Friday, August 14, 2015

A Mother's Advice To Her Son On The Eve Of His Departure For College

  It's hard to believe that you'll soon be heading off to college. This is the moment your father and I have been preparing you for, but that doesn't make it any easier to let you go. It has been an honor guiding you through the first eighteen years of your life.

     Although I’m excited to see you begin this new chapter, I can’t help but think of the void you’ll leave behind. I’ll miss the army of teenagers that followed you home to camp out on our sofas and rummage through our pantry. With the amount of food eaten and the space taken up, I could have charged more than Motel 6 on a Saturday night.

      I'm also going to miss playing mattress tag with Mr. Insomnia during those long nights when you skipped your curfew. I really enjoyed checking my phone every five minutes for a text and watching the news for accident updates in our area. God knows,  you've entertained me for years with exciting games such as "No officer, I didn't mean to drive seventy miles per hour through a school zone" and "Let's hop on a bus bound for Orlando without telling Mom." If I hadn't experienced those heart stopping moments, I never would have discovered how easily gray hair can be covered up with blonde dye. 


      You’ve always kept me on my toes and challenged my patience when it came to household chores. A bathroom with algae growing in the shower. Milk cartons and soggy gym shorts emitting foul odors from under your bed. Without a sink full of crusty dishes and a mile-high pile of dirty clothes, I'll have far too much time on my hands. This might be the perfect time to turn our empty nest into an alpaca farm.

       Before the chaos of moving day begins, I'd like to leave you with some parting words:

     Eat healthy. Visit the salad bar more than once a week to counteract the mass quantities of burgers, pizza and chicken wings you are sure to inhale. But stock up on peanut butter and bread----you never know when the daily special at the cafeteria will be calves' liver and Brussels sprouts.

     Good hygiene is important. Do not forgo the shower and coat yourself in Axe body spray to mask the smell of your morning jog. Antibacterial soap was invented for a reason.

     It will also be helpful to keep a box of Q-tips handy at all times. Girls will notice if you're farming sweet potatoes in your ears. The same goes for your teeth. Always floss and brush. It's not normal for your teeth to look and feel like they're wearing sweaters. And, for the love of God, don't forget to trim your toenails. Unless you plan on joining a commune of nocturnal creatures, your nails shouldn't resemble the Hobbit’s feet.

     Be courteous to others. Obey the campus noise ordinance rule and keep the volume of your music down. Even though you own speakers the size of box cars, this does not give you license to play rap music loud enough to make the Resident Assistant's ears bleed. If the bass vibrations are causing the paint to peel from your walls, it's time to lower the noise a few decibels.

     Another thing about being courteous---it doesn't matter if you have the appetite of a Viking--- you don't need to prove this by entering every binge eating contest on campus (especially the ones involving beans). This is not the way to start a friendship with the guy you'll be sharing a twelve-by-fifteen-foot dorm room with. Methane gas explosions are grounds for solitary confinement in an underground bunker.
     
  Sexual relationships. The safest sex is NO sex, but until they invent a male chastity belt, this advice cannot be repeated enough: USE CONDOMS PROPERLY. Don't inflate them into giraffes or ribbed monkeys for the party crowd. This will not impress the ladies.

      Don't give in to peer pressure. No matter what anyone tells you, chugging shots of Tobasco sauce on a dare by your frat buddies will NOT score you popularity points. You'll forever be known as the gullible freshman who spent quality time on the crapper screaming, "FIRE IN THE HOLE!"


     Be grateful for what you have.  It doesn't matter if your friends are driving new Mustangs or tricked-out trucks that belong in a Monster Jam show. There's no shame in driving a 1999 Honda Odyssey with missing hubcaps, as long as the engine still runs. Look on the bright side—at least your Flintstone mobile has a floorboard and a gas pedal.

       Budget your money wisely. If your beer expenses exceed your yearly tuition, you're doing it wrong.

       Maintain a clean living space. Empty the trash regularly. Discard old pizza crusts hidden under your bed before they become an all-you-can-eat bug buffet. German cockroaches and bull ants are NOT considered exotic pets.

        Another word of advice: If your bathroom looks like a petri dish experiment gone awry and smells like a dumpster behind a Chinese restaurant, it's time for a hazmat suit and a bottle of bleach to attack the fungus growing around your toilet. 

        Study, study, study. This MUST come before you party, party, party. or else you'll flunk, flunk, flunk.

