Sunday, August 19, 2012

10 things I learned in college

Julia with Kieran at his fourth birthday party
 (Dorothy with the Wicked Witch of the West!)
 Last week I went to a fun dinner with women friends to celebrate and say farewell to a bright, beautiful young woman, Julia, as she leaves for college this week. It's been so much fun to see Julia grow up and have her as part of our lives. She's one of Kieran's "godsisters." She's going all the way back east to college, and we will miss her very much!

At our dinner party, I shared with Julia 10 things I learned in college (in rainbow colors, since I was obsessed with rainbows back then...minus the yellow, because it's too hard to read!).

1. It’s the best time in your life to explore new ideas, try new things, and meet new people!

2. Clove cigarettes and seven and sevens do not mix well.

3. College life has tons of free or cheap cultural entertainment; take advantage of it because it will never be so easy or inexpensive to access culture!

Me as a Spur at PLU in 1983 (sophomore service sorority)--
can you spot which one is me?
 4. I love my family and I realized how lucky I was that my parents helped me go to college and supported me in whatever I wanted to do.

5. Many men have a very difficult time with women who are smarter or stronger than they are. Never fear: the right one is out there…but you might have to kiss a few frogs first.

6. I got into an argument with my Judaism professor because I wanted to do my final research paper on Jewish feminists, and he claimed there weren’t any. I did it anyway. He gave me a C- on my paper because he claimed it was biased. I was so mad at him that I skipped class occasionally. He gave me a B- in the class. I have no regrets, but it still makes me mad!!

After performing in the Lucia Bride festival
 7. It’s much more fun to live in a coed dorm than an all-women’s dorm. (I lived in Harstad, an all-women dorm, my first year, and when I moved to Stuen in my sophomore year, my social life expanded tremendously!) And costumes are fun.

8. Sometimes the toughest professors are the best for you. In my Advanced Composition class (taught by a tough professor who rarely gave praise), I wrote a paper on a very emotionally difficult topic and read it aloud to my class. This professor was the one who encouraged me to consider majoring in English rather than education…and I did! Which leads me to…

9. Study what you feel passionate about rather than what seems most practical. (I know Julia knows this already, since she loves history and chose her university based on that.) I had no idea what I would do with my English major, but I have used it every day since I graduated—not only in everyday life but also in my career.)

10. Relish in the opportunity to make friends and spend lots of time with them. After you graduate and go off into the workplace, you will not have as many opportunities to make friends. College is one of the best places to make friends who share your interests and values. Three of my college friends (Debbie, Jean, and Tami) joined me to live in Japan, a few others came to visit, and we visited another PLU friend in Thailand. I hope that you find your tribe!

Junior year in Stuen in our wonderful bay window

Graduation, May 1986, with my B.A. in English Literature!

Returning to PLU 25 years later
with PLU grads Mom and Dad, and sister Nadine
 (Homecoming 2011)

Bon voyage, Julia--I know you will have a fabulous adventure!!!
We love you and will miss you!!!
We feel so blessed to know you!

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