how everything is run. Just help me and we'll learn from eachother" i said.
And from that day on, Trey and I spent night after night in the library in these big conference rooms after everyone would leave.
We'd use the projector on the wall and we'd look up our favorite brands. We studied how they opperated, what they did right, what we would change about them.
Then we looked at the brand I had already created. What we liked about it. What needed to change.
And we started designing stuff.
At this point, I had just obtained the @OHKAY instagram handle, so for the first time we had a page that we should share just brand stuff to, rather than trying to grow the brand just under my personal page. So we wanted it to be good pieces that would look good for the page.
So we ended up making it a halloween theme, and created designs late at night in the library conference room.
The first week I had gotten to the city, some brand named Gloryous Chicago had followed me and I just DM'd them and asked where they got their stuff printed. The owner gave me this contact of this guy and basically, I just sent this guy all the techpacks (photoshops of what I wanted printed and where and on what items) and he printed it all perfectly for me, drove it to my dorm room, and I just payed him through venmo.
Once it was all done, Sophie and I went to this abandoned bank on the same street our campus is on and we shot the lookbook for the halloween stuff. And it came out so nice. And the pieces were cool. Like I took a step back and I was like damn, we did a good job with this stuff. And it looked awesome. And I thought to myself "we're back in action". I thought back to the night in the basement. And I thought about what it would have been like to have given up.
But we've never given up. Never on anything. That's the fun of life. No days off and no ones allowed to give up on what they love. It was two tees, two longsleeves, and a hoodie. We just wanted to see if people were still following the brand enough to buy stuff that wasn't purely the OHKAY logo. We actually went to the basement of my dorm room where the laundry is and put a bed sheet down. Trey stood above me holding my desk lamp facing the ground. I put my camera above the shirts and we did our first college makeshift product shots. We found a way to photoshop them and get them into PNGs for the site, and said "alright let's run it"
So we put the stuff online, promoted it on instagram, and it all sold out. Like within a day or two.
This was the first time we sat in my dorm room and just packaged clothes all night. There were enough orders that we took up the entire common room with our boxes, folded clothes, and poly bags. We had the fullscale opperation going on, right outside my dorm room. Well, from the inside of the dorm room.
There's a USP right on our campus so we just threw all the packaged clothes in a suitcase and wheeled it down there.
At that point, Trey was like "Alright, man. Let's do this. Let's keep going!"
And we did. We kept meeting in the library. And we'd have dinner together and we'd show eachother different things online and we'd just keep eachother up to date.
We started the following week working on stuff for "Fall 2016".
We knew we didn't have time for a full collection, but we decided to throw a lot of ideas together and just run with them.
Remember how we're on quarters. So basically when we go home for Thanksgiving at the end of November, we're home until January 2nd. It's just how the school year works. 10 weeks on, 6 weeks off, 20 weeks on, summer for a bit then repeat.
So whatever we wanted to do had to be done, producted, photographed, and sold by around the end of November.
The nights in the library got longer, and the days started getting colder.
We didn't do much at this point besides school. I was still friends with my First Week friends, and Mitchell and I were still the best of friends, but I had learned it was important to spend time making stuff and focusing on the brand.
One of the smartest things we ever did in that library was google "How to make a lot of stickers for a little amount of money". We came across this sticker printing service and basically we worked with their design team to create the OHKAY box sticker. We ordered 5,000 of them. Well, 5k to start. And it was the smartest thign we could have done for the brand.
So we made the Fall Pieces. And I was actually so happy with how they came out. It was the best production I've ever put out. It wasn't just box logos anymore, it was real designs on real nice pieces, using real fabrics and materials. We found some model friends that weren't busy and we all went to a photo studio late one night, like from 11pm - 2am and we shot thhis lookbook. It's the first time Iever really got to use a photo studio to shoot a bunch of different looks, and it was so fun. I shot it, Trey styled it, we played around with lighting and colors and at the end of it, we went to the library end edited the photos until the sun came up the following morning. We thought that the bed sheet on the floor in the basement was kind of unprofessional for product shots. Since the collection was better, the production was better.
So now we had a legitimate "collection" of stuff. We did 2 colorways of a flannel, we did 5 colorways of logo hoodies, 4 different windbreakers, some hats. And honeslty we invested nearly all the money we had in the brand account into stock, and we just hoped it would end up selling.
So we designed it, our guy printed it, drove it to our dorm one night, we did the lookbook, got the product shots done, and put it online.
And just like everything else, it ended up selling.