        Don't rush into a romantic relationship with the first coed you meet. Enjoy your freedom and date a variety of girls until you find the right one. It doesn't matter how pretty she is or whether or not she can ride the mechanical bull longer than seven seconds. Sharing several rounds of tequila with a woman you hardly know will land your ass at a drive-thru wedding chapel in Las Vegas.
     
   Always be prepared. Stock up on Gatorade, aspirin, and potato chips—the trifecta of hangover remedies. Keep a pillow in your backpack at all times, too. You never know when you might end up sleeping on a fraternity house roof in your best friend's bath tub.

         Don't do stupid shit. If you participate in an office chair relay race down a major highway, don't expect me to post your bail. Knowing your fondness for lighter fluid and matches, just remember that it's all fun and games until someone tosses a homemade flame thrower on the Dean's front lawn.

        Cherish your good friends. These are the buddies who will pick you up at 5:00 a.m. from a dive bar on the outskirts of town. And they'll never tell a soul that you were wearing Hello Kitty duct tape underwear when they found you passed out on the bathroom floor.


       Always keep your sense of humor. If you wake one morning to Post-it Notes covering your bedroom walls and your vehicle cocooned in bubble wrap, learn to laugh it off. Knowing you as I do, your roommates will find out soon enough what the true meaning of karmic retribution is.


 Your father and I are thrilled to see you test your independence with the tools you've been given. We love you so much and we're proud of you. We also have every confidence in your abilities and judgment. But if you do happen to get caught with a flame thrower on the Dean's lawn, please call your siblings to post your bail. Your father and I will be too busy running with the bulls at the AARP convention in Kalamazoo.



***WANT MORE MENO MAMA? This has been a crazy week for me----I've been hopping all around the internet! I'm honored to have several posts featured on three different sites this time--- YAY!  First up was my toddler post on Mom Babble which you can read here: http://mombabble.com/2015/08/no-longer-raising-a-toddler/ Next up was my Neighbors From Hell post that BLUNTmoms picked up, which you can also read here:  http://www.bluntmoms.com/the-neighbors-from-hell/?utm_content=bufferbd17a&utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook.com&utm_campaign=buffer And lastly, my post, "The Box", was featured on The Good Mother Project, which you can read here:  http://goodmotherproject.com/2015/08/the-box

67 comments:

  1. Haha, oh man, you are too young to have one in college! :)
    And I bet he is going to MISS you. College food sucks. I missed my mom's kitchen so much when I left for school.
    You guys are moving into a new chapter with him. He's going to be a man now, and you will find he will even become a better son to you....one you will be able to share a new journey with - someday married, with kids....and someday the man that takes care of you! :)

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    1. That's why I have to be nice to him----he will be in charge of changing my adult diapers!

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  2. I found myself chucking at this post.
    ~My sister started university last year.
    :)

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  3. Best of luck to your son. I am sending my baby girl off as well, although I have to laugh at some differences between our advice lists. I only have daughters, and the idea of the "boy smell" is foreign to me... I've given my girl the heads up on this one:) Where is he going?

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    1. I have two sons----one went to FSU and the other stayed local.

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  4. LOL, what a great read! My favourite by far: the inflatable condoms, I should try that out:)
    xx Abby

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  5. They could all use this advice, Marcia, more than you know!

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  6. All excellent advice! I remember when I went to college (I didn't get to go away, I got to go to a community college and live at home for half of it), my mom told me she was all done bailing me out. Not that she ever had to, but I think she meant that if I got myself into a pickle, I was on my own. She'd give me advice, let me cry it out, but then the solution was all on me. And that was the best, although at the time it felt harsh.

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    1. Yep---she did the right thing. It's the best possible way to learn to be independent.

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  7. I hope your son reads your post and appreciates what you are saying between the lines. Although humorous, the advice is excellent and your love and concern is evident. It will be interesting what you will write to him 4 years from now!

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  8. Great tips! I followed a good chunk of these when I was in college. Forgot eating healthy that first year and ended up stressing myself out far more than necessary.

    liz @ sundays with sophie

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    1. Me too----I lived on pizza and cookies my freshman year!

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  9. "Don't do stupid shit." I love this list but that one is, above all, my favorite.

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    1. I never had to say that stuff to my daughters…..they were much easier!

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  10. Sounds like you are going to miss your lovable little hellion and I don't blame you. Here's to a little chaos over winter break!

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    1. I think I should have named him "Chaos"----that would have been very fitting.

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  11. Sing it, Sister! Shared your great advice on FB and Twitter!

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  12. Aww this was cute,honest and so so truthful! These are great tips and I hope your son has a wonderful time at school!

