Unsolicited advice not given

Today was definitely a day of “getting to my roots.”

Inscription on Albritton Clock Tower on the Texas A&M Campus
Inscription on Albritton Clock Tower on the Texas A&M Campus

First, I went out to the cemetery where all my grandparents are buried, and its at the church where my husband and I got married. This location deserves a blog post all by itself, but suffice to say that you can’t get much deeper into my roots than this location!

Then, I visited Texas A&M University. I took some time to walk around a little bit of the campus and take pictures. I took in memories of days now-fairly-long past, and I observed the current student population a little. I am forever amazed by how little changes in light of how much things have changed.

I ran into the same family a couple times as I strolled around. It was a young man with his parents and a couple siblings. He was giving his family a tour of campus, and if I were guessing I’d have said he had to be a Freshman. Perhaps even a Senior checking out the campus he’d be attending in the fall.

I could only hear snippets of their conversations, and really it was none of my business. However, the young mans demeanor amused me. His body language screamed out that he would rather be doing anything other than what he was doing in that moment. Telling his family about traditions, etc. seemed to be almost an annoyance. It was as if they should know these things already.

I shook my head, and deep down I wanted to pull him aside. I wanted to convey to him that I’m over 5 years out of college now, and there are times I wish I’d taken more time to appreciate my campus. I was blessed with parents who took (and continue to take) an active roll in my life. He needs to be thankful to have his family there with him. Many would give anything to have that time. And 10 years from today, he’ll wish he had this time back. I could promise him that.

At another point in my tour, I couldn’t help but overhear another young man fretting over the coming summer. Should he stay in College Station, or should he go home to Dallas?

He was going through the pros and cons of both to his friend, and I have to admit, I was impressed at how he was thinking it through. But I felt the urge to go to him and tell him that neither choice was wrong. He is blessed to be in a time in his life that everything is a chance to grow and experience life. In a weird way, being a student gives him a safety net that “the real world” will not offer in the next few years. Enjoy having that problem. Revel in having the options ahead of you, and know that neither one is wrong. Both will offer lessons in life. Both will find you wiser come Fall Semester.

Its a funny thing about taking some time to visit your roots. You find yourself studying the lessons you’ve learned along the way. You realize you wish someone would have told you these lessons ahead of time. And yet within that, you find its learning these lessons on your own that have made them stick.

So even as I wanted to “offer words of advice” it was best I kept my musings to myself. Those lessons were for me to learn my own way, and for these current students to learn their own way as well. And some day, they may take their own stroll on campus and have the urge to share their own advice, but they, too, won’t.

2 thoughts on “Unsolicited advice not given”

  1. As a Former Student who moved away and then came back to campus, I understand exactly what you’re saying. It’s sometimes hard to keep from imparting advice about things that these kids will just have to discover for themselves.

    1. Absolutely and thank you! Those lessons are what college is all about, and I cherish those lessons learned “the hard way.” File it under things I’m glad my parents never told me. (Or if they did, I wasn’t listening.) As much as I wanted to step in for a minute, I just COULDN’T. It would, in some strange way, be depriving them from really realizing those lessons.

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