Life with a Beard: Your Guide to No Shave November

*Editor’s note*:  This month we’ll be selling the shirts seen below for $20, with 33% of the profits going towards Relay for Life. Relay is the largest non-sporting event on campus and is a crucial factor in spreading awareness and fundraising to turn the tide in the fight against cancer. Visit our new shop and buy one today here.

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Disclaimer: What you are about to read is a collaborative effort between El Greco and Nicky Diamonds. Warning: Some images are graphic and may be unsuitable for children. Viewer discretion is advised*

November is upon us yet again, and with it comes all the joys of fall and the beginning of the holiday season. Leaves cascade to the ground in a myriad of colors as students soak in the remaining few days of nice weather before the seven months of winter and 38 feet of snow hit. Girls are posting 140 second SnapChat stories from their Thursday nights at Venu. Our football team still fucking sucks. All is well at BC. But November itself is truly special for another reason: the preppy, nubile male faces that once roamed the halls and corridors (Greco: “Aren’t those the same words?” Nicky: “Shut up keep typing”) of Boston College have morphed into overgrown, pubic monstrosities that would befit a folk rock band. We’re talking, of course, about No Shave November, the 30 days each year where it becomes socially acceptable for college males to wholly neglect any semblance of hygiene or physical care. After all, November is a time for male exploration, a time to proudly strut into Eagle’s Nest looking as if you haven’t showered in three days. This, gentlemen, is true freedom. No Shave November affords us a new lease on life, an opportunity to break away from the status quo and become the person your mom always told you not to be.

Last November, as buoyant young freshmen whose souls and spirits hadn’t yet been crushed by the debilitating hell scape that is College Road (Update: This place still sucks), we eagerly embarked upon the long and mysterious journey that is No Shave November. After all, we had all the potential in the world. As men of Mediterranean descent, our fertile faces have been sprouting forth hair since when running faster than the other guys at recess made you cool (*Nicky and El Greco fondly reminisce about their 6th grade moustaches*). This was going to be the month of George and Nick. We were going to be the kings of campus, the envy of our fellow men, the objects of lust for the women of Boston College. Oh how wrong we were. What started as a fun competition amongst friends quickly devolved into what can most aptly be described as “Well…fuck.” A week into November, we both quickly realized what a hairy situation we had gotten ourselves into (*Greco high fives self, Nicky angrily leaves the room to compose himself*). Nevertheless, our prideful desire to fulfill our overconfident claims that we would, quote, “murder the beard game” forced us to extend No Shave November into No Shave Rest of First Semester. Our idealistic preconceptions quickly faded into disillusion when faced with the harsh reality that we both now looked like persons of interest in a home invasion case. Regardless, we stayed the course, and, after 6 arduous weeks, when it was all said and done, we came to a profound realization: we had just wasted half a semester of college looking like shit and frightening young children. So on the last day of finals, accepting defeat and wishing to be welcomed back into our homes for Christmas break, we finally opted to shave. Here are the results of our futile endeavor:

beard1
Dec. 16th, 2014

beard2
Nov. 1, 2014
While we’re aware that the images above are both shocking and displeasing to the eye, we hope that they won’t deter our male readers from foraying into the bearded realm. On the contrary, we believe that our misadventure, though harrowing and gross, can be used as a lesson for aspiring beardists (not a word) to hopefully create a more enjoyable No Shave November experience. So without further adieu, here are a few lessons we’ve learned that will enhance your beard growing endeavors, and hopefully prevent you from getting banned from all playgrounds in the state of Massachusetts.

First and foremost, your beard is not going to look as good as you think it will. Do not, I repeat, do not get your hopes up. It’s important to have realistic expectations. You are not going to look anything like this:

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NOT YOU
Let’s be real, if you’re a soft 6 now, growing a rug on your face isn’t going to turn you into Prince Charming. So when you stride into the dining hall two weeks into November looking like a dog with alopecia, do not believe your boys when they tell you that your beard looks sick.

