We have a grandchild about to embark on the grand adventure of college. She will learn so much, some of which she will learn in class and much of which she will learn outside of class. But the need to pass along ‘wisdom’ is strong in us, even though we well know that no one, ourselves included, really learns anything except by experience – personal experience.
But here goes, anyway:
Make your bed first thing every morning; that gives you a sense of order and control and helps organize your mind for the day.
Smile a lot; it will amaze some people and confuse the rest. They will think you know something they don’t, and they will probably be right.
Talk to a member, any member, of your family regularly. You can do so by phone, text, or the social media you use so well, but keep in touch with those who know and love you best.
Be careful. Some of your new friends and acquaintances will be valuable associates you will hopefully keep for a lifetime; some will have their own agendas which may not be to your best interest. Remember what our friend Will S. said, “…one may smile and smile and be a villain.”
On that same note, remember that a college campus is not necessarily a benign place. It is open to the world, it is not ‘safe’ in some places just as nearly anywhere else is not, and so you should practice going about in groups of at least you and one other, and avoiding dark places late at night. This will be good practice for after college. You know this, just remember it.
Most of us would not dream of starving our bodies of food repeatedly, but we practice a type of starvation when we do not get enough sleep. Get enough sleep most of the time, so that when you must or wish to keep long hours, you can still think clearly.
Don’t get so busy that you forget to drink lots of water or you’ll be so very sorry.
Move – every day. Walk everywhere you can do so safely and relatively comfortably; you won’t be young always, even though you think so now, and you’ll be smarter, healthier and happier if you move, a lot.
Always, always, always, remember you are loved. That you have always been loved, and that you will always be loved. If you make mistakes, you will still be loved. We do not think you are perfect, only that you are wonderful, and that we love you. All of us.