Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Advice for those about to go to college

A friend sent out a request for tips to give to a young relative about to enter college. That was 22 years ago for me. Answering her e-mail sent me down memory lane. Somehow my advice kept circling back to student activism -- helped my eventual career and social life, if not my GPA :)

And here's a section from Crazy Aunt Purl see sidebar for link, that I love:
My parents drove their house-on-wheels from Idyllwild to Orange County to be closer to Grandma. I went down last week to visit and on Saturday we were at the nursing home chatting with Grandma, she seemed really good. We got on the topic of traveling -- she and Grandpa traveled all over the world before he passed away -- and I asked her what her favorite travel destination was in all that time.

"Well, I found something to enjoy about every place we visited," she said. And she went on to tell me about some of her favorite places, like seeing the Crazy Horse monument in South Dakota.

"You know, Grandma, I've never been there. Or to Mount Rushmore. Or most of the middle," I said. "Sometimes I feel embarrassed that I've seen so many far-off places and I've only seen part of the United States."

"Oh, I think you're doing it just right," said Grandma. "Travel now and see the world while you're young and can stand those long plane rides. Later when you're older you can stay here and see the whole country."

All this time I felt a little guilty for always wanting to go off somewhere else and see the world and in just a five-minute conversation she changed my whole outlook. That's one of the things I've always liked about Grandma. She never really makes excuses or has regrets.

1 comment:

NatashaJ said...

That is really great advice! I've asked my husband's great aunt about places she's always wanted to visit. She's 93 but after moving to the northwest from the south, she never really traveled for pleasure beyond in-state church conventions and to see relatives a couple states away.

She never traveled internationally, other than Canada, which you didn't even need a passport to visit most of my life here in the Pacific Northwest.

But she says she's always wanted to go to NYC to see a Broadway show. Now, she's too infirm to make the cross-country trip and it seems like it's one of her few regrets in life.

So my newly decided approach is yes, to go far while my body can take the challenge, and while my mind is still open to learning new things and ways of seeing the world, and go near later in life.

Thank you (and Aunt Perl) for sharing great advice.