Lawlor / More advise from the mouths of babes
If she returns all her overdue library books, our youngest daughter will be graduating after 13 years in the Fairfield school district. No more conferences, no more bake sales, PTA stuff, etc. It will be bittersweet. The school system has done its part. We tried our best but she could use a little more. My wife Laura and I wanted to offer her advice on college and life beyond, but it’s been about two years since she listened to us. So we thought she may listen to other people in the family.
I have a niece, Jocelyn, who is also graduating, in Maryland. She accepts advice just as well as our daughter.
This is the second in a three-part series for both of them. The first bit was from my oldest daughter and a friend about how to navigate college. The third will be from older family members looking back on long successful lives.
This is from the other end — advice from Julia and Jocelyn’s cousins ages 5 to 12 and just starting off. Their names are Quinn, Kane, Asfaw, Julian, and Lily. They have advice to spare. This is their advice for college and beyond:
Wear clean clothes
Take a shower every day
Brush your teeth even though your parents are not telling you to
Don’t crash your car because it would break and be expensive
Don’t drive your car in the bike lane
Don’t pet wild animals because you might get rabies
Don’t do stupid stuff
How to pick a college
Pick a college with a water fountain
Pick a college that you can live with your parents
Pick a college with a tiger mascot
Pick the college that has the most computers
Pick a college with a vending machine
Pick a college that you can learn about every job
Pick a college your friends go to
Look for a lot of Pokémon at the front entrance and all around for Pokémon Go
How to behave in college
Call and tell your parents you love them
Don’t stay up too late
Don’t go to too many parties
Learn to make pancakes
Don’t be weird
Do your homework
Have fun, but learn as well
Don’t talk to strangers
Arrive home by 7:50 p.m.
Try to live in the forest so you can see lots of animals like rabbits
Don’t have a TV so you can enjoy the outside
Get a driver’s license
Get a good job
Get a house, not an apartment
We would like to thank the Fairfield School district for helping to get both our children up and out. Mill Hill School, Tomlinson Middle School and Fairfield Ludlow High School; Julia also went to the Aquaculture Program in Bridgeport.
Lily and Julian offered this extra bit of advice Lily thought about the parents, as the children leave the nest. “Your parents will think ‘finally freedom’” and Julian thought of the graduates and their long term success, when he said “if you live with me you can get this type of advice every day.”
Julian, we could all use your advice.
Congratulations to Jocelyn, Julia and the Class of 2017. Learn to make Pancakes, and don’t do stupid stuff.
Thomas Lawlor lives in Southport with his wife and two daughters. His column appears every other Friday. He can be reached by email at Tlawlor@