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    by Ngozi Osuagwu, MD | August 6th, 2017


    “Tuition is due by August 15th” my daughter reminded me and my husband.

    “If you do not pay by August 15th, they will not let be start classes”.

    I cannot believe it is that time of year again. She will be entering her sophomore year in college. I used this as an opportunity to read the blog I had written titled ‘College Advice’. I made slight revisions and gave it to her to read.

    1. Put God first – I believe that there is a higher power whom we can rely on. Do not forget to pray.
    2. Trust your instinct – We all have some little bug inside of all of us that tells us when we should or should not do something. Some call it our gut feelings. Some say it is the Holy Spirit talking within us. I ask that you listen to your gut. There are times that your friends might want you to do something and you just do not feel that it is right. DO NOT DO IT. A rule of thumb is that once you put on your pajamas for the night, the only reason you should go out that night is if it is a life or death situation.
    3. Do not smoke cigarettes or take street drugs – Cigarettes and drugs are addictive. You will be offered cigarettes and drugs. Some will even say that you are too smart to get addicted. The response should be, “I am too smart to start.” DO NOT BE AFRAID TO SAY NO. It is okay to be called a goody two-shoes. If they are your true friends, they will not pressure you to take anything.
    4. Never leave your drink unattended – If you did not open the drink yourself, if you did not see how the drink was made or if your drink was open and left unattended, throw it away. It is not worth taking the drink. People do put drugs in drinks. Carry your own water bottle in your bag so that you will always have a drink. The preference would be to avoid alcohol until the legal age of 21 years old, but if you are going to drink, be responsible. AVOID GETTING DRUNK.
    5. While driving, never text and always wear your seatbelt – Regarding texting, never text as a driver; limit the texting when you are a passenger. Keep your eyes on the road. Regarding the seatbelt, it should always be worn, whether you are a driver or a passenger.
    6. When you do decide to have sex, make sure it is under your terms and please use condoms—Ideally, I would love for you to wait until you are married, but I am a realist. We are all sexual beings. You will have guys coming to you and telling you all sorts of things. Remember when you decide to have sex, it should not be to prove that you love someone, it should be because you have found someone that cares for you and you care for them. That person should be someone who wants you to be your best and is willing to be with you even if you are not ready to have sex. Before you do anything, both of you should get tested for HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases. Do not be afraid to ask the person, if they have had anything in the past like herpes. Also, ask how they feel about their mother. If they love their mother, they will treat you well. USE CONDOMS. You need to finish school before starting a family. If the condom breaks, there is emergency contraception that you can use within 72 hours of the accident.
    7. Eat your fruits and vegetables daily – No one will be there to police the type of foods you are eating. Along with your daily vitamins, I would like you to remember to add the fruits and vegetables. They contain antioxidants, macro and micronutrients to help you stay healthy.
    8. Eat breakfast – This is the most important meal of the day. It helps with brain health and really makes you sharper academically.
    9. Do not be a couch potato – Weight gain is a reality and we can help combat the added weight by exercising regularly.
    10. Remember you are in college for the education but be open to the experience I know you want to focus on the college experience. You need to remember that we are sending you to school to get a good education. We want you to graduate as a happy and independent individual and I do stress independent. However, college is amazing. You will meet different people and be exposed to so many things. Embrace all of the differences and be willing to learn. Embrace your community on and off campus.  Join a club. Learn something new.
    11. Look in the mirror every day and know that you are a wonderful gift from God. You have a purpose in this world. You are beautiful and you are loved. Spend at least five minutes a day embracing this fact. When times get rough in school, do not give up, ask for help. Know that you were meant to be where you are and that you can overcome all obstacles.
    12. Listen to your parents, most importantly your mother*– You need to know that your mother loves you. She will never give you bad advice. She wants the best for you. Always come to her with any questions. She is guaranteed to have your back.


    *This can be any caregiver or adult who is committed to making sure that you succeed.

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