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It does not. It’s fucking gross. You know. They know. Everyone knows. More importantly, you also know that theirs looks like shit, too. And you know they know. And they know you know that they know. You know? (*George punches Nick and takes laptop back*) Essentially what we’re trying to say here is that you all know you don’t look that great, but no one is willing to admit it. Such is the beauty of No Shave November; everyone is willing to go the distance and look like shit, as long as you’re all looking like shit together. You know, collective shit. (*George sends Nick into hallway to “think about what he’s done”*)

This sense of camaraderie is an essential aspect of No Shave November. Especially if you live on CoRo like us, this is literally all you’ve got. For example, writing this article is the first time Nicky and I have spoken in two weeks, and tension is definitely high (He’s still on timeout in the hallway). While I’m on the subject, I’m not actually sure what’s become of the other guys on my floor. We haven’t seen Alex Fields in well over a month. He very well may be dead. There’s a fairly powerful odor being emitted from his room that we’ve just sort of been ignoring. If anyone has any information regarding his whereabouts, please discretely contact us via one of the two modes of communication on CoRo: carrier pigeon and smoke signal.

Anyways…

Like we were saying, it’s very important to keep your expectations grounded. This applies especially to women. Contrary to popular belief, girls are not that into guys who look like they stumbled off the set of Castaway.

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Unless you have a man bun, that shit is fuego (*Nick is harshly chastised and sent back into the hallway*). But seriously, your beard will only hinder your romantic prospects. Be honest with yourself. You weren’t getting laid before; your face looking like it just discovered puberty won’t exactly seal the deal with the ladies. Best-case scenario, your beard will endear you to a very specific female demographic. This includes, but is not limited to, hot topic employees, residents of Portland, Oregon, motorcycle aficionados, and Ronda Rousey (probably). If at any point during this month, a girl that you find legitimately attractive shows even a modicum of interest in you, run. There’s no chance she’s actually about it; you look like shit, let’s be real. Please take this advice so you don’t end up hogtied in some crazy chick’s basement on Kirkwood. Trust us, girls don’t want guys that look like they should be dispersing religious warnings on the T.

While it’s important to temper expectations, be wary of becoming too in touch with your actual reality. That’s just never a good look. Last time you tried to get real with yourself, you ended up crying at the end of Boyhood and sitting in your forced triple in CLXF for three hours contemplating what the fuck you’ve done with your life.

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So don’t do that. This same principle applies to your life with a beard. While it’s important to be aware of the fact that you now share a number of physical attributes with a homeless person, you shouldn’t fixate on that reality. One big thing you can do to ensure this is to avoid mirrors, like all of them. It’s just less depressing that way. Plus every time you see your own reflection, you think that it’s either about to mug you or ask you for spare change. For the most part, you just have to let the beard take control of you and do its thing. For example, if you find yourself getting really into the banjo, don’t fight it. Just let it happen.

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And of course, one of the genuinely best things about No Shave November is that it is so much more than just an excuse to let yourself go for a month. More often than not, the movement is employed to raise awareness for legitimate causes, such as finding a cure for cancer. This month, Chestnut Trill is teaming up with BC Relay for Life to play our part in finding that cure. For the month of November, we will be selling the shirts at the top of this post for $20, with 33% of the profits going towards Relay. I know what you’re saying: “That’s impossible! 33%? Madness! There’s no way Chestnut Trill is able to pull that off!” I’m here to tell you that it is indeed happening. That’s Chestnut Trill for you, folks: making the impossible possible everyday.

And thus, the month of November is upon us. We extend our best wishes to our beardists (still not a word) out there; we hope our story and the lessons we’ve learned aid you in your quest. We’d love to keep in touch with you guys over the next month and have y’all send in submissions of pictures/stories regarding the best/worst facial hair you’ve seen/grown, and ideally drop an article at the end of the month chronicling your submissions and the BC No Shave November Experience. So feel free to send some smoke signals on up to Welch or hit us up at chestnuttrill@gmail.com

Best of luck gents, and, as always, keep it Trill.

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