This was the first time with the brand that we sold anything that wasn't like a shirt or a hoodie or something cheap. We found the best flannels we could and we used those. The windbreakers were beautiful, the hoodies were a thick blended cotton. We priced items high because we knew we had to value the brand more than a $20 shirt or a $40 hoodie. This wasn't just printing gildan tees in the back yard anymore. It was dorm room branding, which isn't a huge step up, but we made it look like we were bigger than we were.
I did this interview this this guy Nico who interviews Chicago Creatives and I spoke a lot on life and I never really posted it or anyting but if you're this far into what I did this year, you might enjoy it
And we really never told people we were doing it out of the dorm room. That's what made people respect it a lot more, i think. People thought we had some giant studio and people didn't think that oh some 18 year olds are doing this stuff and selling it all out of a small square room, that's kind of far fetched, but that's how it was going. And it was going crazy well.
And I'll forever be thankful for my roommate because he put up with all of this because we had BOXES in that room. Like before stuff sold the boxes took up half the room.
And the stuff all sold. Like we hoped it would. Well, there was some left over.
We met this guy who owned a store called Flaunt and he basically stocked the brand for the remainder of November. He used to sell stuff all the time and we would just pop in and pick up cash. It was cool, like, we didn't do anything and we were getting paid, and the brand was getting on peoples' backs. And this time around, we sold 220 things right out of the dorm room.
We learned to put all the brand money in, get good products made, shoot it professionally, present it to people in a high-quality way, price it correctly, and watch it sell.
We ended up making a large return on investment (ROI) and we found ourselves financially stable for the time being.
Before we left for break, we had a nice steak dinner Trey and I. Paid for by whoever bought a hoodie hours beore we walked into the resteraunt. It taught us to be good businessmen, make good stuff, and show it to the world.
Not that there's many lessons to take out of this chapter of this book on my life at college, but this is a breakdown of how it all went coming from a brand point of view.
There were times in the beginning where I was like "I dont know if I can handle the brand right now" or "I just don't know how to get stuff printed and made".
But, half the fun in this "brand stuff" is seeing problems and figuring out how to solve them.
And that's what we did. We lived and we learned. And for the first time, I had a teammate that was here to help the brand. And we both sat down and made it clear that we weren't in it for the money, we were in it to grow this brand to be the biggest it could, then make money to do bigger projects to keep growing over and over.
And that's the issue with most people. They just want the money. Most people don't understand that it takes money to make money, and if you keep all the money you make you'll never make anymore. But we knew more than that, and we knew how to grow. I'm mad for some reason Trey and I don't have any photos together, but Trey grew to be my left hand man in any and every way. It was cool because we could go to class during the day, get our homework done after class, still hangout with people and spend time alone or working on school stuff, then at night we would like clock in and start doing brand stuff. And it was like every night. We had no reason not to work on stuff. We had something going here, and if we slowed down the jets our productivity would fall lo and we'd need to get back on track. I loved every minute of it. And it was an amazing learning experience, for the both of us.
Chapter 4: The Chicago College Experience
I don't want you to think that I just went to class then worked on the brand all day every day. I mean, I definitely could have told you that was the case, but there was so much more to it.
There was so much to every single day. From October to the time we went away at the end of Novermber, it was like a never ending madhouse in the city.
It was amazing, being in a ginormous metropolis like Chicago.
And the thing was, there never ONCE was nothing to do.
That's the power of college.
Not only that, but that's the power of colleges in the city.
For us, we're in Lincoln Park which is 15 minutes north of downtown (via train). We have our own campus, we have bars and clubs both on campus and right nearby. We have big dorm buildings and a quad and a place where people hangout at any time of any day. We have like 7,000 kids living right on campus or in the neighborhoods around us.
There's another school named Colombia right downtown, they have another 8,000 people living there.
In the heart of downtown is prestegious art school SAIC which holds another 4,000 students.
Go a bit north, you get Northwestern.
A bit south, UIC and the University Of Chicago.
But the thing is, everyone spent their time partying and hanging out with one another. I never once felt confined to my school. Like I'd go out one night and see 100 people and never ever see them again, yet you end up finding familiar faces and sticking in certain places because they become fun.
But October and November were crazy times in Chicago.
Sidenote: Trey doesn't drink, or smoke, or do anything like that. It's just not him. Which I think added to why we're such a unique duo because it allowed us to have seperation at times.
I had my artsy friends, Trey as my creative friend, then my going out friends. And that's how things go in college. Your daily friends might not be your nightly friends, but that's perfectly cool!
