Recently, a young friend asked me what life lesson I could impart to her. She said, and I paraphrase (because sometimes I feel my partially photographic memory is fading like an old black and white photograph although I'm far too young to be complaining about such things albeit, here I am, but I digress), "is there anything you could tell me that you wish you knew when you were my age?". This gave me pause. It was an open door. Do I dare walk in? How much do you say? As a teacher, I was now set loose to offer my wisdom. Well, in retrospect the answer I gave her was probably a cop out. I told that there are many things I could tell her - MANY things and the more "lessons" I shared, I told her, the less important they would appear. Sometimes less is more. So, I said simply, "take advantage of your time in school and learn everything you can. School is fleeting and through out life you will say, 'rats, I wish I would have paid better attention in that class'. Or, 'Geez, I took two semesters of astonomy and I still don't know where Leo is!'".
What I really wanted to do is give her a long list of things to watch out for, when to be aggressive and when the passive approach is more effective, the importance of a knowing a second language, being versed in multiple disciplines, and essentially the value of a liberal arts education. That would have inundated her. So, I told her that one bit of wisdom.
Admittedly, I told her that I will share things with her every now and then as the situation presented itself. But, really who doesn't do that anyway?
What one thing would you share with a college-aged curious individual? What would you tell someone that you wish you would have known when you were back in college?
(Don't drink the blue stuff!!" is too easy an answer!)
I love that my friend is going through this wonderfully healthy stage of craving information. However, careful what you ask for...