Advice Monday

It was a big sports weekend – with multiple exciting victories. You can visit to read all the recaps: football, soccer, field hockey, volleyball – and all the others.

Mondays are the time for two specific pieces of advice – our Weekly Messages for First Year families, and Letters So Dear. This week’s first-year message is about getting involved and finding a niche. And that advice is really good for every year of student. Letters So Dear talks about Hit the Bricks (which all Deacs should participate in, either as a runner/walker or an observer), and also about the challenges of first year students having so much freedom but no family member directing their work.

We’ll close with more advice. One of my best Wake friends, Eileen Rice (’92) just sent her eldest off to college on the West coast (Orientation there starts several weeks later than Wake). She made her daughter a list of advice, which she has kindly agreed for me to share (I have adapted a couple of items that did not directly apply to our campus). If you have not written this kind of list for your student, this could be great homework for you. What are the things you want your Deac to know? Could be year-specific (families of seniors may want to be more job-search specific, families of juniors abroad might want to consider travel tips and worldview, etc.)

Think about your list – and share it with your Deac if the spirit moves you.

Eileen’s Advice:

1. Don’t stand on a folding chair.
2. When you’re walking around, look up! Put the phone away. Make eye contact and say hi.
3. Take turns driving. Everyone needs to chip in on gas money.
4. Only spend what you have. This is about money, of course, but it also goes for your time and energy. You cannot give what you do not have.
5. Nourish yourself. Eat healthy foods. Sleep. See #4 above.
6. Get out into nature. The perspective of looking at the ocean, the forest, the mountains is unparalleled.
7. Always do the look back before you walk away. You’ll be amazed at how many jackets, water bottles, bags, and random things you almost left behind.
8. Drink one glass of water for every alcoholic beverage. Alternate.
9. Talk to people with different backgrounds and experiences from you. Learn from them.
10. Seek out the experts. And don’t be ashamed of what you don’t know. Then trust yourself – this goes for everything!
11. Notice the birds and animals on campus. They’re easy to spot if you’re looking/listening for them.
12. Lock your bike. Trust people and believe in basic goodness, but you don’t want to deal with someone else’s bad decision.
13. Stretch every day – body and mind. Own your sh*t. Remember to breathe. One breath at a time.
14. It’s okay not to know how things will turn out; no one does. Uncertainty is a given, and change is the only constant. For confirmation of this, spend a few minutes (or hours) watching the sky.
15. Almost all music is better live. Go. Thank the musicians.
16. Say yes to new adventures whenever you can. Travel light. Wear sunscreen.
17. Every night make a list of five things you’re grateful for.
18. Don’t hesitate to offer a word of support or encouragement. You may never know who needed your kindness.
19. Laugh at yourself. If you can’t right away, think of a few of the many dumb things I’ve done, and laugh at me. Then trying laughing at yourself again. Should be easier now.
20. If you get confused, listen to the music play. It is never too late to say sorry. You’ll always find your way back home.


— by Betsy Chapman ’92, MA ’94 (with a huge assist from Eileen Rice ’92)

Categories: the daily deac


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