So my computer has been having problems lately. So far I've spent over 4 hours total on the phone with tech support, and I've talked to 8 different people, all with heavy accents (some French, some Indian). I've walked through a few of the same procedures multiple times, and now they've decided they're going to reinstall my Operating System. I didn't want to lose all my files, so I bought a 1.5 terabyte external hard drive (that's 1500 gigabytes... my computer's hard drive is either 60 or 80). Even with EVERYTHING from my laptop (music, pictures, word documents, program files) on it, it's still less than 5% full.
Now, I'd like to give some advice to anyone and everyone who reads this blog:
1. When you buy a computer, buy the biggest hard drive available. Also, buy a USB flash drive (2GB should suffice) for any time you need to make documents "portable" and internet isn't available or you don't want to rely on email. Also buy an external hard drive (that's preferably larger than your computer's hard drive) and back up EVERYTHING on it. Even if you already have a computer and aren't planning on getting a new one soon, you should still buy a USB flash drive and a larger external hard drive. Having everything backed up will make your whole life easier if, say, your computer crashes, or you have to get a new hard drive.
2. When applying to colleges, don't get hung up on one particular school, especially if it starts with H, P, Y, D, B, C, M, or S, and it's in the north-east or in California (a.k.a. the ivy league schools, MIT, Caltech, and Stanford). Because if you don't get in, you'll be pretty upset. It's also good to apply to several "match" and "safety" schools that you actually like and can afford. Also, don't apply to a college if there's NO chance you'll go there.
3. Don't screw around in high school. Pay attention in class. Take notes. Do your homework. If you need an extension on an assignment, don't be afraid to ask for one. Take the SAT and ACT. Whichever you take first, if you do really well on it, there's no need to take the other. At the same time, have fun in high school, and don't stress out too much.
4. Wear comfortable clothes and shoes when traveling. If you're traveling by plane, try wearing slip-on shoes (not clogs or sandals, but something like Uggs or slip-on sneakers that stay on your feet) so you don't have to untie and retie fifty times. Don't overpack, but don't underpack. Would you rather carry around a heavy bag, or not have something you really really need?
5. Read. Every day (or night). I don't care how busy you are, you do have time to read, even if it's only for 10 or 15 minutes before you go to bed. Read books. They will make you smarter, or at least you'll expand your vocabulary. Reading won't kill you. In fact, reading is cool. Really.
6. Don't be afraid to try something you've never tried before. It's okay to join (or tryout for) a sports team even if you've never played before. It's also okay to join a club, or take a class, to learn something you've never done before. It's also okay to try a food you've never tried before (like, I never thought I'd like artichoke hearts or eggplant, but they're both delicious).
7. When calling tech support, it is ideal to have a phone that has clear reception (so a house phone might be better than a cell phone) and one that you can put on speaker phone. Also, if you have a problem with your computer, don't call tech support if you only have 1o minutes to fix it. My problem may be more complicated than some, but I've already spent 4 hours on the phone with tech support, and it hasn't even been fixed yet. When you do call tech support, make sure you're situated somewhere comfortable, and (if you're using a laptop) near a power supply.
8. Become a vegetarian, if you aren't one already. Because vegetarians are smarter, more attractive, funnier, and more creative than non-vegetarians. Actually, none of those have been proven. But vegetarians are more compassionate and caring, and health-conscious.
9. Be true to yourself. Don't be afraid to admit that you like something that may or may not be cool. I like math, and I also like some bands that I've heard aren't "cool". I also don't always dress the way "most" people dress. I dress the way I want to dress.
10. When putting posters on your walls, remember that if you tape one poster over part of another poster, it may rip when you try to take it down.
11. Don't put aluminum foil in the microwave. It's not a good idea. Also, when you microwave soup, do put plastic wrap over the top, but not too tightly. That's not a good idea either.
12. Be nice to other people. Don't be a jerk. Contrary to popular belief, jerks aren't happier. Act polite. Know how you should (and shouldn't) act and what you should (and shouldn't) say to people younger than you, people your own age, and people older than you. Don't be fake (see #9), but do be cordial. It's not cool to have no manners. But at the same time, don't be uptight.
13. If you travel a lot (camp? boarding school/college? vacation), label anything you own that has value to you. You don't have to label every sock you own, but you should label anything that's expensive (computer, iPod, cellphone, jewelry, musical instrument), anything you need to survive (medications or medical devices), or anything that has sentimental value (family heirlooms, etc.) with your name and some way to contact you (email, phone, or address... just in case it gets lost). Or just don't bring these things with you at all when you travel.
14. Have multiple email accounts. One should be simple and not immature-sounding (something for school, college and job applications, etc.)- like, "firstname.lastname@example.org". One should be for personal use- "email@example.com". Some people like to have even more accounts (one "just for junkmail", one to use for signing up any accounts, one for contact with friends, etc.).