10 things to tell my son as he goes to college

My first born child is getting ready to leave home for college.  All of the years of teaching and preparing for the day he leaves feels very inadequate right now.  I guess I still have a few more weeks to teach him a few basic meals, how to iron his dress shirts and maybe even how to empty the dishwasher.  :)

Mostly I have 2 more weeks to give him my heart felt love and advice.  These are the 10 things I will tell my son as he prepares to go to college.

10 things to tell my son as he gets ready to go to college

My son Mason graduated from high school in May and is getting ready to go 1437 miles or 26 hours away for college at BYU Idaho.  I have been preparing him to grow up and leave home, his entire life.  Yet now that the time is here, I question if I have taught him enough. 

Does he know how to do his laundry?  Kind of.  But do any of us really know how to do laundry and keep up with it?  This is something I know he will figure out!

Does he know how to talk to and deal with adults?  I sure hope soI think being on the high school football team really helped him learn how to take direction and criticism from adults. He has had many opportunities in church to speak with adults as well.

Does he know how to resolve conflict with his peers? I sure hope he knows this too.  He does pretty good with his friends and his siblings.  If not, he will figure it out when he lives in the same apartment with 7 other boys.

Does he have his own testimony of Jesus Christ?  I think so.  He graduated from early morning seminary and actually participated.  I know he has developed his own habits of prayer and scripture study as I have walked in on him doing both.

As he leaves home, I know that there is so much that he needs to know.  But I also know that there are so many things that can't be taught; they just have to be learned from experience.

10 Things to tell my son as he goes off to College

As we prepare for him moving into his apartment, he and I will be doing a lot of shopping and securing all of his supplies.  During that time, we will have plenty of time to converse.  I have been thinking and planning what I want to say to him.  This is what I have come up with:

1.  You can do it.

You are awesome!  You have so many skills and talents to share with the world.  There may be days that you don't think you can go to another lecture or clean your apartment or write another paper, but you can!  Muscle through the hard times and you will learn resilience!

2.  It's ok to be scared.  

Learning new things, going new places and starting a new school can be scary.  Lean into it.  Everyone gets scared from time to time.  Take a deep breath and just put one foot in front of the other.  You don't have to figure everything out right now, you just have to get through one day at a time!

3.  It's ok to ask for help.

Use your support system.  You will have friends and roommates to bounce ideas off of.  Your professors will have office hours, so use that time to talk to them.  Ask your college mentor lots of questions.  Get tutoring if you need help in any of your classes. There are many people in your life that are rooting for you and will do anything they can to help you.

4.  College is hard but SO MUCH FUN too!  

College classes are no joke!  They are high level learning.  Your professors will challenge and push you to think for yourself.  On the other hand, you will also have the time of your life in college.  You are away from your family, your home town peers, and all of the old expectations of you.  You can be and do (almost) anything you want.  Take advantage of that in the best way possible, while remembering your values and goals.

5.  Don't have too much fun that you forget to study.  

You can't coast by on your good looks or your charm.  You are in college to be challenged.  Read  each class description and the syllabus your professor gives you.  Show up in class.  Participate in discussions.  Keep track of assignment due dates.  Spend a LOT of time reading and doing your homework.

6.  Be a good roommate.

You will be living in close quarters with 7 other guys that are different than you and didn't grow up the same way you did.  Be thoughtful of those guys.  Clean up after yourself.  Don't be loud.  Be patient and kind!

7.  Be open to trying new things.

College is the perfect time to try new things to figure out what you like.  Idaho is a great place to explore the outdoors without dying of the heat like in Tennessee.   Get involved in groups and activities.

8.  Make new friends.

You will find people that are very different than you, but you will also find people who are similar to you.  Hang out with them.  Get to know them.  Be there for them when they are struggling and they will be there for you too.

9.  I'm just a phone call away.

Anytime you are lonely or have any questions (like with laundry or cooking) or just miss the familiarity of home- call, text or facetime me.  I will be here for you.  I am your biggest fan and am so excited about this opportunity for you to learn and grow!

10.  You are loved!  

I love you more than words can say.  I am so proud of the young man that you are!  You have so much to offer the world.  Not only do I love you, your dad, your sister and your brother love you.  And your Father in Heaven knows and loves you.  Pray anytime day or night to be comforted.

When Mason was a baby and I was in the haze of sleepless nights and busy days, I couldn't ever imagine this day coming.  Now that the day of my son leaving home for the first time is here, I kind of still can't believe it.  President Packer said, "There are few things more powerful than the faithful prayers of a righteous mother."  I will take that to heart as I send a part of my heart out into the world surrounded by my prayers!

Hopefully if you have a child growing up and heading out of the house soon, you can use these 10 things that I will tell my son as he goes to college to have a conversation with your children.

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