Mailbag: Shooting Your Shot

This is a recurring TFM series. Catch up with all installments of Mailbag by visiting the archive.

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Welcome to the TFM Mailbag, wherein I will answer your questions to the best of my ability. Send your questions to No topics are off limits.

Hey Wes,

Honest question here. What would you rather – an amazing college experience and a less-than-stellar post-grad experience, or an average, “meh” college experience, and a good job afterward?

Just for the sake of the “would you rather,” I’ll go ahead and choose the more average college experience with a good job after. I’m definitely biased because I am a postgrad right now, but just look at the timeframes involved here. College lasts for four or five years, while I consider the “postgrad” phase of your life to last from about age 23-35. If I have to choose, I’m going with the significantly longer period of time.

The good news is, you shouldn’t ever have to make that choice. I had an absolute blast in college, but I also worked hard and built up the skills and connections I needed to be successful in the business world. If you’re trying to make it in something like engineering or medicine, you’ll probably have to make more sacrifices in college than most, but you can still have a lot of fun.

One more thing to keep in mind is that you might not be able to get into your ideal job right out of school, and that’s fine. I had to grind it out in a tough job for low pay for about a year before I was able to move on to a much better job, but that’s just how it goes.

Aight Wes, so I’m a second semester freshman and I took my time to get to know some of the guys in fraternities at my school and I want to rush. But, I currently go to a smaller state school (8,000) and am planning on transferring to Texas A&M in the spring of 2019. Should I rush at my current school or wait until I’m at A&M. Thanks

First, you have to figure out if the fraternities at your current school are any good. If there are some good ones you like, check and see if they have chapters in College Station. If you pledge at your current school, most fraternities will allow you to transfer right into the chapter at your new school. If you’re not quite sold on the ones at your current campus, then don’t jump the gun and get into something you’re not sure about.

Hey Wes,

I have a question about meeting girls at parties. I go to a college with no Greek life. I guess we’re all GDI’s here (feel free to roast me here lol). The weekend party scene is pretty lively, though, there are lots of off-campus houses throwing basement keggers. I don’t wear cargo shorts, I get good grades, and I’d say I’m above-average looking (not Ryan Gosling handsome, but better than a lot of guys on campus). The problem is, I’m not that popular and I’ve always had my close group of friends for the last year and a half. So I’m worried that if I do meet a girl there and anything happens, she might get laughed at by her friends for hooking up with a random guy that nobody knows. I know that sounds stupid but, like, should I be worried? Or should I just shoot my shot and see what happens?

I appreciate any advice

I need you to do something for me really quick. Pick up your phone, unlock it, and open the calendar app. What year does it say on the calendar? Oh, 2018? It’s the year of shooting your shot, bud. So with that out of the way, let’s work backwards into the rest of the novel you sent me.

So it’s all good that you “don’t wear cargo shorts,” but if you’re in one of your first few years of undergrad then chances are you dress like shit. That’s okay, because so do most of the people around you. I’d recommend checking out the work of our own Barrett Dudley for a few tips on how to dress a bit better.

It’s also fine that you’re no Ryan Gosling, because you absolutely don’t have to be. As long as you’re in mid physical condition and relatively clean-cut, you should be fine. The only actual problem you seem to have is that you don’t know a whole lot of people. I’m not about to recommend that you join your school’s chapter of Young SJW’s or Hentai Enthusiast Club, but you need to find some ways to get out there. Whatever you do, don’t fall into a routine of going to the same parties and doing the same things every weekend. If you get the opportunity to try something new or run with a different group of people, just pull the trigger. Best of luck.

Sup Wes,

I just rushed a fraternity this spring as a freshman and am stoked on getting a bid, but now a couple weeks into pledging some really serious health situations have come up as well as some heavy family stuff we’re dealing with. I’m considering dropping just to get a grip on life again but if I do that and decide to rush again in the fall, would dropping now hurt my chances with either this house or another one next semester?

Take some time to think through this whole situation. Will the issues you’re dealing with be over soon or do you see them having a major impact on your life for a long time? If the problems you’re having are ones that will pass pretty soon, then you might be better off just sticking it out. Pledging sucks, but it ends eventually.

If you think your problems might be serious enough to where you need to drop, then go ahead and drop. If you’re honest and up-front about why you’re dropping, then you should be welcomed back in next semester by your current house or another one. If the fraternity you’re pledging takes a hardline stance against letting you back in after having pledged there a few weeks, then it might be a sign that they suck ass. Better to look elsewhere in that case.

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WJ Cope

He's the real reason people say "No one likes you when you're 23."

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