I’m the eldest of 6, so through the years I have always tried to somewhat set an example for my siblings to follow. I may not have been the best example at times, but perhaps it was better than no example at all. In May, 3 of my siblings will be graduating from High School & will be packing for college. The moment is bittersweet, but also is a privilege that often times others do not get the opportunity to experience. So since my siblings have that experience waiting for them in a few short months (Lord willing), I have been debating on what sort of graduation gift to give them. Then I thought what is the best gift to give someone when they are heading in to the unknown… knowledge. Here is the letter I wrote to all of my siblings in hopes that throughout their 4 years in University, they will re-read this & remember these 12 things to get them through.
- High School’s Over & a New Chapter is Beginning – New place, new you, & new beginnings. For some, moving away to college and leaving behind places & people can be tough and hard to adjust. Remember, “every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end”.
- SparkNotes Won’t Always Give You the Answers – Some things, but not all, are worth devoting your full attention to. Remember, you’re investing in yourself so make it worth it.
- Some Professor’s Suck – There will be a time (or times) when you get less than what you deserve & feel like a Professor is out to get you. You won’t always get along with your superiors, but some times you have to learn how to. Remember, use this time as a learning experience because Professors just turn into Bosses & grades turn into paychecks.
- There’s More to College Than Greek Parties, Tailgating, & Bar Hopping – Make experiences the most rememberable with those that truly matter. Remember, the experiences you get from college are what you make of it.
- It’s Not the End of the World If You Change Your Major – Don’t waste your time, or money, on a major that you are not passionate about. If you become a 5th year senior, it’s okay, & it’s more common than you think. Remember, not everyone gets into a career that was related to their major.
- Your Thoughts & Beliefs Will Be Challenged – You will begin to question everything. Use this time to learn about other people’s beliefs & opinions, but also discover your own. Be open-minded, but also stay true to yourself. Remember, if it doesn’t challenge you, it won’t change you & sometimes change is good.
- You’ll Lose Touch With Old Friends But You’ll Gain New & Better Ones In Return – The friendships you’ll develop in college will last into your adulthood, so take some time to get to know others. Remember, networking is everything & it starts in college.
- Just Like High School, the First Semester (or Year) is the Hardest – Getting adjusted takes time and can be really scary for some. Don’t be ashamed to be homesick. Remember, home is never far.
- Participating in Class is No Longer Lame – The classes in your major have focus on your interest in a future career, so be present & attentive in class. And for goodness sake… Don’t sit in the last row! Remember, you get what you give.
- Seek a Tutor, Even the Smart Kids Need it Too – College has tutors on-site for you, and majority of the time, the tutor’s are your peers. Since you are paying for the class, get your money’s worth. Trust me, Economics is no walk in the park. Remember, it’s okay to ask for help.
- The Freshman-15 is Real – Take advantage of the free Rec-Center on campus; take the kickboxing class, climb the rock wall, or even practice a little yoga. Because once you’ve graduated, the classes are no longer free. Remember, take some time for you.
- College is Just a Season, of Many, In Your Life – Don’t take everything too seriously, but also don’t be too irresponsible. Classmates pass away like clock work at the beginning & the end of each semester from either a suicide, alcohol poisoning, or drug overdose. Remember, hakuna matata… but wisely.
As always, thanks for stopping by & until next time…