Bad Standup Comedy and Advice From My Past Four Years at Stuyvesant
Reading Time: 5 minutes
Hello, hello! If you’re reading this, I really did make it to the finish line. And I’d like to say, it has been a crazy ride! With that said, I figured I should do a few things before it’s all over, like write a sappy and salty reflection in The Spectator, where everyone can see me airing my dirty laundry. At the very least, though, I thought I could tell all the people I’ve interacted with over the years what was going on inside my head in the form of advice to ye young whippersnapper freshies, since some of you haven’t even spent a school day at Stuy yet!
So, without further ado, here are a few pieces of key advice:
1. Coffee, as much as it sucks, is better than Monster energy drinks. Trust me, Monster is terrible.
2. Hold virtual study/homework sessions with your friends––not to help each other out with homework, but just to have another person to exist in the presence of. Is this not going to apply anymore because of real school returning? Maybe, but I still recommend it.
3. DO NOT PUT GLITTER ON YOUR PROJECTS. IT WILL CREATE PAIN.
4. If you write for The Spectator, you’re allowed to print the word “ass.” I strongly encourage you to make the best possible use of this kickass opportunity. Note: only for Humor though (ass).
5. On that note: Humor > A&E, we’re are way more funnier and more coolerer and their is the ass department. (THIS STATEMENT IS NOT ENDORSED BY COPY.)
6. If you’re really in a bad spot, talk to your teachers about it. You’d be surprised by how considerate most of them are! Most. *coughs loudly in the direction of the French department*
7. Most kids in Chorus don’t know how to read sheet music. I’m not even joking. This really took me by surprise, but it’s true! This means that if you want to sing like a Disney princess, you’re fully welcome to come learn.
8. Does the Hudson Staircase have a reputation for illicit occurrences? Perhaps. But can I guarantee that it’s super fast for commuting on the upper floors, rather than taking the more crowded options? Yes. Use the forbidden stairwell at your own risk.
9. Freshmen, you’re all promising young students, and I respect you all… but when gym becomes a thing, you have to change your clothes. You CANNOT go running around in your stinky Phys. Ed. uniform. Please.
10. Speaking of Phys. Ed., you don’t need to worry about whether it’s helping you get stronger or not. The Program Office has already scheduled you for several rounds of Four-Minute Cardio throughout your day as you try to sprint from the second floor to the ninth floor and then back down again! This physical activity will 100 percent compensate for your lack of sleep and declining mental health.*
*This statement has not been approved by Stuyvesant, batteries not included.
11. Join some clubs! Not because you want resume fodder, but because you want to make friends. Especially Stuy Papercrafts—I’ve never done a single thing with them, but they keep sending me nice instructions for how to fold paper, and they’ve earned my respect.
12. Well, there’s one caveat: figure out which clubs care about your well-being and which ones see you as another set of hands. Some Stuyvesant organizations happen to wear a lot of red clothing and tell you that they care about you, but then you find yourself working 30+ hours a week for them even as you’re struggling with your mental health, and none of your “teammates” will “feel the Pulse” and help you, so you’ll find yourself floundering in a well of self-doubt and negative thoughts until you finally snap and send out an e-mail telling them how worn down you are, at which point they’ll reprimand you and tell you they can’t change anything, which is when you’ll finally realize your normal teachers have cared about you more than your “best friends.”
*clears throat* Oh man, I think I need a dish towel! Just spilled some serious tea. ;D Anyway…
13. Apparently, the Computer Science department is going to offer a replacement for APCS next year. Now, look me in the eyes, and tell me that you aren’t just going to take the AP class because you think it’ll be better for colleges. Hey—why are you leaving? You think your self-worth is determined by how many APs you take, and you’re convinced everyone else is taking more APs and doing better than you? Okay, you really are a Stuyvesant student.
14. You need to write your college essays DURING THE SUMMER BEFORE SENIOR YEAR. You will hate it, but trust me: it’s this or absolute heck in the fall.
15. Senior year is really your chance to take fun courses. Cut down on the APs and enroll in some fun classes instead. As an exemplary role model, I’m happy to tell you that I only took three APs, so I managed to give the College Board under 300 dollars this year! *maniacal laughter ensues*
16. By the way, the CEO of the College Board makes $700,000 a year as the CEO of a “nonprofit organization”… and he’s a Stuy alum. If you graduate from Stuyvesant, you aren’t allowed to do that. Oh god, is it possible that I’ll become the CEO of the next College Board now that I’m graduating? SOMEONE HELP I MIGHT SELL OUT MY MORAL INTEGRITY FOR MONEY!
17. You would be amazed by how much work you can get done during your commute. I’m not coming in from Coney Island, either. During the 10 minutes I used to spend on a bus, followed by 15 minutes on a train, I would do an entire assignment. If any of my junior year teachers are reading this, chances are that I did some of your homework during this time. And I’m so, so not sorry. I was very sleep-deprived, and it was either that or not handing in the homework. (Seriously though, I love y’all, and thank you for being so amazing… with almost no exceptions! *coughs even louder in the general direction of the French department*)
18. When you’re getting your coffee from one of the breakfast carts, resist the urge to ask for any kind of flavoring. Especially not the cinnamon variety. Also, if you give the vendor a metal water bottle, they can fill it with coffee instead! Great way to smuggle it past the security guards… though do check first that your metal bottle is designed to hold hot liquids. I have, quite literally, been burned before.
19. A bathroom stall makes a surprisingly good private office: you can use electronics all you want, and nobody can see you crying over your most recent test grade! Do be ready to move if a janitor comes in, though.
20. For my final piece of advice, procrastinate on your more important homework by doing less important homework! Like, say, writing your final Humor article instead of doing AP prep.
So yeah, that’s it for me. I’m headed off to this really wonderful college: University of California Hicago (You can call it UChicago for short. ;D)! Do I wish that I had made more friends? Nah, the ones I made are good people. Do I wish I’d thrown more shade? I mean, if I make any more pointed references to a teacher in the French department or the robotics team, they might realize—*dramatic fit of coughing*—Oh sorry, I lost track of what I was saying there! But yeah, overall, I made the right choice in coming to Stuy. I hope one of you freshmen reading this appreciates my bad advice. Well, farewell! Good luck out there!