Through a collection of true stories this author creates a situational “self-help” book when it comes to relationships in college.
Now a junior at Luther College Joram Mutenge writes about his early college experiences when it comes to his “unsuccessful relationship adventures” in his book “Lonely Boy 21: The Sorrows & Regrets of Being Single in College.” Mutenge’s project is ongoing posting a story every Saturday. The first 10 stories in his collection will be available online as the rest of his planned total of 15 stories will be available once the print version of the book is sold. Each story is 100 percent true with the only thing being different is Mutenge changing the names of the characters, he said.
“The whole idea [was] I wanted to write an honest story so, as Kevin Hart says, you can laugh at my pain,” Mutenge said.
With this book being a “self-help” book there’s a twist in his style of writing this genre.
“I give you something to look at and say ‘this isn’t right’…I’m not telling you what to do,” Mutenge said. “Each story is a situation. ‘Hey, this is what I did.’”
Each chapter is a true situational story Mutenge encountered and from there readers decide what he should have done.
Opening the book Mutenge writes: “If there’s one thing I’ve learned in my college years it’s that being nice doesn’t always pay, in fact, it rarely pays.” Through the stories Mutenge writes readers will get a glimpse at exactly what he means as he’s a believer in the adage “nice guys finish last.”
“That is so true,” he said. “Its unfortunate that its the truth. You have to know truth hurts.”
Citing a saying from George Orwell, in which he also quotes in his book, that after the age 20 no one cares if you’re nice and from experience he’s learned how to deal with this by staying true to himself rather than doing what he feels is popular or people pleasing. Before he learned this lesson he acted differently.
“I was trying to portray an impeccable image of myself. I wasn’t true to myself,” Mutenge said.
Since last month Mutenge has been dropping chapters of his book on a weekly basis and has ran into people that can relate. One reader told Mutenge his stories are “painfully honest,” but while the book may tell hurting truths the style in which he writes reflect his fun, “happy-go-lucky” personality where the stories aren’t depressing, they’re funny with stamps of truth on it.
Just as Mutenge performs poetry in a similar style to poet George Watsky, they talk about hard lessons they learned in life but in a funny way that entertains people. While Mutenge provides entertainment with his book he’s hoping to offer a little more to people.
“This is a way to opening up the message,” Mutenge said.
A message showing no matter how many students on campus may fake they are in a good place many are struck in unhealthy relationships or can’t get in relationships, he said. With this book’s collection of stories it serves as an icebreaker to spark conversations on this topic.
“It gives them a form of courage to speak for themselves,” Mutenge said. This book “intends to open your mind.”
While Mutenge continues to write chapters in his book he’s found it to be a “cathartic” process.
“I write these stories to see what situations I can avoid,” Mutenge said. “It gives me a third eye to see what I could have done better.”
By Gino Terrell