This installment of launching notes addresses what I want my kids to know about the student years (see also: mistakes I would avoid, things I wish I would have known, and things that occurred to me too late).
17. Dream big*. I think those dreams were planted inside you for a reason. Listen to them, shoot high, and buckle down and make it work. We believe in you.
18. Browse the university book aisles to find classes/ideas/subjects you might love to take next semester. Oh, and buy the used books as much as you can, keep the receipts, and sell back the ones you don't need longer term (that's probably four in one but this is my list so I'll multiply if I want to :).
19. Ask questions. Literally, in class. You never know unless you ask. Go ahead, raise your hand.
20. Make connections. Between ideas and different classes you take. And, especially, with people: professors/teachers, friends, fellow students. And us, your family. Still connect with us :)
21. Take advantage of these years*. They're unique and pretty much all about you. Fill 'em up.
22. Be silly sometimes. Have a blast.
23. Learn from your mistakes. You'll make them. It's okay.
24. Take some classes Just Because. Even if they don't count a bit toward your major or graduation. Now's your chance to take ballroom dance/moral philosophy/flower design/golf/whatever.
25. Sit up front now and then.
26. Start those term papers early. Bit by bit is better. Just trust me on this: everyone thinks they can crank out a paper in one procrastinated all-nighter. I'm here to tell you that it will show.
27. Don't walk by yourself after dark. Pretty please.
28. Ask more questions. Nudge your assumptions, look at things from another perspective, open up to other ideas/explanations/approaches.
29. Remember how very much we love you. We do. We really, really do.
Do you agree with any of these in particular or have something to add? Chime in in the comments.
* Borrowed from Lee Woodruff's advice to her son when he left for college. Check out her terrific series of posts about sending a child to college: preparing, dropping off, and recovering. Couldn't have said it better myself.