Sunday, January 23, 2005


This is a classic post, from a person, Paul Graham, who I've never linked to before, although I will now.

The question he answers is, what advice would you give to high school students from the distance of your life experiences today?

He talks about the root cause of boredom in teens:
And when I was eight, I was rarely bored. Give me a back yard and a few other kids and I could play all day.

The reason this got stale in middle school and high school, I now realize, is that I was ready for something else. Childhood was getting old.

I'm not saying you shouldn't hang out with your friends-- that you should all become humorless little robots who do nothing but work. Hanging out with friends is like chocolate cake. You enjoy it more if you eat it occasionally than if you eat nothing but chocolate cake for every meal. No matter how much you like chocolate cake, you'll be pretty queasy after the third meal of it. And that's what the malaise one feels in high school is: mental queasiness.

He talks about college admissions:
It's dangerous to design your life around getting into college, because the people you have to impress to get into college are not a very discerning audience.

I've just given a amall taste of the richness of this essay. Go there, enjoy. Devour and savor.

Feel free to write your version of this essay in the comments.

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