To My Daughter As She Enters Her Last Year of College

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Dear Franceska: I can’t believe this is it, your last year as a college student! So much has happened since your first year. So many memories and so many lessons. This time, for the first time, you will living on your own, as an adult. No roommates, no curfew—you will be responsible for it all. Getting up and getting to classes on time, take apartment key, your student ID, where to go shopping for food and toiletries, being alone. As you step out into the world with all the confidence of a 23-year-old, here some things that I want to remind you:

  1. It’s ok to ask for help. Just because you are older, doesn’t mean you have it all figure it out already. If you ask, people will help!
  2. It’s ok if you feel uncomfortable in a situation. Never be afraid to say no and walk away. It’s your prerogative!
  3. It’s ok to feel disappointed by others. Just about this time you will figure out people’s true colors. How about instead of ‘Enjoy the rainbow,’ something like, “Learn to trust your instincts about people.”
  4. It’s ok to make mistakes or even fail. Those are the times that teach and make you do better next time! Doing your best is what matters!
  5. It’s ok to feel, and to show, your feelings. We all feel sad, lonely, homesick, helpless, or angry at times. Breathe and count your blessings, and know that everybody gets stressed and overwhelmed sometimes.
  6. It’s ok to be confident. There is a difference between confidence and entitlement. When you have done your homework and know you’re prepared, be confident. Don’t expect good things to come to you without hard work, though.
  7. It’s ok to LOVE Love makes it all worthwhile!
  8. It’s ok to need your parents. Mom and Dad are always here for you. We will never stop being your parents no matter how old you are. Our love is unconditional…. Remember that!
  9. It’s ok to be proud of your heritage! Being tri-cultural allows you to have a more global perspective and to be more tolerant and compassionate towards others. That is a gift!
  10. Lastly, it’s very ok to be yourself! Never be made to feel that you must act or look a certain way to be worth loving. No one else can be you, so go out and be your amazing true self.

And a few things to always remember:

  • Show respect, always! The golden rule still applies. Treat others the way you want to be treated (and more often than not, that respect will be reciprocated.)
  • Be cautious but trusting. Watch your step; be mindful of your surroundings. Again, your instincts are usually on target.
  • Be grateful. Surrendering to others, and acknowledging what you have been given (and taught) brings magic to life.

Love always, Mama

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