And it's true, you really can go out every night in college. Like if I wanted to I could go partying on any given monday night, and then hit up a crazy bar with tons of cheap drinks and college girls then next night.
And there were weeks when me and my partying friends did that type of stuff.
There's no time limit to partying, you can go out at 2am on a weekday in the city and still have the time of your life until 5am, sleep till 10am, and make it to class perfectly fine.
I used to go out every single Thursday night, like that was the big night. There's this bar/club on our campus and everyone used to go there. It was just the place to go to see everyone. And the drinks are cheap and everyone has fake IDs so you just show it to the bouncer with confidence and get right in. And hey, if they turn you down, you just take your ID back from them, smile, be nice, say thank you and walk away. Never try to fuss, never make a scene. If someone tells you your ID is fake, they know your ID is fake.
And hey, when you do go out and do stuff like this, be smart about it. People love drinking a lot and it's super fun don't get me wrong but just know your limits. Never drink too much because you'll end up looking stupid and embarrasing yourself then waking up next to the toilet with throwup on your shirt.
I only say this stuff because if you're younger and reading this, you're going to experience this one day. And if your parents say "know your limits" or "don't drink too much" you'll say "yeah right" and you'll drink too much like an idiot, but i hope when you hear that stuff from me you think of it differently. And trust me, I've been the idiot once or twice in my life, but I've lived through it enough to say don't be the idiot.
But things got really fun this time of year. As October ended, the Halloween parties began. Everyone on campus dressed up and went from house party to house party. Each night was a different costume, a new cheap drink from 7/11, and a new house-venue. Thursday night was the big night and atleast 100 people packed into a big 5 beddroom house near Wrigley field. Trey braided his hair like Lil Yachty and I wore all red and white like Waldo. Friday night we went with the Steve Jobs look and I kept the headphones in all night trying to figure out how to make music come from the Apple Device! The weekend ended and I did a very boring space jam look while Sophie and Claire were Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie.
It was like we were kids again, but just way more fun.
But, during all of this, something special was happening in Chicago.
For the first time in 109 years, it looked like The Cubs were going to win the World Series.
Every night we would all sit in the dining hall infront of these big TVs and watch the game.
The thing was, we were always only one stop on the train from the field.
Before the finals, we would walk to Wrigley field after the game got out and just participate in the mayhem and screams filled of happiness from the thousands and thousands of people in the city that flooded the streets of Wrigleyville after the game.
I will never ever forget the night that The Cubs won the world series.
75,000 people were at Wrigley Field.
Every street for 3 miles was shut down. The trains weren't even running all the way there.
It was 50 degrees and history was about to be made.
There weren't even any screens or projectors, just the big board that projected the score of the game. They were playing in LA and it was the last game of the series.
We watched from school on the TV for the first 4 innings, and as the Cubs were up by 3 runs we walked to the field. Joining the craze, we stood there anxiously like the rest of the people.
As we got there, the game was tied. Dodgers scored 3 more and it was the 6th inning. People pinned their faces up against the glass windows of surrounding bars and pubs.
People held their phone high looking for reception to stream the game.
Breaths were heald with every pitch.
We thought we had it, but in the top of the 9th Inning they scored a run and tied the game.
It went into extra innings.
Then, the rain started in LA.
So we waited. and we waited. and they cleaned the field, and they played ball.
Inning 10 happened, no score.
Top of the 11th, Cubs score a run and all of Wrigleyville shook with screams and cheers.
Bottom of the 11th, every pitch counted.
People were glued to any screen they could find.
No one said a word.
75,000 people just watched.
Hands on their heads, hoping 3 outs would come with no runs scored.
Man on first, batter hits a line drive to short stop and he throws it to first base.
The sign lights up and the city smiles and cheers.
The Cubs had won the world series for the first time in 109 years.
It gives me chills just remembering it because it was one moment in time where everyone was happy
Watch this video for two minutes because no better video sums up the night that we all experienced
The nights that followed the winning of the championship were just as crazy as those leading up to it. Every bar in the city was packed beyond belief. Every person attended the parade. Actually fun fact:
Class was canceled for a few days because all our professors not only knew we didn't want to be there, but they didn't think they'd be together-enough to instruct classes. The city didn't stop smiling for the entire week.
