You are off to college in less than a month. I am so proud, American words aren’t big enough. I feel I need to consult Latin For Dummies in order to even come close to finding appropriately powerful language to tell you what this means to me.
I know you’re going to succeed because that’s what you’ve always done. But I’m your Mom and so I want to make it easier for you to succeed because that’s what I’ve always done. That’s why I put together Momma’s Top 10 Tips for College Success. You’re welcome.
1. Go to class, even when your roommate is sleeping in because he was up all night vomiting Wild Turkey & convenience store pizza. He is going to be kicked out soon for the failing grades he’ll receive because he never went to class and his parents will tell him then what I am telling you now: Wild Turkey and convenience store pizza pave the path to destruction.
2. The consumption of green vegetables occasionally will make you a nicer person to be around.
3. Your Father is working so hard and making tremendous sacrifice so that you can go to college and graduate without incurring any student loan debt. He is such a good man and the only other human in this universe who loves you the way I do. Call him frequently to thank him for giving you the gift of a college education. When things come up where you may be tempted to make a less than honorable choice, think of him. Make him proud, son.
4. You are leaving for college with the belief that there is a God and that you are not him. That may not be a popular idea among some of you peers for the next four years. Hold tight, son. It’s the most precious thing you’ll take with you.
5. In the hard times, when you are heartbroken and tired and homesick for the parents you were excited to leave, you may wonder if you should just quit and go back to the small town where you were raised. The answer is no. Going backwards in life is not allowed. Just keep moving your feet in the direction of your future. If I know anything for sure it’s that no matter how long and dark the night, the morning always comes.
6. You may change your major as often as your adviser and your dreams will allow. You are an adult creating the life you want for yourself and that may take some wiggling around. I would ask only that you remember few humans have ever been wildly successful in the field of Ultimate Frisbee or American Poets With Lisps.
7. Our relationship, yours and mine, has changed. You are a man now, and I see that. You should feel free to talk to me as such about the problems you encounter. In return, you can expect I will show you the respect you deserve. I’ll try to give you advice only when you ask, I’ll listen when you need me to, and I will not lecture you. (Your older sister may want to warn you that I don’t always accomplish these things. Don’t listen to her. It’s a trick.)
8. Even though I’ll be the last person on your list of “Humans to Spend Time With”, please don’t neglect your Momma. I’ve invested years and years in you. Raising you, being a stay at home mom for you, and getting to help shape who you are has been my privilege and honor. While it’s true I would have paid any price for some magic that would have kept you the little blonde boy who brought the house to life when he was in it, I am filled with a sense of pride in a job well done. Please don’t forget that I was the one who snuggled you up to keep the shivers of fever at bay when you were 8, the one who stood in line all day to secure you the chance to get an autograph from your favorite football player, and the one you screamed for when you knocked your teeth out in elementary school. I still need you, even when you don’t need me.
9. When you figure out, with the help of your professors, that your Dad and I (and your step-parents) gave you a lot of inaccurate information about the way the world works, please keep that information to yourself. I for one would like to continue to believe that the sun revolves around you and that you really are the smartest, most handsome, funniest, fastest, nicest, best son born in America since at least the late 1700’s.
10. All the choices in your life now are yours to make. You’re ready to make them.
I love you more than my own life,