Be Right, Be Wrong, Be Quiet and 17 Other Pieces of Advice for My College Kid

You are embarking on a great journey and I know there will be times that you won’t come to me, so I am giving you some advice for college in advance. Some is old, some is new, but I want you to remember all of these things.

girl sitting at college
Here is a moms’ advice to her off-to-college daughter. (TB Kilman)

Advice to my daughter as she leaves for college

1. Be kind. To everyone, all the time. No excuses. If you have nothing nice to say, smile and walk away.

2. Be generous. Not just with money, but with your smiles, hugs, laughter, and time.

3. Be tolerant. You are one unique person in a world of 7 billion. Most of them will not believe as you do or live as you do. Accept their choices.

4. Be studious. Commit to doing your work with purpose. No matter what your age, learning never stops.

5. Be right. Stand up for your beliefs and do what is right, even though doing the right thing isn’t always easy. Trust your instincts.

6. Be wrong. Apologizing is a skill. It’s often hard and uncomfortable, but it builds character. Admit your errors.

7. Be quiet. There will be times when the best thing you can say is nothing at all. Recognize these moments.

8. Be loyal. Stand up for your friends, your family, and God. But, stand up to them as well.

9. Be honest. In your interactions with others. But, most importantly, with yourself.

10. Be persistent. Don’t give up easily. Success often belongs to the one who keeps going.

11. Be beautiful. This isn’t a number on a scale, it’s the culmination of all the good inside of you. Embrace it.

12. Be joyful. Smile more than you frown. Laugh more than you cry. Surround yourself with people who make this possible.

13. Be proud. Take pride in everything you do and every goal you accomplish. Hold your head high.

14. Be humble. Nobody likes a braggart. There will be times when you pat yourself on the back because no one else does.

15. Be thankful. Even when things aren’t going your way. You have to make the best of what you have, or it will never be enough.

16. Be independent. Don’t allow others to define who you are now or what you will become later. Followers don’t stand out.

17. Be active. Get out there. Life is not about Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, or Twitter. It’s about late sleepovers, lunch dates, long walks, and the living, breathing people behind the screen.

18. Be lazy. It’s okay to nap in the middle of the day. Especially if it is raining. A well-lived life requires rest and time alone.

19. Be loving. Love others with all that you are and open yourself up to be loved. Love keeps you going. Cherish it.

20. Be courageous. It is difficult to venture out into this world, but you have dreams to accomplish.

Finally—and most important of all–Don’t be afraid to be who you are!!

Rock on,

The author of this post wishes to remain anonymous.

You Might Also Want to Read:

17 Items to Check Off Your List Before Your Teen Leaves for College These are much easier to take care of while your teen is still in town. 




About Grown and Flown

Mary Dell Harrington and Lisa (Endlich) Heffernan are the co-founders of Grown and Flown the #1 site for parents of teens, college students and young adults, reaching millions of parents every month. They are writers (Lisa is a New York Times bestselling author), moms, wives and friends. They started the Grown and Flown Parents Facebook Group and are co-authors of Grown and Flown: How to Support Your Teen, Stay Close as a Family, and Raise Independent Adults (Flatiron Books) now in paperback.

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