Two days later, Chance came home and hosted a giant free concert where he performed outside at this park, then lead a march of 20,000 people to the voting polls to cast their vote, verbally persuading people to vote blue. It was incredible to just see the entire city marching down the streets. Look at the photo i got on my phone, people are marching for more than half a mile behind us
It was just time and time again that tens of thousands of people came together in unison to act on what they care about in the city. And to me, this was eye opening. You don't get this stuff in Boston. You don't really get this anywhere else. And for the first time in my life, I saw so many people in so many place simply just happy.
It wasn't until five days after Chance marched us down the streets of downtown that I returned to the center of the city.
Do you know what happened seven days after the Cubs won the world series? Exactly one week later, we were deemed a new president.
Now, Chicago is a very very blue city. Illinois might be red, but there's no more accepting, open, diversified city than Chicago.
And the people were not very happy with what happened in the election.
It truly blew my mind to see that in 24 hours, enough people heard about this protest and marched the streets.
I was standing on top of a small building just looking over thousands and thousands of people enraged by what had happened to the country. Protestors covered streets up to miles away. This isn't even the half of it. So I certainly didn't get any homework done that night.
Actually, the next day was really weird. Like very very weird.
Ok so you need to understand that there's a lot of people at this school who are very unique and stand for different things and value equality and collectivism a lot more than if you were like at a state school, and people were crying in my english class because trump was elected and it was just so strange to see a day go by and people were mentally distraught at what had occured inthe country.
But moving forward, one weekend it was Mitchell's birthday.
I was like oh yo what do you want to do do you want to go out maybe throw a party somewhere like let me know i'll make it happen
And he's like "pack a bag let's go to Colorado".
The rest is history. We landed in Colorado one Thursday night and his best friend from home picked us up in this beautiful white jeep with no roof.
For the weekend we partied a lot, like the University of Boulder way, and we went into the mountains and we went through the forests and saw the stars it was just a beautiful experience and we had so much fun and it was so worth it and much better than just getting drunk in our dorm room with our friends and a birthday cake.
This was really cool to me too because it was just Mitchell being like "let's go, buy this flight then pack your bag we need to get on a plane" and us going.
He took care of what we did, where we stayed, who we saw once we got there, and it was amazing. We took some really pretty photos click the button below all of them are on a different page
And time went on and we continued to hangout, go out, make stuff, and go to class.
But we found that it was so necessary to plan out time if your day for friends because the most important part of the beginning of college was maintaining new friendships. And to appreciate the city.
Sometimes I would just take the red line downtown and watch people go about their days. Not in a weird way, but just so I could understand people better.
The city was our home and we learned to love it.
Chapter 4: VIC + WRITING FOR OHKAY
This one I'm going to keep short an sweet.
One day I get hit up by a friend of mine through instagram who is Vic Mensa's photographer and him and I hadn't really met in real life we just were cool on instagram and he said there was this project with Uggs and they had a spot for a creative director assistant and he asked if I wanted to help out.
Instantly I said yes because well, no reason not to, the pay was really good and I got to hangout with them for the day and meet people in the industry.
So I did it. And we had a fun day. And it was mostly cool because I got to see how all the terms I learned in that advertising class over the 8 weeks prior to the project got used in the real world.
But this was importantly big for me because I got to become friends with their entire crew. And to be honest, I hadn't really ever listened to his music before I met him, so I met him on a friend to friend basis, none of that "oh i'm a huge fan bro" type shit. And they all really liked me for that.
And i'm not here to teach you how to act, but if you ever go into a situation where you meet someone and you blatantly fan out over them, there is never ever going to be a chance of them looking at you as a friend, a teammate, or anyone important ever.
To segment off that "fan" statement for a single paragraph, that's why I never did that whole "social media world" bullshit where people just post selfies all day long and tweet "i love my fans" or some bullshit like "my fans mean the world to me". I never ever ever wanted or want to have people who are fans of me like trust me I know a lot of people with "fans" and "fame" and stuff and no one likes that shit. I always wanted people to look at me as a creative teenager and someone they could look to for advice and experience. I made sure I never dipped into that world too deep because I never wanted 14 year old girls screaming when they saw me. I dated a girl who was big in that world and it's just a never ending burden of having to fake a life you're not really living.
But anyways, I did the vic thing. Became friends with everyone, and got close with the people who run Uggs.
BUT it was most important because after I did it, I wrote the first free-write blog of the year.
And I've always done free write stuff. Ever since I was a little kid. I spoke about it in a different blog, probably the highschool one, but I wrote a book when I was younger, like a big big one. In a very similar way I write all of these, it just never went anywhere. I had no one to talk to, no one ever listened. And I stopped writing when I finished it sophomore year. But over summer when I was still dating this girl Tina, I wrote " Magic - The fundamentals of caring" and I put it online.