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  13. You will miss him...for about a month and then he will come home to find his bedroom turned into a sauna! Just make sure you lock the door!

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  14. Too cute!! I like the cherish your friends one, you can never need your friends more than you need them when away from home.

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  15. Sent my youngest 700 miles away again today and my eyes have been leaking all day. This was just the laugh I needed.

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    1. Awwww….I'm so sorry you had to watch him go----I always hated that after having the kids home during break. Very hard to say goodbye AGAIN.

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  16. I wish my parents had told me to go to class or they'd disown me. Maybe I would have done better. Oh man this advice is great though!

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    1. I HAD to go to class---my parents threatened to pull me out of school and there was no way I was giving up that FUN and freedom, ha-ha!

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  17. I totally love this and It is so resonating with me right now, as I am in the same boat! Menopausal( Ha ha!!) and two kids leaving to college this weekend! My son.. for graduate school far away from WA in Texas :( and the baby girl off to her first year 6 hours away! I did say most of these to them, but some I did not think of! And..Of course they think ma is a nag...lol! Thanks for sharing...it made me smile on a very sad weekend :/

    Valerie
    Fashion And Travel

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    1. I'm so glad I could bring a smile to your day, Valerie. It really is an emotional time when we have to set them free to explore the world.

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  18. Haha this is great! Also makes me hope that if I have kids they are girls and not boys lol!

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    1. I agree, but I actually have another post about letting the girls go off to college. Stay tuned….it will be featured on a new site next week!

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  19. This cracked me up! My favorite piece of advice: don't do stupid shit. Preach!!! Haha!

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  20. This was wonderful, and I wish we'd given this letter to our son when he went off to college.

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    1. Ha-Ha! Glad you thought it was useful, Stephen!

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  21. So many good points... I think I rolled over laughing several times! Then I called my hubby over to read it!

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  22. HAaaaaaa.
    My house still stinks of AXE!
    I miss it, darling! xxx

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    1. I do miss then something fierce when they're gone.

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  23. Marsha... this is some really good advice.. the comdom one is true, boys can be boys lol... Great advice about not falling in love with the first girl too... I'm sure he'll do fine.

    It's intersting to think of the different things I'd want to tell my girls versus what you tell your boys ♡ xox

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    1. Stay tuned, Launna. The sequel to this----a mother's advice to her daughter---is going to be featured this week on a new website!

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  24. We have one that's starting high school. Can't believe it. And can't believe college will be here before we know it. :-(

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    1. Yes---it goes so fast once they reach the high school years!

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  25. Love this! My son is moving out this week to move into the dorms. It doesn't seem possible he's old enough to go to college.

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    1. I felt the same way. Seems like just yesterday I was pushing him on a toddler swing at the park.

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  26. "Maintain a clean living space." Boys. Yeah, good luck with that! LOL

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  27. Marcia, this excellent advice is SO funny and also so bittersweet. Awww to our babies growing up so quickly!! I wish my mom had warned me about being the gullible freshman before I drank that tequila worm!

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  28. As usual, you made me laugh through my tears! I've got one more year until we need to have this talk with our youngest - maybe I'll just save this for him to read!

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    1. Yes, please do. I'll bet he finds it useful, LOL!

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  29. oh boy, I could read myself in you....I think it's a mama's thing....don't know where my boy will end up but I am sure this post is going to be of huge help then. I think I should save it as a parting letter to him. :D Good luck to your son and wishing that he will make you one proud Mama. :)

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    1. Thank you! Hey, the way I see it, I'm that much closer to an empty nest!

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  30. Wow. This either says a lot about your son or it says a lot about your own college experiences! Lol. By the way, there is such a thing as a male chastity device. You can even get them on Amazon.http://amzn.to/1Lf7KFi I sent 2 boys off as Freshman last year but I have been considering buying one every since they hit puberty.

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    1. Ha! You bet I'm going to look into that!

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  31. All done with college - for another four years, when the Grandkids start. Sigh...

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    1. Oh my goodness, already?? I don't think I will EVER be ready for that!!!

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  32. I made my son clean the toilets in our house the year before he left for school just so he would know how to do it! I also texted him pictures and articles on bedbugs so he would be motivated to wash his sheets once a week! That was when I found out he hadn't done it in like 3 months!

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    1. OMG that's too funny! But I'll bet to worked, right?

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  33. Congrats to him! It's hard when they leave. I still miss my grown sons and they've been gone awhile. now. The grocery bill did go WAY down though. ;)

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