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To the Class of 2017

Updated on May 26, 2017

Congrats!

Let me say this is a magical time in your life. You will finally have freedom from being under your parent’s thumbs and constant watch over all your activities. With freedom comes responsibility and college is where you will learn the consequences of your actions both positive and negative. You will meet friends you will have for a lifetime and you will share countless memories of spring breaks and July 4th weekends that you will never forget. While you are having fun in between your full class load I want to share some things that your parents probably won't tell you that you need to know when it comes to college. I want you to consider these tips from your big sister with love and let this advice cling to your heart.

It's college so take part in the fun activities your dorm will offer to get you engaged with other people. Don't be afraid to embrace the idea of meeting people from different states, nationalities, countries, or other walks of life that may be different from you. Mix and mingle but realize your first priority - your studies. Those who can delay gratification for future benefit usually turn out to accomplish great achievements and wealth in life. While you can get involved in countless activities hanging out with your friends don't lose track of why you went to college. Learn the building blocks that will make you a superstar in your field. Your mind may be fresh but it's not fresh enough for all-nighters and prayers to pass your classes even if you chew on coffee beans to keep you up all night long. (Do not try this at home, I do not endorse this practice and absorb myself of any liability.) Trouble is easy to get into and hard to get out of, remember that when it comes to your grades. It only takes one semester to ruin your gpa causing you to have to claw yourself out of a ditch for years to make up for these grades. Apply for scholarships, compete in essay competitions, and go for fellowships.


There will be drugs and alcohol

There will be drugs and there will be alcohol. Avoid both vices, you must be in control of your mind and body at all times. People will try to use peer pressure for you to veg out on such activities but trust me nothing looks worse than people sloppy drunk or out of their minds on drugs. As ladies you must be aware at all times, you cannot trust your friends to look out for your best interest when you are not capable of exercising control over your body. Mind the company you keep. If you have friends or acquaintances that are always trying to get you not to go to class, party, or blow off your studies distance yourself from them. Bad company corrupts good morals. While you may be a good person not every person has the same values as you, there are people that have not been taught to conduct themselves in a respectful manner, so that being said I pray you are never a victim of assault. Daddy gave me warnings I never forgot so I want to share them with you. (1) Never leave a drink and come back to it -that includes a bottle of water. If you walk away from your cup you never return to it. You never allow someone to pour you a drink; I don't care if it's apple juice. (2) If you walk into a room and there are a disproportionate number of men versus women GET OUT! Don't let people talk you into staying or waiting until other people show up-leave immediately! Leave immediately if you're the only girl in a room full of guys. (3)Run if you notice drinking and drugs present regardless of how long you have known these guys/girls. (4) If you sense something strange about someone or you aren't comfortable leave the situation. (5) Don't walk around at night in isolated areas by yourself. Don't be afraid to have campus security walk you to your dorm or to your car if you are studying late at the library or need to make it to the other side of the campus at night. It is better to be safe than sorry. (6) Beware of getting in a man's car, when you enter the passenger’s seat of someone else you are at their mercy so be sure of the people you allow to have control over you. (7) Do not get in the car if someone is drinking.

Random Advice

NO EXCUSES

That charming smile and praises don’t carry weight in college unless your parent donates to research projects. Education is your business and top priority in college. No one is going to excuse you from being accountable. Here’s the chain reaction – don’t complete assignments; don’t show up to class then you don’t absorb the material. If you don’t absorb the material then you won’t pass the quizzes and tests. If you don’t pass the quizzes and tests then you flunk. I’ve witnessed people get caught up in friends and partying only to make appointments with the dean to try and talk their way out of being excused from the university. Don’t be that person. Don’t embarrass yourself and your parents.

HEALTH

You are young so enjoy your wonderful body because in years to come it won't bounce back so easily from chili-dogs, fries, hamburgers and pizza. Get used to doing exercise, take walks and sign up for a few classes at the gym. The benefits are amazing. Not only will you ward off the freshman 15 pounds, you will work off stress from your workload of classes which is wonderful. By implementing a healthy lifestyle you will set a foundation that will help you years from now. Find an exercise partner so you can be accountable to one another regarding fitness goals. Trust me you want make this a part of your life now, don't wait till you get older to make this a part of your life.

SOCIAL MEDIA

We are living in the age of social media. You want to take pictures all the time with your friends, that's cute. By all means smile away when you are hanging out with your friends in the quad, at the mall, or at the local pizza joint. Try as much as possible to avoid any photos with alcohol, compromising dance moves that do not look becoming, or throwing someone the finger in your photo. Everyone is posting photos of everyone everywhere, sharing them on public websites, so keep that in mind. Your photos can very well end up in the hands of people you didn't expect to see you in that light. Remember you want an awesome career opportunity when leaving college and want to land great internships – don't allow crazy pictures to ruin that opportunity. Be kind when you take pictures of other people, don't live to post pictures of people when they are at their worse that is not cool.

SEX

Just because a guy shows you some attention and pretends to like you -it doesn't mean that the intent is sincere so just decipher truth from the flurry of attention to get something they want. Your body is a temple not a merry-go-round for everyone to get on and off of at will-no pun intended. Men gossip worse than women remember that. Please remember that when you lay in the bed with someone you both are sleeping with everyone you've slept with and all their partners so be safe. Diseases do not have a type nor do they flash across someone's face so please be careful with your life and/or putting yourself in a position to make your life difficult at a young age. Diamonds are precious because they aren't found everyone -keep that in mind. Momma always said if guys use if/then language then your answer should be no. Do not allow someone to coerce you into something you don't want to do. If you hear the phrase: “If you (like/love)me you would.......” - NEGATIVE/NO GO. Make sure if you decide to sleep with someone it's because that's what YOU wanted to do not sleeping with someone to please him or keep him.


YOUR FUTURE

When it comes to preparing for the future, go for internships in your field. You are working on your career foundation so make it count by making connections that will help you in the future. Join two organizations while you are in college. One of the organizations should tie into your major so if you are into marketing join the student chapter of the American Marketing Association, if you're in accounting join an accounting association. Many professional organizations allow a discounted student membership that will allow you access to people well established in your field. Join another organization designed to help and give to others. It wouldn't hurt you every now and then to prepare meals for the homeless, help youth, or volunteer to help others to learn how to read. Joining these organizations will help you to develop as a person and it will help you to present yourself as a well-rounded candidate, a win-win situation.

Towards your senior year locate mentors. By now you should have established relationship/rapport with a few teachers or academic advisers. Keep in touch by dropping in a few times a semester or quarter to get some advice from people that have wisdom and knowledge that would benefit you. These people can help you after you leave college. They will be the ones you will ask to write letters of recommendations for graduate school or recommendations for career opportunities in addition to providing you with great tools for career success.

My Wish For You

My Wish For You

May you encounter 5-10 good friends that you will love for the rest of your life. May you never forget to thirst and hunger for careers that interest you and make use of your talent and abilities. May you never take a job upon graduation that does not lead you in the direction of the career you love. May you make it safely through this experience and hold dear to your heart all the good times and great things you experienced in college. May you enjoy at lease one summer on a group trip using your passport. May you find love with someone seeking to make a go of their life just like you. Welcome to the transition to adulthood.

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