As you go off to college...

Curly-haired Daughter leaves for college on Thursday. I am excited for her. Really. No, I mean it. I am.

But I'm really gonna miss her.

I've been thinking about how excited I was, 30 years ago (dear heavens....) when Mom and Dad and I packed up the station wagon and headed off. It was really foggy that morning, and Mom and Dad seemed very quiet. Now, I know: they were excited - their last kid was out of the house. They were probably both wishing the dog would die soon so that they'd finally have some freedom....

I was excited, and scared, and nervous. I thought I'd be the stupidest person at college and unable to keep up. I didn't know a soul at this college - one of the reasons I picked it - but would anyone like me enough to be my friend? Would my roommate and I be able to stand each other? (We did, but just barely...)

Now, I'm the one in the front seat of that car, steered toward a future.  I have a few things to tell my daughter before she goes, though:

1. Don't trust everyone. In fact, don't trust anyone until they earn it.
2. I know you're excited about leaving home. Remember, though, that home has made you who you are. As weird, sinful, cranky, and bizarre as home sometimes is.
3. God loves you. He'll really miss you if you stop talking to Him. Especially at Mass. He loves having you at Mass.
4. You are amazing. Don't let anyone - ANYONE, not a prof, not a guy, not a roommate, not a person on the street - let you think anything less.
5. I hope that you will come to realize that Mom and Dad know a few things, and you're not afraid to call us when  you need to know something. Or just to chat.
6. Laundry costs money. Save your quarters.
7. You will always be broke. (Oh, never mind, you're used to that one...)
8. Study what you love. The job will come from that passion.
9. Study stuff you don't necessarily love, but want to learn about. It will come in handy, even if only for playing Trivial Pursuit.
10. Again, God loves you. Now is the time for you to work on your own mature, heartfelt faith life. I hope we've given you a good foundation for that. 

Now, go.

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