Off To College 2.0

Three years ago when our oldest began his college career, I shared 10 Commandments for Our New College Student. This week, son #2 begins this same journey. In addition to a slight update to those commandments, I shared with him my thoughts about photos in my office that I stare at daily. They’re photos of all four of our kids, with some sort of motivational cliché attached. They always inspire me, so I offered to share them with him, hoping to have the same effect.

blog - rise aboveRise Above – A reminder to be your best. If things are down, or people are down, or you have options to be mediocre, Rise Above. Be better in how you live your life. Never settle. Take the high road. You were (in my opinion) the best keeper in the state, because you could Rise Above. Continue to do that in your college studies, your friendships, and your decisions.






blog - keep your head in the gameKeep Your Head in the Game – Its message is simple: Stay Focused. There are so many distractions around you, it’s so important that you stay focused and prioritize what needs to be done. Again, with all the freedom you have, it’s easy to stray off track. Put your studies first and the others activities will fall in place.



blog - fall once get up twice
Fall Once, Get Up Twice – You will have many successes, but you will have failures as well. Maybe it will be a tough course, maybe it will be something with your music. But don’t take falling to be an indication that something is over. Instead, look at it as a learning experience to do better. You’ve never given up on things that didn’t work out so well. I am confident that whenever you fall once, you will continue to get up twice.



blog - little things bring big smiles

Little Things Bring Big Smiles– Remember as a child how you always loved to give hugs? That brought smiles, big smiles to everyone who was on the receiving end. And it always brought big smiles to Mom and me. And it was such a simple, small gesture. Keep doing those little things that bring big smiles. Say good morning; open the door for someone; write a note to your sisters or grandmothers; call (don’t text) Mom, and let someone go ahead of you in line. Say “please” and “thank you.” Often. Little things can have such a big impact. Oh yeah, and smile too. You have such a big, heartwarming smile. It’s contagious. Feel free to share it with others daily!


Have no fearblog - enjoy the rides; enjoy the ride – Horseback riding can be terrifying, but if you let go of your fears, it can be such an incredible ride. You’ve never been one to fear much. If so, you rarely showed it. Yes, going off to college can cause a little anxiety, even to the toughest person. But college can be some of the best years of your life. Take it all in; enjoy it. Keep your education and classes a priority, but do absorb the whole college experience: intramurals, frats, parties, fund raisers, football and basketball games – whatever you choose – enjoy the ride.

you future starts today
And finally, my favorite (and probably the worst cliche!), Your Future Starts Today. Our classic shot of you and me on the beach: my arm around your shoulder, and I’m pointing out to the gulf saying, “Someday, this will all be yours.” We always joke about that, but it is so true. Your future rests totally in your hands. Most all of the work that Mom and I are required to do as parents is done. Now it’s up to you. And it starts today! Remember that every day you wake up. No matter what has happened last week or last night– your future starts today.

And remember, call your Momma!



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2 Comments on “Off To College 2.0”

  1. Gerry Engelhart Says:

    Great words of wisdom!

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