by Maria Schulz
While I was sitting at my older daughter’s graduation, it occurred to me that there are a lot of very wise and revered know-it-alls who like to get up and tell everybody how to live. It wasn’t just accomplished writers, academics, scientists, and politicians who were doing this—it was the high school seniors, whose greatest wish was to snap a selfie in front of their classmates and scream, “hey Ma, I made it to the stage!”
Baker’s Dozen College Tips
- Keep your sense of humor. It’s free, and it always comes in handy.
- Have fun…but not so much fun that the police are called or jail time is involved
- Remember: social media is forever: HR directors love reading profiles, so keep that in mind
- Roll with the punches. This might astound you, but not everyone in the business world will be happy, excited, or welcoming when you get there
- Trophies are few and far between. Just because your room is jam-packed with them, it doesn’t mean you’ll be getting those kinds of accolades anymore. But when you do get one, you’ll know it’s special
- Friends will come and go, but true friendship requires care and feeding. Nourish it as often as you can
- Talk to your elders. When you’re very young, you think those old fogies will be there forever. But here’s a buzz kill for ya…they won’t be. Ask them about their lives. Ask for advice. Share some laughs and take the time to really listen to what they’re telling you. You won’t be sorry. There’s a young person underneath that gray hair (or bald head). Get to know them NOW.
- Try new things. Read, learn, and grow. This is the one time in your life that you can figure out who you are and where you want to go, before the crushing weight of bills to pay, babies to care for, or job responsibilities make routines imperative. Do things that surprise you and you may discover things about yourself that you never imagined before.
- Apply The Golden Rule to your dating life. If you’d feel crushed by getting a break-up text from your one and only, why would you do it to him or her? Sure, looking someone in the eyes and admitting that you are about to be the cause of that person’s broken heart is hard, but too bad. Do unto others as you’d like done to you. And oh yeah, don’t be a jerk.
- Find your community. Dorm rooms are great, but there’s a whole world outside your door. Go find it. If you hate the first club you join, try 100 more until you hit on the right one.
- Be fearless. Make well-informed choices, work hard, and don’t make decisions based on fear. Chase your dreams, and who knows? Maybe you’ll catch them.
- Be true to yourself. In Moonstruck, when Perry (the professor) asks Rose Castorini to let him into her house, she tells him no. “Is it because someone is home?” Perry says, “No,” Rose replies. “I think the house is empty. You can’t come upstairs because I’m married. Because I know who I am.” Know who you are, and don’t let anyone talk you into doing something you don’t want to do.
- Thank your cheerleaders. If you’re very lucky, your first and best cheerleaders are your parents and family. Or maybe they’re the friends you would’ve chosen as family if the choice had been yours to make. Whatever the case may be, never forget the impact they had on your life. Now pay it forward, so that one day you can be someone’s cheerleader too.
So, Hungry Lifers: if you could give advice to a new college freshman, what would it be? Do you listen to your elders? What’s your favorite Baker’s Dozen treat? Please leave a comment and let us all know. And to college freshman everywhere (especially my girl and all of her friends): best of luck always! Work hard and make us old folks proud.