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The Best Life Advice I Ever Received

My senior year of high school, right before my friends and I all graduated and parted ways, my high school humanities teachers gave me the best life advice I’ve ever received, specially curated for new college students. 

Special thanks to Tim and Helen Plaehn, my favorite teachers at Asheville School. 

1. Don’t take pills given to you by strangers; keep your eyes on your drink at all times. 

2. Know how you’re getting home. 

3. Alcohol + freedom + insecurity should not equal meaningless sex. 

4. People are not drinking, smoking or having as much sex as you think they are. 

5. Don’t skip class. Don’t sit in the back of the lecture hall. 

6. Use, but don’t abuse, your professors’ office hours. 

7. Facebook lies; freshman year can be hard, so be patient in your journey.

8. Find your people. 

9. Don’t go to graduate school just because you don’t know what to do after college. 

10. Always tip 20%. 

11. Don’t drink and drive and don’t text and drive; you could hurt someone else. 

12. Marriage won’t fix a relationship, or yourself. 

13. You don’t need nearly as much money as you think you need to be happy in life.

Mary Chamberlain Harlan is a junior at Southern Methodist University majoring in English and minoring in Women and Gender Studies. An ardent liberal, she is passionate about human rights and works with Spectrum, LGBT Panels, and TEDx SMU to raise awareness for the LGBT community. She has been obsessed with horror movies since age 8, when she first saw Poltergeist, and plans to write her senior thesis on the impact of the horror genre on the modern world.
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