My baby sister leaves for college tomorrow. I say baby because with seven years between us, I always think of her as little. It doesn’t matter that she turns 18 (oh my god) on Sunday. She will always be my little sister.

I’ve thought long and hard about the advice I could send her off with. The Do’s and Dont’s I learned along the way. So I’m making her a list (mostly based on personal experience) and I’m asking you to help a sister out and tell me what you learned in college. I’ll compile it all and send it off to her. She can share it with her friends and be the most popular girl in school. Really!

  • Dining hall food is awful. Because of this, you will find the one thing that isn’t awful and eat it all the time. Make sure this food is not grilled cheese. Grilled cheese makes you fat.
  • Speaking of fat, it’s not a rumor. If you drink all the time and eat a lot of grilled cheese, you will gain the Freshman Fifteen.
  • Living with someone is a challenge. No matter how much you like them, if they leave a bowl of milk and cereal in their bed the day your parents come to visit, you have to say something.
  • Express common courtesy. Don’t sexile (locking them out for a booty call) your roommate. That’s just mean.
  • What Dad said was true. Most guys are after one thing. It’s OK to have fun, but be safe. ALWAYS be safe.
  • Use common sense. It’s probably not the best idea to drink the punch out of the storage container that’s sitting on the bathroom floor of a frat.
  • You’ve heard it a thousand times, but it’s true. Don’t get in a car with someone who has been drinking. Please.
  • Go to class. The whole point of college is to, you know, learn. College classes aren’t like high school. They’re interesting. Go. Do the work. Pass. You won’t regret it.
  • Get involved. It’s a great way to meet lots of different people. (I joined the Student Entertainment Committee and a sorority and met some of my closest friends and my boyfriend.)
  • If a class is only offered in the fall, sell the book back at the end of the spring semester. You’ll get more money back that way.
  • Call home. Your family misses you.
  • When you go out, always have a buddy. And take care of each other. If your friend disappears into a bathroom stall with a random guy, go find her.
  • Take lots of pictures. You’ll want to remember it all.

Alright, that’s all I’ve got for now. So I’m counting on you to beef up the list. What advice do you have for my sister?

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