10 unexpected rules for boyhood from luis venegas
Growing up is an emotional roller-coaster. Screaming your heart out, crying your eyes out, crying with laughter, crying with happiness, falling in love, falling over, getting your first paycheck, being broke, eating everything, only eating toast...
1. Lie about your age.
Right now, you probably want to look older (mostly so that you can get into clubs, buy cigarettes and drink Stella to impress your mates/girls) but we strongly advise you not to do that anymore, because soon you'll wish you looked younger. You better just start lying now! Start today, say you're one year younger. In three years from today, say you're two years younger, and keep on doing this same thing periodically… By the age of 50, everybody will think you are still 40 and that will make you happier. But don't even attempt this if you're not sure you have good arithmetic skills…
2. Embrace the internet.
Even though they tell you to breathe fresh air, smell the roses, and live in "the real world", this is 2014. Is there anybody out there that hasn't yet realised that the internet is the real world nowadays? Don't try to escape the online reality in which you live, embrace and enjoy it. But be wise; Tumblr is not everything and the quantity of knowledge that you can obtain from Wikipedia and YouTube tutorials is limited. Still, it holds the key to everything you won't learn in school…
3. Never neglect your hygiene.
Your pheromones are at their highest levels, but that doesn't mean that everyone around you should suffer for it. Let's face it: the people in the world that appreciate a smelly guy are a distinct minority. Don't be lazy, shower everyday, or even twice in hotter climates, scrub your skin weekly, moisturise, use deodorant but never as a replacement for perfume. Or a shower. After all this, your tasty clean pheromones will be ready to interact with other pheromones properly. Above all: shave your facial hair, don't try to grow a beard or a moustache - trying to look 30 when you are still a teen is pointless (see advice number 1).
4. Help the aged.
You might not even have been born when Jarvis Cocker and his then hip band, Pulp, released their hit Help The Aged in 1997, but its message remains relevant and powerful. Don't discard older people's knowledge and experience, they've been there before and done much more than you.
5. Eat everything.
Your body is still changing; right now you don't have to worry about calories, carbs or protein. The consequence of eating McDonald's, bacon, ice-cream, pizza and pasta daily won't even be noticeable yet. But you have to be careful when you're older because Big Macs will stay the same delicious-ness but your body will NOT stay the same… This also applies to alcoholic beverages. Stay away from them, you actually don't have to drink every weekend. Your veins and brain, which is not meant to be used as a sponge, will never recover.
6. Don't waste your time.
You won't realise, until you have no more free time, that these are the best years of your life. So I'm telling you now - have as much fun as possible! "Fun" means: reading lots of books, watching as many movies as possible, listening to all kinds of music, going to the theatre, musicals, festivals, clubs, museums, visiting foreign countries… The more you learn and experience, the happier and wiser you'll be when growing into your adulthood. And guess what? Youth is the only time in your life when your parents will pay for all this fun.
7. Save money, but don't be greedy.
You might not have much, but when you are young, a little is worth a lot. The brief pleasures you could waste your money on now are not worth what you could use it for in the future. Reconsider a PS4 for the joys of a brighter life! And remember to be generous, this doesn't mean that you have to pay for everything - time is worth more than money, and your company is more valuable than the latest gimmick or gadget.
8. Dress your age.
You're young and you're probably hotter than you'll ever be in your life so if you've got it, flaunt it. In summer, wear shorter shorts, tight tank tops or even go topless. When you go to the beach always choose Speedos. In winter, think about summer. But beware - always remember to stop before it's too late: youth is the only time in your life when these dress codes are allowed; you will not be taken seriously if you continue them into adulthood.
9. Be open-minded.
Right now, you're shaped by your surroundings - your school, family, friends. Think about what YOU want and realise the potential of it. Internet forums can help you figure things out, but they don't have the final say, that's all down to you. There is so much more out there, it's important to try new things to enlighten your mind.
10. Don't pay attention to lists like this.
As you can see above in points 2 and 9, the internet doesn't hold the answers to everything and it's not exactly reliable. There's probably more truth in a Family Guy quote. The only real advice, is to follow your own instincts and create your own personal freedom.
Text Luis Venegas and Leo Rydell Jost
Image from EY! MAGATEEN Issue 6. Photography Karim Sadli.