Some of the references may be dated but these rules stand the test of time.

Text By Charles J. Sykes
Originally Printed in San Diego Union Tribune, September 19, 1996

Unfortunately, there are some things that children should be learning in school, but don’t. Not all of them have to do with academics. As a modest back-to-school offering, here are some basic rules that may not have found their way into the standard curriculum.sleeping student

Rule No. 1: Life is not fair. Get used to it. The average teen-ager uses the phrase, “It’s not fair” 8.6 times a day. You got it from your parents, who said it so often you decided they must be the most idealistic generation ever. When they started hearing it from their own kids, they realized Rule No. 1.

Rule No. 2: The real world won’t care as much about your self-esteem as much as your school does. It’ll expect you to accomplish something before you feel good about yourself. This may come as a shock. Usually, when inflated self-esteem meets reality, kids complain it’s not fair. (See Rule No. 1)

Rule No. 3: Sorry, you won’t make $40,000 a year right out of high school. And you won’t be a vice president or have a car phone either. You may even have to wear a uniform that doesn’t have a Gap label.

Rule No. 4: If you think your teacher is tough, wait ’til you get a boss. He doesn’t have tenure, so he tends to be a bit edgier. When you screw up, he’s not going to ask you how you feel about it.

Rule No. 5: Flipping burgers is not beneath your dignity. Your grand-parents had a different word of burger flipping. They called it opportunity. They weren’t embarrassed making minimum wage either. They would have been embarrassed to sit around talking about Kurt Cobain all weekend.

Rule No. 6: It’s not your parents’ fault. If you screw up, you are responsible. This is the flip side of “It’s my life,” and “You’re not the boss of me,” and other eloquent proclamations of your generation. When you turn 18, it’s on your dime. Don’t whine about it, or you’ll sound like a baby boomer.

Rule No. 7: Before you were born your parents weren’t as boring as they are now. They got that way paying your bills, cleaning up your room and listening to you tell them how idealistic you are. And by the way, before you save the rain forest from the blood-sucking parasites of your parents’ generation, try delousing the closet in your bedroom.

Rule No. 8: Your school may have done away with winners and losers. Life hasn’t. In some schools, they’ll give you as many times as you want to get the right answer. Failing grades have been abolished and class valedictorians scrapped, lest anyone’s feelings be hurt. Effort is as important as results. This, of course, bears not the slightest resemblance to anything in real life. (See Rule No. 1, Rule No. 2 and Rule No. 4)

Rule No. 9: Life is not divided into semesters, and you don’t get summers off. Not even Easter break. They expect you to show up every day. For eight hours. And you don’t get a new life every 10 weeks. It just goes on and on. While we’re at it, very few jobs are interesting in fostering your self-expression or helping you find yourself. Fewer still lead to self-realization. (See Rule No. 1 and Rule No. 2.)

Rule No. 10: Television is not real life. Your life is not a sitcom. Your problems will not all be solved in 30 minutes, minus time for commercials. In real life, people actually have to leave the coffee shop to go to jobs. Your friends will not be as perky or pliable as Jennifer Aniston.

Rule No. 11: Be nice to nerds. You may end up working for them. We all could.

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.

You’re welcome.


30 Things to Stop Doing to Yourself

Posted: July 29, 2014 in Uncategorized

Here are some really great tips to help live a successful and happy life.


Based on the perspective of a college student who just wrapped up his first year in college at CSU Channel Islands, here a couple of tips you can use to make your college experience more tranquil if you are heading into your first semester in college.

  1. Procrastination is the Enemy

I know that over the past few years, it has been a central theme that procrastination is evil and can ruin the lives of students, but for some strange reason regardless of all of the signs and other negative side effects that out school systems show students on a daily basis, the message still has not full set in just yet. Constantly everyday students are putting themselves through more stress that could have been avoided if they would have just done their assignments when they received them beforehand. Don’t procrastinate. Before hoping of YouTube to watch videos or going on Twitter to subtweet about your friends, get your work done. There is no worse feeling in the world than receiving a grade on an assignment you know you could have done better on if you would have set aside the time to do it.

  1. Be Wise about How you Spend Your Money

Being in a society where spending money is much easier than acquiring it, the first instinct most students have upon receiving their financial aid is to SPEND IT when their first instinct should be to SAVE IT. I’ve seen way to many student spend their financial aid which should be going towards things they need for school on miscellaneous things that they don’t need such as new cellphones or even gaming consoles. If it isn’t going to be used towards your education then you shouldn’t be investing it at the moment. Save your money for things you may need.

  1. Look up Your Professors Before Enrolling in Your Classes

As much as we would like to think that our United States college system is flawless and that every teacher is amazing at their job this is sadly not always the case when it comes to meeting the individual student’s needs. Every teachers teaching style is different just as every student has a different way of learning and retaining the information they learn. To try and see which teachers best fit with your learning style, ask friends who have previously taken the class about the professor or even look up the professor at . Using these resources and getting a rough idea of what you are getting yourself into can make a huge difference and can help you along your educational journey.

  1. Make Friends in Your Classes

Having friends as a reference can be an essential tool you can use to get extra help if you need it. I am not saying to make friends that will distract you during class; I am just saying that having someone around to help you out when you need it can be helpful. Study groups (if used efficiently) can be EXTREMLY helpful if you are enrolled in a class that has dense or difficult material that one may not grasp easily.

