Reflect back... What advice is there to share?

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Registered: 08-06-2009
Reflect back... What advice is there to share?
Wed, 09-07-2011 - 12:24pm

The author asks if you could do it over, what tips would you give to college students going off to college today. They then take some of those tips and turn it around for the parents left behind.

Are there any things you would do different today from when you left high school, took your first job, picked your classes in college?

Did you share any of your choices with your college students?

I wish I had taken more art classes too!
And took Spanish more seriously for every year and not just to check off a requirement.
I probably would have stayed on campus living in a dorm longer.

I really did not tell my kids I ran away from college to live at the beach until recently... But they did know it took me ten years
from start to finish!


Avatar for suzyk2118
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Registered: 07-30-1997
Wed, 09-07-2011 - 6:05pm

Not sure if my response would be popular but actually I did give ds some advice that he took - don't worry about AP classes in HS because many aren't given credit for, or because the way they're taught here (now, not when I was in) is to get kids to pass the tests and make more money for the school, not to really be like a college class. According to SIL (local HS teacher), the state is now judging how many kids take the classes and pass the tests and then give the HSs more money for the more that make it through testing (around here, anyway). So I told him to take classes that interested him instead, which he did, and he was still prepared for college (he did try a couple APs; finished one but disliked the methodology of the other). I didn't see the need to rush. (I have a math degree and didn't take calc in HS (wasn't offered) but had a stronger math foundation than almost all the kids in my honors calc class in college did; only 3 of 40 of us didn't have calc in HS) He'll still have plenty of time in college to take everything he wants to, and will be able to still finish in 4 years.

I only took one art class in college - debated on majoring in art or physics; chose physics. DS chose art, so at least I now get to see what that is like!

I've been encouraging him to use the rec center on campus; I used that a lot in college and loved it - he says he will with his gf as soon as she finishes helping with all her sorority pledging duties!

Not sure I'd do too much differently than I did. I wish I had a 'useful' advisor in college - I'm hoping ds will!


iVillage Member
Registered: 04-16-2009
Wed, 09-07-2011 - 6:16pm

I would tell them what I told my kids.

It's OK to not be sure what you want to study. That is a sign of a thinking person. And remember what you will end up doing in 20 years may not be thought of yet so get the most fundamental, strongest degree who can handle.

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-06-2009
Thu, 09-08-2011 - 11:15am
Hi sue,
We found out the AP $$ drives decisions when my youngest tried to remove himself the summer before senior year from econ when he decided to graduate early.
The guidance counselor refused his request. I was camped out in theiir office for three mornings the first week of school before the prinicpal finally asked why i was there.

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-06-2009
Thu, 09-08-2011 - 11:20am

One of my girlfriends sent me this list thatbher daughter had forwarded to her... Looks like college humor.

College is a time of self-discovery, independence and unlimited access to frozen yogurt. It’s a great experience, full of cute boys and girls, endless freedoms and gross dining hall food. But college can also be a majorly trying time, full of both stupid and smart mistakes.

Moving in day will be complete and utter hell. There is a 99.9% chance your father is going to have a temper tantrum while assembling a piece of your furniture.

Buying ALL your books is a waste of money. Unless you are a literature major, it’s unlikely you’ll look at any of them after your class is through. Take the more expensive ones out from the library.

Mixing pot and alcohol is a bad idea. Actually, mixing most drugs is a bad idea. Not that we endorse drug use of any sort. Don’t do drugs. Yeah.

Quit your internship if you really hate it or move out of your dorm room if you really hate it. There’s no sense making yourself miserable.

Ask for money for Christmas/Hanukkah/birthdays. You need that more than you need crap for your bedroom.

Don’t be afraid to go to the campus mental health services if you feel sad, overwhelmed or begin having panic attacks. No one talks about it, but it happens all the time in college.

RIf you’re not really a lesbian when you start college, then trying to be one doesn’t make you gay.

I wish I had taken some more basic classes rather than opting for seminars on MTV. I feel pretty stupid for having gone through college without taking a Shakespeare class. Although they did make us read Hamlet in French on my junior year abroad. And then we saw some weird production of it with far too much nudity.

In a few years you’re going to have to pay for everything yourself, make all your own food and walk several blocks to do your laundry, so RELAX and enjoy your last little bit of dependence.

If you have a certifiably insane teacher, it’s OK to quit that class.

It’s normal to still be questioning what you want to do with your life, even if you’re a senior.

College is a good place to meet really eligible singles without a lot of baggage.

Just because there are all your favorite toppings at the Fro-Yo bar doesn’t mean you should eat all of them every day.

Classes that start at 9 a.m. are never a good idea.

Your college boyfriend is (probably) not going to be the one you end up with. So chill out and have fun.

Nobody cares about your “minor,” whether you have one or not, so only pursue it if you’re really interested in the subject.

There is other hard alcohol out there besides Amaretto, Goldschlager and Long Island Iced Teas. Really.

For the love of God, study for a semester abroad! I didn’t and I have been cursing myself for passing up the chance ever since.
If he is a fifth-year senior and he still lives on campus, he is a loooooooser.

Do not buy someone’s handicap parking pass and use it as your own. You will get ticket after ticket after ticket and then get a boot on your car, get called into the campus police station and be threatened with expulsion, all because you were too lazy to walk to class from remote parking.

Late-night dining is the root of all evil, particularly your insane weight gain.
iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Thu, 09-08-2011 - 11:55am

I don't think I'd change anything I did academically except for one thing.

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-06-2009
Thu, 09-08-2011 - 12:15pm
Hi Liz,
My family reminded me on our reunion that i looked like the thanksgiving turkey when i came home freshmen year... I loved the multiple potatoe selections.. Potato salad, baked potato, mashed garlic potatoes, and french fries with cheese for dessert!

Going to italy would have really changed my life!

I just read this study on taking morning classes improving the GPA. Did you try to schedule around your sleep habits?
iVillage Member
Registered: 10-25-2006
Thu, 09-08-2011 - 1:27pm

The list from your friend's daughter looks like one DS22 would write.


iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Thu, 09-08-2011 - 1:35pm

I avoided 9:00 am classes as much as possible.

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-08-1999
Tue, 09-13-2011 - 11:35pm

I never got the chance to go for the Fine Arts Degree that Ive dreamed of since I was a child. My parents wouldnt pay for it and told me quite blankly that my job was to get married and have babies. I paid my way to tech school, by working three years and saving as much money as I could. I bought and paid for my first car. I did tell my kids to follow their dreams and we make it our business to help them in any way. My kids are pretty level headed. I hope they stay that way and finish what they want to do.

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-16-2009
Wed, 09-14-2011 - 11:25am


Dinning hall food doesn't have to be gross. Eat the freah fruit, the low fat yogurt, the veggies.. Stay away from the