Relax, guys. No matter how much you puff out of it, I’ve learned there are just certain things in life you can’t avoid. Asshole landlords, for instance. Sleeping through your 8 a.m. section – even if you somehow showed up. Running into your exes on the way to class. Fake smiles. Christmas shoppers. Cramming. Most recently, though, it’s been the ever-present cliché. And as much as I hate the bastard, when it’s rained lately, it’s fucking poured.

Your thumb and forefinger kick off the process. You packed it properly, clear consistency. The extra time you spent on the crutch is even making your taste buds dribble. You roll the corner tightly under, go to lick – and splat. What was once your ticket to ride is now strewn across your living room carpet. And while I may be the biggest supporter of the five-second rule, ground weed is about as easy to pluck from the floor as melting ice cream – you may get a few tasty morsels from your efforts, but some dirty pube could be clinging on to make you regret your hasty decision.

It’s a few hours into the new year and half your cabin is passed out in their own vomit. You’re so stoned you could be drunk, but it’s hard to tell in a room awash in purple haze. You venture outside into the dark black Tahoe night, maybe bum a cigarette from the corpse who bummed one off you earlier in the evening. Props to your memory, but even that seems hazy now. Soon you start to notice it isn’t just your eyesight. Is our fucking chimney on fire? The firefighters reaffirm your suspicions.

Two days back home now and you and your mom have already shared some gnarly verbal tussles. A few made the Top Ten list for sure – maybe simply for their utter hilarity. But what else are families for? Your dad’s paying for college, but what’s the need when your mom is doing all the lecturing? Then your little brother jumps in the ring, starts bitching at you like a soon-to-be ex-wife. Did he really just tell you to man up? Like whoa, where’s Steve Buscemi handcuffed on an airplane with a bunch of convicts when you need him? Hey broseph: Define irony.

Five a.m. and you feel a drop of cold water kerplunk you in the face. Roll over. Now 5:01 a.m. and another plops you on the skull. Mother fucker. It may have led to some monster downpours around the Bay, but now the storm is throwing a surprise party under your covers. Nothing like spending your winter break stuck in a hyphy downpour, getting your roof tarped over what was once your leaky bedroom ceiling.

Your gaslight blinks on. Apparently your brain didn’t get the memo – you remembered stashing in it on the last pit stop. But now you’re stuck coasting the 101, praying to the chariot gods you’ll stretch it to Buellton on fumes. Then the gas gives out and that familiar rumble of the wheel. At least your girl’s car managed to roll to a halt five feet from a big, bright yellow call box. Thanks for the help, Helios. Maybe the rain clouds jammed up the transmission. At least you didn’t set anything on fire. Speaking of which… where’s the weed at?

Incoming call: Dad. You’re buckling down for the long haul when he suddenly starts talking the most sense he’s made in years.

Try to forget your troubles, Tiger. You’ve got lots to learn in the strawberry fields of the world and dwelling on the crap will only cloud your skies. Confront everything as it comes, but never glance back unless you’re looking to learn.

Forrest Gump was right: Shit happens – to everyone. You’re not alone. There will be some puddles along the way. Just flip to the last page of Siddhartha and understand you’re simply a nug drifting in a sparkling river of dank weed. The horror.