Don’t dry your clothes in the mi­crowave and other tips

The Denver Post - - FEATURES - By Aviva Gold­farb

Celia is headed to col­lege. At 18, Celia knows how to jump-start a car, write a check, make a doc­tor ap­point­ment and stand up for her­self if she’s be­ing mis­treated. Let’s hope she has enough sense to change her sheets more than once a se­mes­ter, not to leave food sit­ting out, and empty the lint screen be­fore start­ing the dryer. And she bet­ter know that the mi­crowave will not speed-dry her clothes, as my friend Kris­ten learned her fresh­man year.

Celia’s pretty set on the ba­sics of liv­ing on her own — even if we’ve failed mis­er­ably at get­ting her to keep her room neat and make her bed ev­ery day (not for lack of nag­ging). But be­fore we drop her at the dorm and em­bark on the lonely drive back to our too-quiet house, here are some last tid­bits of parental ad­vice.

1. Go to class! We hope you’ll make friends and get in­volved with ex­cit­ing things. But re­mem­ber why you worked so hard to get here and make learn­ing your big­gest pri­or­ity. Keep up with the read­ing, study ev­ery day, and you’ll still have plenty of time to play.

2. Get to know your pro­fes­sors. Es­pe­cially at a big school, it can be in­tim­i­dat­ing, but you’ll get more out of school if you in­tro­duce your­self to your pro­fes­sors and go to of­fice hours at least oc­ca­sion­ally.

3. Say yes (not to that!). Col­lege is a unique op­por­tu­nity to do and go to un­usual things, and many of them are free and within walk­ing dis­tance. Try things you wouldn’t nor­mally be in­ter­ested in (plays, stu­dent movies).

4. Show up. Whether it’s a club meet­ing, study group, a friend’s birth­day, con­cert, game or her move into that 3rd floor walk-up, it’s im­por­tant to be there. It will deepen your re­la­tion­ships and ex­pe­ri­ences.

5. Eat at least five fruits and veg­gies a day. No mat­ter how busy you get, take care of your body and its needs. You’ll be able to stay healthy, think more clearly and en­joy your­self more if you get some sleep, ex­er­cise, eat well and take some time to breathe, un­plug and think your own thoughts.

6. Im­merse your­self in new places and cul­tures. You have the good for­tune of hav­ing this ex­cit­ing op­por­tu­nity to live some­where new and travel with­out the binds of a full-time job or much fi­nan­cial pres­sure.

7. When you feel like judg­ing, be cu­ri­ous in­stead. You’re go­ing to meet peo­ple with dif­fer­ent be­liefs and lifestyles from yours, and they have had dif­fer­ent life ex­pe­ri­ences than you. Be kind, be cu­ri­ous and give peo­ple the ben­e­fit of the doubt, at least the first time.

8. Trust your gut and stay true to your val­ues. You have to live with the con­se­quences of your ac­tions, not the per­son who may be pres­sur­ing you to climb on the rick­ety roof or steal that sign.

9. Keep look­ing un­til you find a pas­sion. Col­lege can give you the op­por­tu­nity to ex­plore new fields. You may be sur­prised to learn that you love or­nithol­ogy or ar­chae­ol­ogy, or that you re­ally don’t re­ally like the sub­jects you thought you would.

10. Start sav­ing when­ever you start earn­ing. Whether au­to­mat­i­cally or de­lib­er­ately, try to put away 10 per­cent of what you earn through­out life so you’ll have more op­tions when you need or want them.

11. Keep things in per­spec­tive. Suf­fer­ing — and treat­ing — life’s wounds and set­backs (whether self-in­flicted or not) is part of the jour­ney.

12. Wear sun­screen. Bring a sweater. Call your mother (and fa­ther).

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