Presented for your entertainment and edification – 14 rules of life that every teen should be taught before they leave home and school in order to give them a better chance at achieving some form of successful adult life in the real world.
All 14 are basic laws of life in the modern world.
Sadly, given the state of America’s educational system, they won’t learn these things in schools. Even more sadly, given the state of parenting in America, they also are unlikely to be taught these rules at home.
14 Rules Of Life
Rule 1: Life is not fair – get used to it!
Rule 2: The world won’t care about your self-esteem. The world will expect you to accomplish something BEFORE you feel good about yourself.
Rule 3: You will NOT make $60,000 a year right out of high school. You won’t be a vice-president with a car phone until you earn both.
Rule 4: If you think your teacher is tough, wait till you get a boss.
Rule 5: Flipping burgers is not beneath your dignity. Your Grandparents had a different word for burger flipping: they called it opportunity.
Rule 6: If you mess up, it’s not your parents’ fault, so don’t whine about your mistakes; learn from them.
Rule 7: Before you were born, your parents weren’t as boring as they are now. They got that way from paying your bills, cleaning your clothes and listening to you talk about how cool you thought you were. So before you save the rain forest from the parasites of your parent’s generation, try delousing the closet in your own room.
Rule 8: Your school may have done away with winners and losers, but life HAS NOT. In some schools, they have abolished failing grades and they’ll give you as MANY TIMES as you want to get the right answer. This doesn’t bear the slightest resemblance to ANYTHING in real life.
Rule 9: Life is not divided into semesters. You don’t get summers off and very few employers are interested in helping you FIND YOURSELF. Do that on your own time.
Rule 10: Television is NOT real life. In real life people actually have to leave the coffee shop and go to jobs.
Rule 11: Be nice to nerds. Chances are you’ll end up working for one.
Rule No. 12: Smoking does not make you look cool. It makes you look moronic. Next time you’re out cruising, watch an 11-year-old with a butt in his mouth. That’s what you look like to anyone over 20. Ditto for “expressing yourself” with purple hair and/or pierced body parts.
Rule No. 13: You are not immortal. (See Rule No. 12.) If you are under the impression that living fast, dying young and leaving a beautiful corpse is romantic, you obviously haven’t seen one of your peers at room temperature lately.
Rule No. 14: Enjoy this while you can. Sure parents are a pain, school’s a bother, and life is depressing. But someday you’ll realize how wonderful it was to be a kid. Maybe you should start now.
One thing that parents should take note of – failing to teach your children these rules of life they will have to abide by after leaving home, may well mean that don’t leave home or quickly return home in failure.
Breaking Life’s Rules Brings Consequences, Not Punishments
Plenty of titular adults could also greatly benefit from learning and abiding by these rules of life but these are not the sort of lessons that work well in the setting of adult remedial education.
NOTE: These rules for life are very, very often misattributed. They’re most often attributed to Bill Gates but are also wrongly attributed to Kurt Vonnegut and Georgia state Representative Brooks Coleman.
Strangely, only the first 11 rules are normally used during these misattributions.
Additionally, both advice columnist Ann Landers and radio personality Paul Harvey have presented the first eleven rules in the list of rules several times without any form of credit being given to the actual author or anyone else.
The actual author of these 14 rules of life is Charles J. Sykes, who is almost never given credit for the work. They form the core of his 2007 book, 50 Rules Kids Won’t Learn in School: Real-World Antidotes to Feel-Good Education.