We asked recent college graduates to share their parent’s nuggets of wisdom leading up to move –in day. We won’t be mad if you borrow some of these for yourself. 

My mom started giving me little pieces of advice for weeks before move-in day. Always travel with a buddy. Be nice to the shy girl down the hall. Don’t be the drunk girl at the party. Take classes that interest you. Find your passion. Call your brother. Join the newspaper. On and on. Yes Mom, I know. Yes, Mom, I will. My mom had me covered for everything except how much I would miss her nagging little pieces of advice.
— Brittany
Enjoy your college years. College is a time for exploration, a time to define yourself. Take the opportunity to grow and learn, once the second semester of senior year rolls around, and you’re looking for a job, it’s invaluable to know who you are and what you love to do. 

— Simon
Don’t be intimidated. You know who you are and what is right and wrong. People, as well as situations, can be challenging, as long as you are true to yourself, you will remain on the right course.

— Scarlett
It’s easy to walk into a room and complain about how much work you have, or what a bad day you had. My parents told me to be, instead, the person who shares something good, to be positive. Not only do people like being around upbeat, happy people, but it’ll likely make you a happier person in the process.
— Jon
Life is long. College is a selfish time, and a lot of things that happen during it (be it social, academic, or romantic) can seem earth shattering but, in the scheme of things, it’ll ultimately become a blip on the radar. Also, every experience you have, good or bad, teaches you something, so try to learn from things instead of dwelling on them. 

— Sophie
Meet with your professors as much as possible. 
The degree is the easy part; remember that a degree is not a ticket to a job. Work your connections; summer employment, maintain your grades.
If you plan on going to grad school you need a 3.5 GPA.
Do the worst first. 
Make an outline/schedule/ physical list of any large task, paper or project.

— Christian
I think the best advice I’ve acquired from my parents has come over time. My mother always told me to be true to myself. And she also always says something like, “it’s nice to be nice.” So those are probably the two best tips I’ve gotten that remain relevant no matter where I find myself. One of my favorite things my dad says is to “walk in like you own the place, and if they kick you out, walk out like you just sold it.” 

— Charlotte
Drinking is a part of college. Do it if you want, don’t if you don’t, but if you do, make sure you’re always with someone you trust and stay aware of your surroundings. 

— Lauren
Be responsible with your money. If you go through your monthly allowance in the first two weeks, don’t call us. (We’re going to tell grandma not to sneak you money.) 

— Isabel
Seize every opportunity you have to meet new people from different walks of life.

— Jake
Phone home, Phone home. (Or text)
. Don’t do drugs.
 Don’t do anything I wouldn’t do.
— Ben
My dad told me, “Don’t do anything that I wouldn’t do.”
— Harry
My parents told me to take advantage of the resources a large university offers— and to go as often as I could to hear visiting speakers, see movie screenings and take classes with professors that are professionals in their field. They said I’d remember those experiences years later compared to a night of drinking beer.

— Tanner
I am the youngest of 4 boys, so they didn’t give me much advice (aside from “Call your mother”). I think that’s the way it should be. Every child is going to do college his or her way. Parents have been dispensing advice to their kids for 18 years; college is a test of if they listened or not. 
All that being said, once at college, it is different. So much happens day to day, and most kids turn to their parents for advice. But heading into college, you just have to experience it for yourself, at first, and my parents understood that.

— Brad
When it came time to choose a college, I was confused and lost. I could not decide for the life of me where I wanted to go. Finally, one day my parents sat me down and told me to have an adventure, not to play it safe - if the experience sucked than the safe route would always be there. So, this is what I did, and I wouldn’t have changed it for the world. 

— Taylor
My mom always said, “Be bold.” Don’t be afraid to join a club or community service group, even if you think you won’t meet any ‘best friends’ there. Having different groups of friends on campus is what makes college so fun and enriching. 

— Marjorie
Be true to yourself, look for friends that share similar values, don’t be afraid to take risks, challenge yourself. 

— Tessa
On drop-off day, just before leaving, my dad pulled me aside to give me his “pearls of wisdom” to guide me through the next four years. I remember exactly where we were, the “rec room” in my freshman dorm — and the exact expression on his face – sincere in hoping that I remember this exact moment. I, however, cannot for the life of me remember what it was that he said. But looking back, I don’t think anything he or anybody could’ve said would have prepared me for the utterly unpredictable experience of college. But, if I could give dialogue to the soundless image of my father’s final advice, it would be this: don’t plan for anything. Take it all as it comes, trust yourself, and be as brave as you can. Let it all wash over you as best as you can—every student’s experiences are unique and wholly their own. And maybe write down the pearls of wisdom your parent gives you before they leave.

— Anne
It’s cool to be smart.  Don’t be late to class. Sit in the front of the classroom. Take copious notes. Participate in class. Get to know your professors. Take classes that excite you. College is an excellent opportunity to start fresh—so say goodbye to all your bad high school habits. 

— Theo