Parenting

16 Tips For My Nephew Heading Off To His Freshman Year At College

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8. Go to parties.

9. Don’t go to too many parties, and be smart about where you are going, what you do there and whom you go there with.

10. Respect yourself. Respect the people you meet.

11. Dorm living makes you a tidier person usually. You have little living space to share. Respect your roommates’ space by not being a complete slob. Change your sheets from time to time. Seriously.

12. You will start the year caring about what you are wearing, but by fall break, you will be wearing warm-up pants and a sweatshirt every day. You may or may not have taken a shower in the past 48 hours.

13. In the middle of winter, don’t worry about looking like a fool in a giant coat, gloves and hat. You have a long way to walk to class. You will be warm, and you can laugh at the idiots without coats.

14. Dining hall food really isn’t that terrible.

15. If the dorm fridges are still the same, a pint of ice cream just barely fits in the freezer part.

16. Savor this time. Soak it up. These are the last few years before you enter the really real world. Make memories. That campus is a clean slate. Be who you want to be. Learn. Join clubs. Play sports. Have a snowball fight in the quad. Take a few random classes just because they sound interesting. Go to class. Skip class. Fail a test, and study like crazy for the next one. Make yourself proud. Hang up that first A that you really worked for on your tiny dorm fridge.

I am so excited for my nephew and also a little nervous, but mostly excited. Freshman year is momentous. He may find out dorm life is not for him. He may pledge a fraternity. He may have that one charismatic professor who opens his eyes to a new world. He might fall in love. There are so many moments just waiting to happen against the backdrop of that college campus.

I cannot wait to find out how his story unfolds.

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