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The Ten Commandments for College Freshmen

Updated on April 15, 2014

The Ten Commandments for college freshmen


Congratulations! In the fall you will be attending the college or university of your choice to pursue your dreams. This letter is written out of love and concern for your success, not only as an educated student of academia, but as a graduate of a life-changing experience. In a kind of similar format I have loosely imitated the 10 Commandments as recorded in Exodus 20 of the Old Testament. The idea is to stay the same person you already are, only four years older and four years wiser. I hope you find the subject matter interesting and thought-provoking.

1. If you were brought up in a religious environment, even a lukewarm one, don’t keep it on the shelf for the next four years. If you do, it will most likely not be a part of your life when you graduate. That’s when the fun begins with your parents and relatives who hold fast to their traditions.

2. Don’t fall for the quick get-rich quick schemes or any of the money-making ways that are out there to help you earn money to pay for your education other than finding local jobs that hire college students on a part-time basis. Many colleges have intern agreements with companies when you have a fair idea of what you may be interested in after graduation. Just stay away from the predators that would use you for their own gain.

3. College can be a breeding ground for vulgarity. All of the things you couldn’t say at home are now off the table. Remember that vulgar language can become a habit very easily, especially if everyone else is doing it. Try to think before you speak—no one can ever accuse you of not using enough “F” bombs.

4. In conjunction with number 1 don’t be shy about attending your church, temple, or mosque occasionally to keep your spirit alive. Whether at school or when visiting home, there is always a place to go to for quiet reflection.

5. Remember your parents who love you and are either putting you through college or helping you and whose hopes and dreams are for your success. It also gives them a little time to themselves while you’re gone which I’m sure they’ll appreciate.

6. Do no harm to another student, especially bodily harm. Hazing is a dangerous and illegal action that has led to the death of students. As well, rioting en masse for all the wrong reasons just makes no sense. Be careful of the sorority or fraternity you may join that they reflect your core values. Remember also that video cameras are everywhere and all it takes is one photo of you in the wrong place at the wrong time and your career is over.

7. If you’re a virgin, stay a virgin. Just because you’re on your own now doesn’t mean that you should go for broke in order to keep up with your peers. There is no reason to give up your reputation as a person just because you can. Save it for marriage or more meaningful relationships.

8. Taking from the school or a student in any way, shape, or form is illegal. Destruction of property is also illegal. Both actions can and will land you out of school, sometimes for good.

9. If you witness something that causes a legal action or investigation to take place, or even in your own social circles and you are asked to testify, be truthful. Don't use a vendetta against someone to falsely blame them for something they didn't do.

10. Sometimes upper classmen will impress you with their aplomb, wisdom, maturity and material possessions. All of these things will come to you in time if you are patient and you need not be embarrassed for lack of them. You're there to learn and prepare yourself for the real world.

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