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The Daily Illini

Dad’s advice helps with transition to college life

Rabia Ilyas, Staff writer

Dad’s Weekend is an opportunity to honor and spend time with those men in our lives who have supported and helped us every step of the way. In fact, the transition to college is one of those many stages of life where my dad has helped me immensely. 

Like many, the advice my parents gave me as a child entered one ear and slipped out another. It was not until beginning college that I recognized the advice was actually helpful.

As a freshman, living alone in a dorm and being independent while balancing classes was overwhelming, but the advice my dad gave me when I was 16 helped me out during my first year.

He told me to meet as many people as I could and to surround myself with others that are different from me. This was not too hard to follow when living in a dorm and being surrounded by thousands of other students who were different from me, but in the same boat of not knowing many people.

Because of the words of my father, I remember how I kept my dorm room open my freshman year in hopes of people stopping by and introducing themselves.  This advice may sound cliché, but I guarantee that it helped with the loneliness and homesickness of my first year.

Another word of wisdom from my dad was to stay active. School is hard enough and getting good grades is important but my dad told me to experience as much as I can on campus. Getting involved was difficult for me because there are so many organizations on campus and I was one of those naive students that signed up at every booth on Quad Day.

By sophomore year, that advice was modified a bit; my dad told me to stay active, but to stay active in things that I genuinely enjoyed.  I was so focused on getting involved with things that pertained to my major and meeting other people in my major that I sometimes did things that weren’t fun. When I joined organizations that actually interested me and met people with different goals than me, that’s when I noticed I was having a good time.

One of the most important skills that high school forgot to mention but my dad remembered to pass on was how to pay bills and understand legal documents. This especially helped out during my sophomore year when I was searching for an apartment and had to know the pros and cons of a leasing agreement.

Paying bills on time and setting up a student payment plan were also my newfound responsibilities as a college student. Budgeting was another skill that I grasped from him and I realized that those annoying errands in high school actually taught me to create a grocery list before going anywhere. This has helped me save so much time and money in college.

The list of skills that my dad has taught me is infinite. They are not only skills that will help me in college but also life in general. Skills like riding a bike or driving a car seem common to many, but in a campus so large and diverse, I’m thankful to have had someone there to teach me.

Rabia is a junior in LAS. 

rilyas2@dailyillini.com

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