  1. Learn to take Notes Efficiently

When taking notes in class, students should learn to take notes efficiently in order for them to be able to create the notes for reference later as well as participate and pay attention to what the professor is saying. I know it sounds hard but it really isn’t if you know how to do it. One skill that can help accomplish this is, rather than write down EVERYTHING that the PowerPoint says or what the professor is saying, try and write an overview of the lesson. Write it in a way that you will be able to understand and that you can easily reference when studying. Use shortcuts when writing your notes such as shorter versions of words.


“Government” = “Gov”

“United States” = “U.S”

“Psychology” = “Psych”

“Political” = “Poli”

These shortcuts can make your note taking more efficient and much faster and there is countless other shortcuts that you can create on your own.

  1. Take Advantage of your Professors Office Hours

In most classes that you take on campus, professors set aside time in their busy schedules for time dedicated towards helping students. This time is known as office hours and most students do not take advantage of it as much as they should be. These hours are important in the sense that it can give students the one on one time that they may need to solidify the content of the lesson.

  1. Be Mindful when Making Your Class Schedule

When making your class schedule it is important to keep in mind what you can actually handle. It is in the nature of new students to want to take on a full load of classes their first year of college. Their intentions are good but they must also realize that college is a completely different world from High School. The workload that comes with a class is on a whole other level than what is expected at the High School level. Keep this in mind when making your schedule. Also try and spread out your schedule so that you have time to relax or take breaks in between classes as well as time to work on homework.

If you have any other tips feel free to post them below! Any feedback to help out our future college graduates is greatly appreciated!

Undeclared Dance Crew Open Enrollment!

Posted: July 8, 2013 in Uncategorized

1016283_677652705583726_1102142041_nDancing is becoming more and more common among the youth of today’s society. It has become an outlet that can be use to help bring kids out of their shells and even give them a chance to get some exercise and have a ton of fun while doing it! If you know anyone between the ages of 4 to 15 that loves to dance or just wants to have fun and try something new, then why not try out Undeclared Dance Crew?! No experience is necessary, all are welcome to come and join, and the atmosphere that the kids will receive is  simple amazing! Open enrollment for Undeclared is starting this week and you can come in and try it anytime during this week! For any inquires or questions just send an email to

Hope too see you soon!

Here’s a little preview of Undeclared:

Coming Soon to The Collection: River Park – Yard House

Posted: May 22, 2013 in Uncategorized


The Collection has announced that they will be opening a new Yard House on July 11, 2013! Offering delicious, mouthwatering food as well as amazing atmosphere and great service for since 1996, this is for sure going to be a new hot spot here in Oxnard!

The founder, Steele Platt opened up the first Yard House in 1996 in Long Beach California. Will all of its amazing success over the years, Yard house is opening new locations in:

Many craft beer aficionados of Oxnard will greatly appreciate the fact that this restaurant will be opening locally because of the massive variety of craft beer and other alcoholic beverages that are available. In fact, Yard House offers over 160 different types of beer on tap per restaurant.

For more information and more information on the history of this establishment, visit their website at:

Prom Season

Posted: April 30, 2013 in Uncategorized

Prom Season is usually the time of year where Juniors and Seniors from high schools all around California finally get the opportunity to go out for a night of fun as well as possible romance. For some this is a chance to gather with friends and have one last formal form of celebration before life takes you on your own journey and for others it is to have that last dance with that special someone that you never got the chance to tell how you really feel. Regardless of the reason, Prom is most definitely a night one will never forget. Just as long as one makes the most out of it and treat it as ans experience rather than a financial obligation.

Statistics at schools are showing an overall drop in the amount of students that are actually attending Prom during their Junior and Senior years of High School. This of course may not seem like a matter of high importance but it does have significance none the less.

Those who say that Prom “Isn’t for them” or that it “Isn’t their thing” are judging the experience before even attempting to try it or experience it for themselves firsthand. How can one possibly know it isn’t for them without even experiencing it for themselves? The fact of the matter is.. you simply can’t. There is no shame in trying something new. It won’t kill you to dress up for one night and wear a tux or a dress with some heels. At the very least you can look back in your high school yearbook and at least say “I went to my Senior Prom”. Who knows. You may actually like it and have some fun.

Channel Islands Yacht Club Raises Funds for Ship Maintenance

Posted: March 5, 2013 in Uncategorized

Recently this week, the American Tall Ship Institute put on a pirate themed ball at the Channel Islands Yacht Club in order to raise funds to go towards  the maintenance of a 138-foot topsail schooner used to teach young people about the sea known as the “Bill of Rights”

The estimated amount according to the chairman of the board of the institute, is about $78,000 for routine maintenance. This of course now a days does seem like a high amount of money to keep up with the maintenance of a simple schooner, however this maintenance is necessary in order to keep a tradition of sea related education alive and well.

The program that runs the “Bill of Rights” only hires scientists and teachers to staff the boat rather than seasoned sailors to ensure that those who come aboard the “Bill of Rights” get quality and reliable knowledge that they will never forget.

It really is heartwarming to see that traditional hands on education through experience is still being supported today in our society. One can always learn things through a traditional textbook, but they will most certainly retain it if they experience it first hand for themselves.

If you ever have the opportunity, be sure to visit the “Bill of Rights” and experience a vast ocean of knowledge waiting to be dived into.