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13 Reasons Why - You Need to Listen to Your Mom!

It is that time of year, when Target is shopped over for dorm room essentials and nervous kids and parents are starting to get in the last bits of family time before they load the car headed for college. Freshman are particularly anxious and excited for their first experience living away from home. My oldest child returns to college in a few weeks to begin his junior year and as I was cleaning up his room, I found a list of rules to live by that I gave him the night before we dropped him off his freshman year. A nervous mother with the oldest leaving the nest for the first time I may have overdid it with 23 rules that he should follow at all costs. But in looking over that list today, I decided that some of these rules are worth passing along to either help you, inspire you or make you laugh.

1. Eat, sleep, exercise – EAT protein. Tasty carbs are easy to come by in the dining hall but remember to eat enough protein.

2. WASH YOUR HANDS! A LOT! It will keep you from catching every cold in the dorm.

3. School day = Workday. Treat the school day like an 8 or 9 hour workday. If you aren’t in class you should be studying at regular hours on a regular basis, just like a job because this is your job!

4. Anticipate disappointment in the beginning. College is tough so don’t assume that because you did well in high school that the same amount of effort will yield those results in college. Not likely. You will probably have some disappointments so prepare yourself emotionally.

5. Be brave. Introduce yourself to classmates and professors. Do not assume everyone knows everyone one and you are an outsider. Every freshman is in the same position and trying to make new friends and get to know the campus, just like you.

6. Expect it to take a little time to find your people. Join clubs and activities and try new things. Be proactive and try not to be discouraged. The friends you had at home you grew up knowing so it is unrealistic to expect to be besties with your roommate overnight. Give it some time.

7. Follow the Golden Rule – treat others the way you want to be treated.

8. If the librarians don’t know you after the first month of school, you are not in the library enough.

9. Change your socks and underwear every day, like fish they both smell after a short period of time.

10. Ask for HELP! Whether you need help in a class or on a paper or are sick and need the infirmary, ask for help as soon as you know you need it. Do not delay!

11. Budget your money. You are a poor college student, live like it.

12. Although college can feel a bit like summer camp – IT IS NOT! Remember why you are there and treat this opportunity with the respect it deserves.

13. Anything that was a bad idea at home is probably a bad idea at college. Don’t drink and drive or let anyone you know drink and drive. Don’t take foolish dares about cutting your hair or tattooing your unmentionables. Lock your doors and keep track of your stuff, particularly your computer and electronics. Remember what Obi Wan Kenobi said, “Who is the more foolish? The fool or the fool who follows him?”

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