Dear Mikey …

  • Thursday, July 17, 2014

Dear Mikey,

This is such an exciting time for you. Congratulations on your scholarship to N.C. State! I know youíll be the best-looking, funniest, kindest computer engineer who ever tapped a keyboard.

I realize this is late and you actually graduated (with honors, yay you!) from high school six weeks ago, but life can be hectic when youíre an adult. Get back with me in 25 years and weíll compare notes. Anyway, enjoy the money and listen up, okay?

College is going to be a blast! Thereís nothing like being away from home and tasting independence for the first time. The fun will bring a unique set of challenges, but Iím sure youíre equal to them. Making mistakes is part of growing up. Live and learn.

You will meet different kinds of people from varied backgrounds, and the experiences you have with them will help you grow and mature. Approach everyone with an open mind but choose your friends carefully, because others DO judge you by the company you keep. (I know, totally unfair, right?)

Remember this: You have a good name. Donít do anything that would mortify your mom and dad. (Not to mention your Aunt Julie.) Also, cyberspace is forever and employers WILL look, so remember that, too. ?

Here are a few other things you might want to keep in mind. (Because Iím your aunt and I give everybody advice, thatís why.)

* Study hard but remember, life is to be enjoyed. And by that I mean get a soft-serve cone at the DQ now and then, not take off on a tramp steamer to Tahiti.

* Donít do anything you canít undo. This includes pregnancy and prison.

* You are probably going to drink before your 21st birthday; I neither condone nor criticize. Just donít make alcohol your best friend. A nodding acquaintance is fine, but booze is not your buddy.

* Trust until you have a reason not to.

* You will eat so much Top Ramen that 30 years from now you will gag when someone says ďTop Ramen.Ē Sad but true.

* Never argue with a red-headed woman wearing black underwear. You cannot win.

* You donít have to like your roommate; you just need to not kill him. Thatís all the law requires.

* A small aquarium in your room can be very soothing, but itís depressing when the fish die. And they will.

* Donít automatically assume you will gain the dreaded freshman 15. If the food there is as bad as the food at my college, you will lose two pants sizes before second semester. Which leads us toÖ.

* Learn how to cook. Jiffy Pop is cool and retro the first dozen times you make it, but after that itís just sad.

* Donít spend all your spare time holed up in your dorm room playing video games. Make friends and go to their rooms and play their video games. Fun is better when shared.

* Always tell the truth. Life hates a liar.

* If a friend asks you to hold a package for two weeks until he gets back from Costa Rica, open the package. If it does not contain bowling shoes or a family Bible, tell him to find another storage service.

Enjoy this wonderful adventure. I love you.

P.S. And thanks for restoring my hard drive and retrieving those 85 files that fell into a black hole last year. Youíre destined for great things!

Julie R. Smith, who is everyoneís crazy aunt, can be reached at widdleswife@aol.com.

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