Here's a deceptively simple question sure to keep you up at night tossing and turning with regret: If you could go back in time, what would you tell yourself as a college freshman? Now let's up the ante a bit: What will you tell your KID as a college freshman?
Thankfully I still have a few years to figure out what I'm going to tell my kids, but considering how clueless I was at that age (not that I had a clue about how clueless I was, of course), I'm guessing that list of Do's and Don'ts is gonna be pretty long, so I might as well get started now.
Here's what I've got so far:
10 Ways to Not Spend College Completely Screwing Up the Rest of Your Life
1. Learn the difference between recklessness and fearlessness. (One will kill you, the other will make you stronger.)
2. Never change your major/schools/politics/hair color/clothes because some guy/girl you're dating said you should.
3. Don't pass out drunk around people who have access to permanent markers.
4. Don't do anything illegal ... but if you DO, for the love of god, don't film/photograph yourself doing it and and then put the evidence on the internet.
5. Realize that your parents are ignorant fools. Don't go out of your way to tell them.
6. Realize that you, too, are an ignorant fool. (Feel like even more of an ignorant fool for going out of your way to make your parents feel like ignorant fools -- I warned you!)
8. Sleep (but not too much).
9. Spend no more than half a second measuring your own self-worth against the looks/accomplishments/experience/bank account, etc. of anybody else. Half a second is more than enough time to waste.
10. Don't date your professor. EVER. Or your friend's professor. He/she is not, as you might like to believe, dazzled by your precocious wisdom or budding talent or old soul.
Dang, this is gonna be an even longer list than I thought!
What advice will you give your kid as a college freshman?
Image via Tim Williams/Flickr