Monday, August 22, 2011

Monday List #17

My Kid starts college today. Honestly I woke up this morning and thought, "What the hell, I'm not old enough to have a kid in college!" Alas, it's true.

I had a great time in college. Those days seem so long ago but also right there on the edge of my memory. So for today's Monday list I thought I would share some of the lessons I learned in college and hope that he experiences some of the best years of his life.

  1. Embrace each other's differences. When I attended Ohio University in Athens Ohio, I was one of the only students from out of state, most of my classmates were from small towns throughout Ohio. Some were raised on farms, others were from affluent suburbs around larger cities and a few were "townies" from Athens. It was wonderful to attend a college where you could start over, leave your high school friends behind, embrace different clubs, perhaps join a sorority or fraternity like I did, try out different intermural sports and figure out who you were and who you wanted to be. I made wonderful friends, who still 20+ years later are some of the closest and most important people in my life. I hope for my son that he meets people that change his life.
  2. Study. I was one of those college students who changed majors frequently and only studied for a final the night before in an "all-nighter". At one point I was a theater major and thankfully didn't have a lot of finals in my classes. I tried it all, CPR classes, dance, psychology, English major...It broadened my views of the world and introduced me to interesting and diverse people. I hope for my son that he studies, no matter what he chooses to major in. Don't wait until the night before.
  3. Stick to the meal plan. My Kid is 6'7 and over 200 lbs. Trying to keep him fed is like feeding a small group of starving boy scouts in the wilderness. Sometimes I just leave the food out and get out of the way. I will be happy when I can sign him up for the largest meal plan the college offers. It's also a great way to get to know your classmates. Talking over an early morning meal or late night pizza binge, but remember you cannot survive for 4 years on food that is served in tinfoil wrappers.
  4. Participate. Don't be the kid sitting in his room playing video games or sad songs on your guitar. Sports, clubs, Greek life, student life, just do it all. You only have 1 small part of your life in college. Don't regret not experiencing it.
  5. Find your core group of friends. You won't survive college without a posse. You will find them in your classes, or where you live, or by your social interests. You will find your wingman who will be by your side for all your crazy schemes. Your friends will be there every morning when you are hung over (come on, it's going to happen), every night while you study (I hope) and on the occasional weekend when you need a ride home to see your Mom (count on it). These friends will still be there when you meet "the one" and later when you graduate, get hired at your first job, marry, and have your first child.
I hope you have it all Kid. I'll be here at home when you need a break.

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