I never knew people would listen when I wrote. But it was something I wrote on a late night after her and I saw each other for the last time in what we thought would be ever.
People listened and people said they loved it so I always tried to keep doing more. I just get in a swing where I can tell these stories in my mind and my fingers race the keyboard track and they come alive on the screen.
I sat in the library one night and wrote the one about the VIC SHOOT and ever since then, I've made it a point to write more and more.
I always think about it, but I've never really talked about it, but there's such big risk in putting blogs on the brand website. Not risk like of anything serious, but about the way the brand works.
I always just get worried that I could write about something that someone doesn't agree with, and they'd start hating the brand and disrespecting it and stuff.
Also, making my personal life so open book always worried me because i've been scared people are going to just not take the brand seriously because you feel like you have a personal relationship with the people who make the brand.
That's just something that's been on my mind lately.
Like no big brand I know of shares as much real life information as we do, and sometimes I think that people might think of the clothes differently since they understand so much about the brand.
But on the other hand, I think it's way way way more unique of a concept because if you want to think about this way - I made this work up from thin air.
I thought of it when I was 15 and then at 17 made the brand and kept going from there but the brand name has no true meaning and I always want to keep it that way.
When you wear an OHKAY tee or something with the embroidered logo on there, there's 4,200 stitches that comprise that logo. I want you to feel like there's 4,200 stories about the brand, one for each stitch.
I just want people to feel something when they wear the brand. It's not something you can get in Pacsun, not something you'll ever see at Zumiez. It's a brand with much more meaning than
"yeah we make shirts and we sell them" like a lot of these other brands out there
and that ties into a question i've gotten so many times this year
"how do I make a clothing brand"
and I'm always like: well, you don't.
Because here's the thing: you need to build a brand before you build a product line that people are going to want.
And that's someting people don't get
And that's something I'll write about in its' own big page in a few weeks but we've built this brand from the ground up and you reading this now is you investing time into a piece of the brand.
And if you hate it, like lets say you think i'm a bad writer or I wasted your time or whatever, you might never look at the brand the same, in which case I should have never posted the blog
But if you love the blog and it's meaningful to you, you can think about what you took away from it each time you wear something with the logo on it.
Just something I've thought of a lot this year.
Chapter 6: Time Budgeting
You never understand the truth behind independence as a kid until you get to college
With weeks leading up to finals, I understood that it worked like a Media Plan.
In a media plan, a company comes to the media planner and says "look, we have X amount of money, we want to spend it on a big campaign and get the brand infront of X amount of people, in hopes of making X amount of sales". That's the basics of it.
But college is the same way.
You basically have all the free time you could need. I like to look at things in one hour increments. So every day you get 24 individual hour tokens, and you need to spend them as wisely as possible to get your work done, to sleep enough, to eat atleast once a day, and to spend time with people to make yourself as happy as possible.
In a week, you have 7 days with 24 tokens per day.
That's 168 tokens per week.
Now lets take 6 hours out of every day for sleep. I only sleep six hours a night and it's completely fine. I think that sleeping less than 6 is bad and more than 6 is worse because then you're either too tired for not getting enough sleep or you're over sleeping and wasting your time.
6x7 = 42. 168-42 = 126.
So you have 126 hours of each week to budget.
Now, lets throw 2 hours per day into eating, that's an hour for breakfast/lunch and an hour for dinner. I never have three meals a day. Usually just one big meal because I'm so busy and it takes like ten minutes to walk to the dining hall.
So that's 7x2 = 14. 126 - 14 = 112
Now, in college you'll have 5 classes per week, some of which will meet twice a week.
That's probably 3-4 hours per day Monday - Thursday. That's another 16 hours per week spent in class.
I bet you'll spend (at maximum) 5 hours a week per class on out of class work.
That's another 5 classes @ 5 hours per week = 25 + 16 = 31 hours a week spent on schoolwork.
112-31 = 81.
Now, you aren't going to be doing productive stuff friday or saturday night so we're going to subtract 20 hours, maybe catch up on some sleep, oh and you're not going to want to get out of bed early Saturday or Sunday morning, so lets give you another collective 8 hours of chilling in the mornings.
81-28 = 53
Now we're at 53 hour tokens left per week.
If you do 5 hours of classwork per class per week, eat 2 meals each for 1 hour a piece each day, sleep for six hours per night, party all friday and saturday night, sleep in on the weekends, and still enjoy life, you'll have 53 hours of free time each week.
