College – Year One

To My Children,

Off to college. Wow. I guess it is time to start that college savings account your Mom and I have been talking about. You may find this hard to believe, but I actually remember college. I remember some of my goofy English professors who looked like they had not seen a barber since sixth grade. I remember “all nighters”, when instead of not studying at all I needed to crack open the books until the wee hours – 9:00 – 9:30 tops. I remember spending almost all my time in the gym playing basketball and wishing I had a passion for my major like I did for making a 20’ set shot. I remember cramming the 4 of us carpoolers into the little Toyota Corolla each day and walking from the Talent Hall parking lot uphill neither way. Most of all I remember college went by way too fast and I probably made way too many wrong turns along the way.

As you head off to college, find a passion for learning and be willing to listen to what your heart tells you about what you should do with your life to make a difference in others. Don’t shy away from something because you don’t feel you would be good at it or you feel it will lead you outside your comfort zone. When you are my age and looking back at how you have used the things you have learned to help others, don’t be stuck looking at it with a what might have been, but rather with a what has been and smile. Enjoy your first year and try to get a sense of what direction you should take.

Cherish the friendships you will make and don’t fail to cherish even more the friendships already made and a part of your life. Be the one to stay in touch. It will be far too easy to grow apart from those people who you’ve enjoyed and made memories with long before college was an ACT away. Maintaining friendships requires time and effort. Never be the one waiting for the other to make the contact. Give yourself reminders to call, to write, to e-mail, to hug, to laugh and do it. Unfortunately, the friends I had when young have for the most part moved out of my life and I have done poorly in the area of lets stay in touch . I think guys struggle with this a little more than girls, but that is really no excuse. While your really close friends may never number more than the fingers on your right hand, make it a goal that they never slip through those fingers.
I can’t speak to the life in the dorm. I was a full-time commuter andI never had the joy of sharing the bathroom with 20 other guys in desperate need of a shower. Stay focused on what is important both in your walk with the Lord, life outside of school and your education.

Here are some random thoughts about my years, about 13 in all, in the world of higher education.
Skipping class, while not uncommon, is not a terribly good idea. If you attend class, you will almost certainly know what the professor thinks is important and life will be that much easier.
Don’t procrastinate. You will hear folks talk about how late they stayed up studying as almost a badge of honor. To me it is a badge of confusion, as in why are you so confused that you need to spend all night studying.
When in doubt, choose answer c.
Get some exercise.
Use the library a lot. Great place to study, relax,

Love You,
Dad

 

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