Three Rules for College Students

I posted Three Rules for College Students a long time ago, and they generated a lot of dialogue.  Now that we are ready to send our babies off to college, I thought it would be a good time to revisit them.

I can’t take credit for authoring them, however.  For a number of years, I worked for a group of executives with whom I became very close.  This was long after I had given up my “career job” to stay at home and raise my kids.  When my babies were toddlers, I was asked if I would be interested in becoming an Executive Assistant / Office Manager to an entrepreneur who was starting up a new company.  This was back in the days of startups and IPOs – fun and exciting times in the business world.

It was a great job for me since I was able to enjoy a great deal of flexibility, which I needed to raise my kids, but I was also a respected contributor to a team of entrepreneurs in a startup company who appreciated what I brought to the table (my intellect) without me having to be in a highly visible position.  In other words, I got to run the office, behind the scenes, so they could concentrate on building the business.  It was really the best of both worlds since I never really had to take my work home with me like they did.  I enjoyed great flexibility while at the same time getting nicely compensated.  You don’t really find those types of opportunities too often.

One of the guys I worked for was raising three kids with his wife.  They had a family with similar values and backgrounds to ours, but they were a few years ahead of us in the family life cycle, so I was able to learn from their experiences.

When we were ready to take our oldest off to college, he rattled off these three rules to me, and I was so impressed that I wrote them down and have shared them with each of our kids as they have entered this new stage in their lives.

They are deceptively simple, because they really encompass almost anything a college student, or anyone starting out for that matter, can expect to encounter in life.

To be honest, I don’t know if my kids ever really paid attention to the rules, but, hey, we can only do so much.  At least, they have never been in doubt regarding our values and expectations.

So, I will share them once again with our two newest college students as well as my middle child who is entering her last year of college before entering the real world, whatever that may be.

Thank you, Jim and Trudy, for being an inspiration to us.  You weren’t perfect parents and you didn’t have perfect kids, but you were a perfect family to us.

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