The Crier’s Declassified School Survival Guide

Note: If you are of the age to understand this pop culture reference, this article may be of use to you!

  • If you can’t do college without student loans, consider the trades. There’s less prestige in it, but it’s good, honest and well-compensated work. Many high-prestige jobs (in media, for example) are low-pay, high-stress and not worth your time.
    • Business and psychology degrees are conferred on most undergrads. Business is learned by doing, and most psych majors don’t go on to work in mental health. These degrees are wasted time and wasted money.
  • Try to attend a university located in a town with an Anglican presence. Texas A & M has Anglican Aggies, a ministry of the Diocese of Fort Worth. If there are others, please let me know so I can update this post.
  • Develop a prayer rule in the summer before you go to college. If necessary, make it brief. Memorize a collect for the morning and a collect for the evening. But do something without fail, at intervals that cannot be changed, save by an act of God. Observe this rule perfectly for one week before you leave home.
    • Learn how to use your Book of Common Prayer. Don’t bother with other devotionals until you are proficient with it.
      • If you start a prayer group centered on the Daily Office, you’ll be surprised at how many Bapticostals will give it a shot and discover that our vain repetitions are entirely biblical.
  • Cultivate your secular interests, because they will do you more good than being an unhappy theology nerd. Do something social.
    • Most students go through a lonely phase because they neglect their social life. It’s worse when you belong to a tiny religion that nobody can pronounce.
  • Fulfill your prerequisites. Declare your major. In that order.
  • Don’t enter a major that is hostile to religion. You’ll just waste resources to find yourself on a blacklist. This isn’t the 50s. There are things that people like you don’t get to do anymore.
    • Check www.ratemyprofessors.com and ask around to see whether your professors will go after you for being religious. Be especially careful with the classes that you must pass to graduate. Take them online if necessary.
  • People you know will turn into party animals. Brace yourself. I don’t just mean that they’re going to be wild. I mean they’re going to engage in practices, and abuse substances, that you didn’t know existed. It will kill some of them before they turn 30. By senior year, you’ll hear about it every few months. I’m sorry.
  • Nondenominational Christian clubs like Intervarsity don’t want your kind because you’re high church. Go well out of your way to fellowship with other traditional Christians your age, if it’s possible in your area.
    • Conservative evangelicals may call you a cult member to get you out of “their” Bible studies. Back home, they can do that to Catholics. Some of them have “lost” loved ones to high church denominations. They think it serves you right.
  • Go out of your way to practice everyday life skills. Write checks. Change tires. Learn to make simple repairs. These skills degrade quickly. Your elders, who pressured you to spend your time studying and didn’t let you fix things around the house, will call you a stupid Millennial. They will wonder why someone didn’t raise you better.
  • If you can get an Honors degree or do postgrad work without burying yourself in debt or getting blacklisted, do it. Pretty soon, that probably won’t be possible. We need to acquire these assets while we still can.
  • Prepare (if possible, save money) for a long period of unemployment or underemployment after graduation. Unless you get the right internship, you will likely work at a restaurant or a side hustle for months before you get a real job. Your friends will lie about their success over pricey drinks at your favorite bar, but everyone moves back in with their parents. This is financially wise.
    • If you can’t move back home, search for housing several months in advance.
      • When you hang out with your friends over drinks at the local watering hole, buy domestic beer. They’re in credit card debt. You won’t be!
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