We’re past the middle of August now, and I’m guessing many of you with school-aged children are in the process of starting a new school year. I actually ended up at our daughters’ former school on Monday, which was the students’ first day of classes. I was dropping off my daughter’s cheer uniform from last year. Walking into the school office again without having a child on campus felt a little strange!
We’re now in the single digits…just nine days until we take our youngest daughter to college. We still haven’t gotten everything on our list, but we’re getting close! Her last day of work is Monday, so we’ll have a few days to pack it all up before we head to Florida.
As a mom, you hope you’ve done a good job preparing your child for this next season in life. It’s a big step, living independently, for the most part, hundreds of miles away from home. As we count down these final days before college life begins, I have a list of nine things I want her to remember.
1. Take care of your body.
I dispensed this down into four words. Eat. Drink. Move. Sleep.
Eat at least some healthy foods and stay hydrated. Walking to classes daily should keep you moving, but occasionally make time for some real exercise. And, as much as possible, prioritize a good night’s sleep.
2. Spend time with God every day.
So many activities and obligations can crowd out the most important thing. Make time for Bible reading and prayer a priority in your day from the very beginning.
3. Reach out to other people.
Be the first to introduce yourself. Talk to the girl who sits next to you in History of Civ. Use your ride in the elevator or your time standing in line to buy books to strike up a conversation.
4. Find a rhythm for your week.
Figure out when you have your dorm room to yourself. Use that time to take a nap or study for that big test. And speaking of studying, figure out when and where you study best. No afternoon classes on Thursday? Designate that time to work on in-depth projects.
5. Get involved.
Join a club. Try out for an intramural sport. Start a study group with kids from your English class.
6. Try new things.
New foods, your roommate’s favorite hobby, an activity you didn’t have time for in high school – if it’s safe and interesting to you, give it a try. This is a great time in life to find out what types of things you enjoy.
7. Ask for help.
You’re not going to know everything. Find an upperclassman who’s willing to help you. Schedule a meeting with a professor. Talk to your resident assistant. Be brave enough and wise enough to reach out when you need help.
8. Develop a large circle of friends.
In the beginning, you don’t know which friendships will go the distance. Tuesdays can be for lunch with friends from Speech class. Thursdays are for afternoon coffee with your suitemates. It’s not likely that you’ll ever be around this many people in your same stage of life again. Enjoy developing these relationships.
9. Call home.
Okay, maybe this one’s a little selfish, but always remember you have a great support system in your dad and me. We’re praying for this to be a great semester of growing into the person God would have for you to be!
What other advice would you give a college freshman? Anything for a college freshman’s mom??