For The Graduate




Blessed child,


I commend and congratulate you on satisfying the requirements of your high school to obtain your diploma and be accepted to college. I am extremely proud of you, but also grateful to God because I know what it took for you to reach this point. Not just on your part, but also those working on your behalf. You may never fully realize all the prayers and hopes that carried you from the womb to this moment.


Please accept with love the small gift I've sent to mark this occasion. It should by no means indicate the value I place on your accomplishment, but please know as small as it is, It doesn't come without sacrifice. Make sure you send me your address when you get to campus. Periodically, I will send a little blessing. Again, it won't be much, but it will come in handy. The occasional five dollar bill, sealed in a security envelope, by any one of my aunties kept me in clean laundry for three years.


I would be remiss if I didn't send you off with some sage advice from an elder. You are surrounded by and covered in love. We send you off to college with only the expectation that you accomplish the goal before you. I also expect you to make lifelong friends, take advantage of every opportunity for travel and have lots of fun. You may even have a boyfriend, but don't let anything deter you from the path set before you. It is not unusual for a woman to meet her future husband in college and many a candidate may pass your way, but accept this challenge. Think of a man that in your mind exemplifies a woman's ideal and raise the bar even higher. Allow a man to rise to your standards. Don't sink to his.


You may have needs and desires (make sure they're yours and not his... or hers. I don't judge... lol), HANDLE YOUR BUSINESS. You understand the implications and risks of unprotected sex. A baby is the least of your worries. You could die. Protect yourself and the life that so many have worked hard for you to have. While you won't die, an unplanned pregnancy can really throw you off course, making things difficult and uncomfortable. If it should happen, I support whatever your decision, recognizing your right to choose. However, also remember choosing a few simple items at the pharmacy can save you a lot of aggravation. Steering clear of temptation altogether is an even better look. Let me put it like your great-great auntie if that will help...


“If you ever let any of these nasty boys touch you, you will stink and everyone will know what you did and think you're a whore.”


Okay... maybe not, but it used to work on the middle school girls. Just weigh all your decisions, recognizing your life hangs in the balance. I pray that doesn't create too much pressure. Along with that here are some other tips that will lead to a pleasant and productive first year.


  • Be yourself, but know you are a work in progress.


  • With your roommate(s) decide what kind of environment you want to live in. (I suggest you designate your room a sleep and study zone)


  • Establish good study habits. Don't seek distractions until you do.


  • Be nice to people, even if they're not nice to you.


  • Smile a lot and make an effort to always remember names.


  • Network and meet people in positions to help you (march yourself into the President's office and announce you'd like to introduce yourself)


  • Become friendly with the people in Admissions, Financial Aid and Student Affairs. They can make or break the entire experience.


  • Don't go home every weekend


  • Don't eat too much. The freshman 15 is real and your back porch does not need an extension!



More will follow as it comes to me, but remember I love you and am here as a resource.



Godspeed!

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