Advice to My ‘Little’ Sister

It’s really weird to realize that you’re not so little anymore. You’re a college freshman, and you have so much to offer to the world, but there are also a ton of life lessons to learn ahead. I don’t want you to get lost along the way, so here I present to you: advice on how to grow up during your college years in the least painful way.

1. Study hard. Schoolwork is important.

I’m sure you’re used to hearing this and will probably roll your eyes, but it’s so important. College is a commitment. It’s where you lay the groundwork for your future. I’m sure the social aspect of it, as well as the free time, can sometimes be tempting, but do not brush aside your schoolwork in favor of these things. No future employer wants an employee who majored in laziness. Earn those good grades, pad your resume and show the world why they should love you as much as I do.

2. Realize who your true friends are and who your day-to-day friends are.

There is a difference, believe it or not. Someone who is your friend today might not be in five, ten years. I think deep down, you know when someone’s a true friend – make sure to put the effort in with these ones. They’re worth it when you want to celebrate an accomplishment or need a shoulder to cry on.

3. Your parents want what’s best for you.

You may not always agree, and at times their decisions or comments can be frustrating or hurtful, but they always have your best interest in mind. That doesn’t mean that you should always be submissive (everyone bends the rules once in a while), but it’s important to weigh their opinions alongside your own. As much as we hate to admit it, most of the time, they’re right.

4. Boys won’t always treat you nicely.

Surprising, right? Not at all. Some boys will be mean to you, and that can leave you both breathless and infuriated. If you ask me, any boy should thank his lucky stars that you'll even consider him, but that won't always be the case. Sometimes they’ll seem like they’re worth the chase – though they rarely are. If a boy tries to make you work for him, or always leaves you questioning how he really feels, it’s best to leave him. You’ll know when someone’s right for you. As I said before, a relationship of any type is an equal effort, and if you feel like you’re pulling 80 when he’s only giving 20, say goodbye.

5. Stand up for what you believe in.

Not everyone is going to agree with you, but don’t let that sway you. If you feel passionate about something – everything from feminism to a career choice – stand by it. Listen to other people’s opinions, be open-minded, but stay grounded in your own beliefs and morals. Your gut instinct is right a lot of the time, so trust it. 

6. Similarly, be confident in who you are.

Don’t ever change for someone, ever. You are perfect the way you are. There is always room for small improvements, and you’ll change over time – but make sure that’s on your own terms, and not for someone else. Have confidence in who you are.

7. Put your all into every little thing that you do.

Whether it’s sports, academia, or anything else, make sure you put your all into it. People will appreciate it when they can tell you put 100% of yourself into something. While the phrase is ‘a little goes a long way,’ just imagine how far giving your all will go.

8. Last, but not least, remember you always have me.

I don’t care how badly you’ve screwed up, or how embarrassed or disappointed you are with yourself – I am always here to listen. More importantly, I'm here to give you a hug when you need it. As far as I'm concerned, you're the prettiest, smartest, most genuine and kind-hearted girl out there. Nothing you could do or say changes that fact. Regardless of how down you get, I am always here to bring you right back up. Fall down seven times, stand up eight – and I’ll be there to help you. Like we always say, LYLAS (love you like a sis!).

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