Nickelodeon addicts grew up watching Ned Bigby, Jennifer "Moze" Mosely and Simon "Cookie" Nelson-Cook survive seventh and eighth grades at James K. Polk Middle School. The trio from "Ned's Declassified School Survival Guide" compiled a list of tips to help you deal with the bullies, insane school teachers and gross school lunches that every school -- on-screen or in real life -- has.
MTV News recently caught up with Devon Werkheiser to talk about what he's up to since the show wrapped in 2007. Werkheiser, 24, starred as Ned from ages 12 to 15. We asked him to update the survival guide for fans who are now in college or entering the big, bad, scary real world -- and he didn't disappoint.
"I wrote some [tips] down last night because I want to get these right," Werkheiser told us, laughing. "I didn't go to college so I can't really speak on specific college experience[s] ... so I'll give my tips for life."
Here's the unofficial declassified life survival guide you've been waiting for. Just remember, results may vary.
Always be learning.
"Always be a student. As we go through school, we set our sights on post-school life -- what's gonna happen there and whether we're afraid of or excited about it. To me, it sort of felt like, 'Oh, and then education stops and life begins.' But life is education. Even after school is done, always be learning -- read, go to workshops, watch TED talks, YouTube videos, do more than just entertain yourself. Question things and search for truth, whatever that means to you. Be a student of life forever. ... Look for chances to learn, not chances to show off how much you know or defend how right you are. Learn to listen."
Discover your passion and get out of your comfort zone.
"Some of us know it at age six like I did, but not all of us do, and that's totally OK. But that doesn't mean you have to settle and let your life happen to you where you don't feel like you have any passion. You do, it's somewhere, so you gotta get out there and try things. You gotta get out of your comfort zone. A lot of us confuse the things that we're comfortable with with the things that we are passionate for. People think, 'No, I'm just this way.' No, you're just comfortable being that way. But stretch yourself, do things that scare you, things that excite and challenge you and find out what it is you want to give to the world -- not get from it."
"One of the best things in life is [to] be of service, so be open to opportunities to help out. It's one of the easiest ways to feel fulfilled. And if you're creative about it, it doesn't have to be a huge sacrifice. You don't have to be giving up your life to give to something. You can serve a purpose, give back, have fun and meet a bunch of cool people ... [who] feel empowered within their relationships with each other because they're all working as a team to give back to [a cause]."
Develop some sort of spiritual practice.
"All this means is to nurture your heart and develop a relationship and practice with it -- meditation, yoga, prayer, tai chi, watching sunrises or sunsets, walking through nature. Something where your attention rests on the present moment, not the future that you're creating or the past you're wishing was different. Something that involves breathing and silence. You don't have to be all hippie to do this."
"It's just that we live in a very fast and loud world. We are constantly engaged with technology and entertaining our boredom. Cultivate a practice of connecting to the present moment, of taking care of your heart and putting your attention on stillness and silence, of putting your attention on the beauty of nature and keep a consistent practice of this. You'll discover that the real joy of life can never be found in the past or future. The real joy of life can only be found in you, here and now."
Stop searching for someone to come along and complete you.
"Work on yourself. It is not easy, but do the work to learn how to love yourself, to love being on your own, to date yourself. Learn how to treat yourself and others the way you want to be treated. Learn how to show up for yourself and others the way you want someone to show up for you. This is so important, because so many people out there are just looking for that relationship to make their whole life better, and it's just not gonna work. That's not the way life works. It starts with you."
"We all face overwhelming feelings of loneliness at times, even when things are good, even when you're in a relationship sometimes. You have to practice facing that loneliness and not escaping from it. If you do that, when the time is right, someone will come along that's worth your time, and you'll know the worth of your time. You'll be able to judge whether they are worth your time, because you love yourself."
When you do find someone, wait.
"Some people aren't going to like this one, but it's something that I feel [is important]. If you feel like you're ready for a great relationship ... and you're out there dating and you find someone that you really like, wait to have sex. ... It's totally OK to be empowered in your sexuality and own it and not hide it. Being sexual is an amazing part of being a human, and it's nothing to be ashamed of."
"I think that when you're trying to get to know someone and really trying to see if you guys can create something together ... and create a relationship and if they really are worth your time and energy -- while you're trying to figure that out, hold off on having sex. Get to know their mind and their humor and how they treat people and how they treat you. Don't just dive in right away."
"As we grow up we get to let go of the adolescent urge to fit in. Being a kid is a lot harder than kids get credit for. It's really hard. Kids can be so mean, and being cool can seem so important -- whatever cool means. Being popular can seem so important, and a lot of us forget to let go of that once we become an adult. So don't worry about cool. Cool is not real, and normal is not real. Be your weird, silly self. If you get excited about things you're embarrassed about, let that go. Just be excited about what you're excited about."
"I mean, look, we all care about what people think to some degree, but try and let go of that. Just be a weirdo, and you will attract friends who ... want to be weird with you and that's one of the joys of life. I think it's really hard right now with all this social media and celebrity-worshipping, where we think that we have to be cool and have the nice car and have all the money and have the good clothes and have to be super suave, but it's fake. It's not real. No one's that suave all the time. No one looks that good all the time. No one is that poised. No one is that cool ... so let go of wanting that and be yourself. And if you don't know who you are, then do the work to find out what that means."