Everyday Living, Random!, Relationships

Advice for grads

The Class of 2010 is hitting me hard this year – no less than five loved ones are graduating from high school and making their way into the Great Beyond. Luckily for me, three of those graduates are triplets and they are having a combined party, so my road trips aren’t as numerous as they could be.

The other day as I was thinking of these kids – I traveled with the triplets when I was in college and when they were eight years old, one of the grads is my oldest nephew Kyle and Ashley has been a longtime family friend – I found myself thinking of some of the mistakes that I made in college (beyond getting a credit card) and finding myself writing down a list of totally unsolicited advice that I want to give to them.

Here it is:

– Don’t smoke. I don’t care if it’s cool, I don’t care if you only light up when you’re drinking – it’s a terrible habit. And spendy – both financially and health-wise.
– Listen to more music and watch less TV. So what if all of your friends have “Friends” night in the TV room in your dorm (does that date me?), college is a good time to get introduced to some great tunes. A lot of colleges have college radio stations …
– Matinees are cheaper than regular movie times. Yeah, that’s a pretty darn obvious piece of advice, but when I was in college, it wasn’t really cool to go to matinees.
– Don’t skip classes. That’s lame.
– Live within your means. That means if you can’t afford pizza for a late night study session, don’t put it on your credit card.
– Get into a fitness routine.
– Walk and bike whenever you can.
– Have random adventures with random people. (I’m remembering a night when I watched a meteor shower with a couple of friends – they weren’t among my closest circle of friends, but I jumped when I was invited. Even if the peak of the shower wasn’t until 2 a.m., it was one of the most amazing nights of my college life.)
– Conversely, listen to your gut when it comes to meeting people. Also, be careful about walking and biking after dark. Safety in numbers … when it comes to trekking home from the bars, stay with your friends. Don’t think you’re being silly for calling security for an escort home if you’re on campus and walking home after a late night study session.
– Make friends with people outside of your comfort zone.
– Even if you don’t like someone, don’t be a jerk to them. Life is long, you never know when you’re going to run into them again.
– If you’re overwhelmed in your studies, ask for help. If you need a tutor, many colleges have free or reasonable programs that help students.
– Don’t be too hard on yourself.
– Pay any parking tickets you acquire on campus. You never know when they’ll withhold your grades until those are paid.

If I sat here long enough, I could come up with more, but for now – that’s what I have. My heartfelt best wishes for the Class of 2010!

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3 thoughts on “Advice for grads

  1. Matinees? That is truly dating yourself — college kids steal movies 24/7 on bitTorrent. In terms of frugality at least they are one step ahead of you.

  2. What a wonderful list of little bits of advice. I wish I’d been better about skipping classes. I rarely did it but I still regret skipping at least one class. I managed to drop an “A” to a “B” in one class simply by missing a single session of one class!

    As someone who is now a TA, allow me to add, “Go to office hours, TAs and professors (generally) don’t suck – and you will do better in the class, especially if you need help.” I almost never have students come to my office hours, and it bums me out, because I am very willing to help, and I hate to give students poor grades, even if they earned them. Come see me!

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