I loved this recent post by Karen Dilbeck and just had to share it. I think that you will love it, too!
“As we dumped each of our three boys at their respective colleges, I slipped an envelope onto their pillows.
That envelope contained two decades of brilliant advice on many of the intricacies of life from road trips and beer to porn and dating to fraternities and stupid stuff. (Connecting the dots, optional.)
One son stuck it on his bulletin board where it stayed all year. Another son carried it around in his back pocket and made his friends read it–one of his friends absconded it and reprinted in the UA student newspaper.
The other son? Ahhhhhh, it may still be in the original envelope! 🙂
Sending kids off to college ain’t easy…after all, for many, it truly is a 4 (or 5 or 6) year party. So unsolicited advice, especially from mom, may not be, uh, appreciated. That, however, didn’t stop me from putting it out there!
Herein lies the greatly abbreviated version:
Alphabetical Advice from Your Mama
Accept personal responsibility. If you do something wrong, don’t try to run from the consequences. Face them head on.
Appearance. Caring about your appearance means you care about yourself.
Authenticity. Be the same with everyone, all the time, no matter where you go.
Authority. Always honor those in authority over you with your lips and your actions. Make the decision not to make disparaging remarks behind their backs. You’ll never regret not doing that. (Yes, that’s a double negative.)
Average. It takes so little to be above average. Really. (Just look around.)
Beer. You can legally try it when you are 21. It dulls the brain and heightens your ability to make really stupid decisions. (Note: Stupid Stuff)
Bible. Read it. If it bores you, ask God why and don’t be surprised by the answer.
Church. Make sure you enjoy the relationships at the church of your choosing. Make sure you get involved in SOME way.
Cynicism. Defined as pessimism, sarcasm, and suspicion. Allowing this into your conversation results in skepticism in life, disparaging remarks about everything and everyone, and distrust of those once close to you. It coughs up like the Swine Flu so no one wants to be around it. Avoid it at ALL COST!
Dating. Take girls out on REAL DATES! Every date helps you to hone down what you want and don’t want in a future bride.
Decision making. DON’T make decisions based on emotion–make them based on wisdom. Most of the time, small decisions are bigger (and have greater consequences) than the big ones.
Drugs. (Illegal and legal) They are not an option for your life. Don’t take any prescription meds without your name on the little plastic bottle. Leave the pot for potheads…they are going absolutely nowhere.
Education. It’s why you are there. It is priority. It’s expensive. Get our money’s worth. Really.
Eating. Be aware of what you eat and if you are eating. Eating and drinking lots of junk will screw up your system.
Eternity. Think about it. It is real.
Eyes. Avoid pollen and porn. Both are irritants that will totally alter your vision of reality and make you itch when you need to be doing other things.
Family. We are always available. Always. (That is, unless we’ve “go on”.) And no, we won’t be mad at you if something stupid happens. (Refer to “stupid stuff”)
Fraternity. It’s not life. Just a part of it. Don’t sell your soul, your morals, your ethics or yourself to it. Be real in it. Don’t waste the myriad of opportunities that God gives you there.
Friends. Treat them how you want them to treat you, even when they don’t deserve it. Dispense grace freely. You will never regret doing that–Never. Build a good range/type of friends and try to talk with them deeply. Care about them and ask them occasionally how they really are, and really listen to their answer.
Gift. Know your natural and spiritual gifts and use them correctly (vs. incorrectly)
Girls. They are nothing but trouble and they can be sneaky so beware. HA. Treat all girls like ladies, even when they are not acting like ladies. That is a true gentleman. Avoid the easy ones.
God. Spend time on that relationship daily. God is a rewarder of those who seek Him. Trust Him, especially in the dark. There will be lots of dark.
Honesty. Don’t ever hedge around the truth. Ever. Not even once under any circumstance. If the truth ain’t good enough, the truth ain’t good enough.
Humble. Be humble. Take the least seat, the last place, the lowest job. Rewards abound.
Hygiene. Don’t run out of deodorant, toothpaste or body wash. Wear a drop or two of men’s cologne when trying to impress, but not more. It chases people off if you do.
Ignore. Ignore the voices. There will always be voices.
Injuries. Broken hearts heal, nurse them but not too much or people won’t want to be around you. Broken bones need casts. Broken skin needs Neosporin. Broken souls need Jesus.
Jesus. Get to know Him better. He will be more faithful than your friends, your brothers or your parents. He “gets” where you are in life.
Kangaroos. This has nothing to do with your college experience unless you transfer to Austin College in Sherman, Texas (yes, they are the mascot there).
Laziness. Avoid it. If you have too much time on your hands, get a new hobby that doesn’t have anything to do with a computer or television.
Life. Embrace, don’t simply endure, wherever your feet are at the moment. No regrets.
Liquor. (see beer)
Mirrors. Look in them once a day to check for stuff in your teeth and to make sure you know who is looking back. Make sure you like who is looking back. If you don’t, get a new mirror.
Money. Enjoy what money you got. Don’t enjoy money you don’t got. Don’t be a servant to your money. It is there to serve you. Tithe it every time you make it.
Morals. They as important to your present as they are for your future.
Networking. Never negate the power of networking. Never negate anyone in networking. Don’t be exclusive. Be sincere with the highest and the lowest.
No. Good word to use when your friends ask you to go out and you have school work to do. School is why you are there.
Others. Look for the “least of these” and be kind to them. You will never regret doing that.
Parents. We will treat you like an adult and we expect you to act like one. But, we are still your parents. So, when you need a shoulder to cry on, we have four!
Politics. Listen more than talk. Weigh your words carefully before you talk.
Pray. Learn to pray about the little things. You will be pleasantly surprised.
Pro-Active. Be pro-active about your classes, your major, your college jobs and your career. Take pro-active steps in your life. Meet and be-friend the professors and the deans. Shake hands. Go to the optional meetings. Remember names.
Quiet time. Personal quiet time is good. You need it more than you realize.
Remember. Remember who you are and WHOSE you are.
Reputation. It is a lot easier to screw it up then it is to maintain it. It also always goes before you.
Rest. If you don’t rest, irritability and irrationality visits you and bad decisions can possibly be made. Napping in moderation is good.
Road trips. Make as many as you can if a) you can afford it, b) it doesn’t affect your day-to-day education.
Roommates. When you are ticked at them do something nice for them. It is a good pattern to get into. And it works wonders.
Sex. It’s how girls get pregnant. Wait for marriage. It is worth it. No regrets.
Smoking. It’s illegal until you are 19. It causes cancer. Girls don’t like kissing smokers unless they are drunk and drunk girls don’t make good wives. Listerine don’t hide the odor.
Snobbery. You are not better than anyone.
Stupid Stuff. It happens. Get it right, then get over it. (Proverbs says: Fall down seven times, get up eight.)
Television. Don’t watch too much. It drains your brain.
Tongue. Guard yours or it will bite you.
Underwear. Make sure you always have some that is clean.
Venereal disease. It’s fairly simple to avoid, so avoid it.
Video Games. If you are more proud of your game scores than your GPA, be concerned.
Weather. Dress appropriately. Wear a coat when it is cold so you won’t get sick.
Xcess. Anything in excess is not good for you. Especially M&M’s.
Yodeling. It relieves tension.
Z. Get some zzzzz’s every night. Napping in moderation is good.