Even if you sleep 8 hours a week because you need sleep, that's just subtracting 14 from 53 now we have 39 spare hours each week.
Learn how to understand that you need to look at what you need to do, and you need to figure out how much time it's going to take, when the best time to do it is, and understand how you're going to get it done.
College is a lot of time management but you just need to look at it in a weekly schedule and think
"Ok, I need this done by then and that done by this time" and just make lists and block out your time and just use your time efficiently.
It's pretty easy to fall behind in classes if you don't do the work then you're just royally screwed because hey you just wasted time not doing homework but probably sitting on your phone at your desk before saying "ughhh i give up" and then you're the idiot who doesn't know the answer to the quantum physics question the professor asks you to do out on the board.
For each is own but time management is huge for me.
Chapter 7: Living With Another Human!
It's almost like Mitchell and I come from opposite sides of the spectrum here. I always grew up an only child with just one parent, having basically the entire house to myself, whereas Mitch always lived in a room with his younger brother.
So when we first moved into college, it was like a never-ending sleepover for me.
But over the course of the year, i learned such a big rule and it's Respect.
The thing is, we got the perfect situation. Somehow, we got the largest dorm room on the entire campus, debatably the nicest view the school dorms have to offer, and an amazing bathroom.
And I know people who hate their roommate(s). Like despise. I know friends who moved out of their original living situations in different dorms to get new roommates and stuff.
I'm endlessly thankful I never had to experience something like that, because Mitchell and I were best friends from day one.
But that being said, I simply can't teach you to not hate your roommate, I can only teach you to learn to love and respect them.
Back to the idea that everyone is from their own unique background and story, you need to understand that everyone lives differently.
Maybe you're a neatfreak and you get paired with someone who is messy.
Maybe you go to bed early and your roommate loves to party and stay up really late.
Maybe you want the room to bring someone back to but your roommate wants to stay in and play video games.
These are just things that happen. You need to be mature, and you need to handle your life like an adult.
When you start living with someone, you gain a lot of adult attributes.
Even at home, I always kept my room looking spotless and I made my bed every morning before I left for school and stuff, and we're still the same way most days.
For us, we would clean the room spotless every Sunday together. We make sure everything is hung up and the floor is vacuumed and we're happy with it.
When you spend so much time in a room, you want it to be an atmosphere you enjoy being in. If it's gross and smells bad and there's beer cans all over the place, chances are you might not want to be in there all the time. But, if your room is clean and kept-up and decorated, it'll turn into a spot that harnesses your enjoyment and you'll love being in there.
We had set rules, like we shared clothes. Anything that I had that Mitch wanted to wear, fair game, and vice versa.
But some things like our cameras, chargers, and our laptops, we just knew not to touch without the other persons permission.
So think of yourself in a sleepover camp cabin. Do you want people going through your personal stuff? Or do you want people to respect their own stuff, in term respecting yours.
That's how I always felt.
And luckily, Mitchell and I got along so well and we're such compatable roommates that we've never once had a verbal disagreement, arguement, or fight.
But I know people who have fist fought their roommates before.
It's just all about verbal communication. If you don't like something your roommate is doing, or you'd prefer they do something differently, just say "hey I think it'd be cool if _______" and if they have something to say back, take it from there but it never ever hurts to speak up.
And you need to maintain a strong relationship with your roommate because no matter where you go to school, your dorm room is your home base. It's where you sleep. It's where you keep your laptop. It's where your clothes are. It's where you get ready. It's where you charge your phone. It's where you keep your money and your cards and stuff.
And if you hate going back to your dorm because you're too immature to settle issues you have with your roommate then you're going to really hate freshman year and you're going to just be grouchy and a person who complains all the time.
So just understand that you are living with another human being.
Pick up after yourself, don't let your clothes sit on the floor for an entire week, if your roommate is sleeping just don't turn on the lights, don't bring a girl back to your room if you know your roommate didn't go out and is just trying to get some sleep in, just stuff like that, basic respect rules that don't always go explicitly talked about.
And no matter what, just know that if you hate your roommate in the moment, you can sleep on it, wake up, and make things better because if you like it or not, you have an entire year with them.
I'm just lucky that Mitchell and I were so simply compatible. Not a single person I'll miss living with ever in my life more than Mitchell. And this week we've been packing our stuff up and it's so sad because for us, it's still, nine months later one big sleepover for us. Now there's just a lot more boxes of clothes than we started out with.
And like c'mon, look how nice Mitchell looks. He'd never hurt a fly!