Tis the season of high school graduation. My Facebook feed is filled with pictures of fresh-faced graduates and proud parents. What an exciting, bittersweet time for the entire family. Even though it’s been thirty-four (yikes) years since I graduated from high school, I remember the feeling. Freedom. My unwritten life could finally begin.
In a snap, my own children donned caps and gowns and graduated from high school. How did that happen so fast?
Even though they grew up in a different place and time, I did my best to prepare them for college. So far, they haven’t moved back home.
Here is my list of thirteen essential skills for every college freshman. What would you add?
- How to Make Decisions. Your helicopter parent won’t be flying off to college with you. Make decisions, but don’t be afraid to change your mind.
- You are NOT a Rock Star. No matter how talented and brilliant you were in high school, you will be surrounded by many, many over-achieving freshman in college.
- Because you aren’t a Rock Star, you won’t be drafted by the NBA. Take time to learn who you are, but choose a major wisely. Preferably something that includes a paycheck when you graduate. If you graduate from college with a large student loan, will that job on the backend cover it? Ever?
- Learn to do laundry and clean a bathroom. Do both regularly. You weren’t raised in a barn, or maybe you were, but let’s keep that a secret.
- Understand how to budget money. It truly doesn’t grow on trees. No one (parents, government, professors) owes you anything.
- Work hard. It still may not be good enough.
- Not everyone will like you and that’s okay.
- Don’t be a know it all. Listen more than you speak. But speak up in class occasionally.
- Go to class. Simple.
- Meet your professors. They can be your biggest allies. If they don’t know your name, they can’t.
- Don’t worry about being best friends with your first roommate. But do be respectful of one another.
- Be careful and smart. There will be lots of temptations. The world is full of crazy people. Don’t be one of them.
- Call your mother. She misses you.
Happy Graduation! Happy Summer!
Grace Grits and Gardening
Farm. Food. Garden. Life.
Unwritten, Natasha Bedingfield