What you build

I’ve given you the strongest, best foundation I knew how.

I can’t wait to see what you build on it!

If I could rebuild knowing what I know now there are a few places I’d shore up. A few wonky boards I’d replace and one or two areas I’d make a little more square.

But we don’t get to rebuild. The foundation is set. Now it’s all up to you to design.

You aren’t alone. I’ll always have an opinion (which I will share without you having to ask, don’t worry.) I’ll always be your biggest fan. You can continue to count on me for support.

There will be times when I overstep and try and re-do what you are building because I see weak areas or areas that need more support. Don’t hate me for those times.

There will be times you let me help and you heed my advice. There will be other times you won’t.

I can’t re-do, re-build or re-design anything at this point. But….I can remind you about some of the foundational things that exist in the hopes that they offer strength and stability to what you build next.

  • Don’t lose your integrity. A good man does the right thing even when no one is watching. I’ve watched your every move. I won’t be there to watch anymore.
  • It’s not the mistakes that define you…it’s how you recover from them.
  • Stay true to YOU. College is designed to challenge the definition of who YOU are. That’s okay. But makes changes you want to make-not some that someone else wants you to make.
  • You are going to face problems. And now there won’t be anyone readily handling you the solution. That’s up to you. I’ll be here for guidance and help but not a ready-made solution.
  • Work before play. I can’t say that enough.
  • Work for the life you want. That work starts now. Don’t wish for the life you want…those days are long gone.
  • Make memories you will be proud of.
  • Open up…your mind to possibilities, your heart to hope and your world to new things.
  • Know your worth. I think you’ve struggled with that this year. That worries me.
  • Learn to ask for help. Not a way out but help. There isn’t weakness or shame in that.
  • You’ve had some strong influences in your life. When in doubt ask yourself what they would do.
  • College is the job. Don’t do it well and you lose the job. That’s life.
  • Always be a gentleman.
  • Don’t forget your manners.
  • Look people in the eye when you talk to them.
  • Always shake hands.
  • You’ve always, always loved the ladies. Be sure you always respect them as well.
  • You are and always will be part of a family.
  • This is a beginning–not an end.
  • It won’t always be easy. At times it will be the hardest thing you’ve ever done. Don’t quit. Re-group, re-plan abs recover but don’t quit.
  • Don’t, for any reason, drink and drive. Ever.
  • Always be in control of where you are and who you are with.
  • Expand.
  • Ask questions.
  • Don’t wait until it’s too late before you ask for help or guidance.
  • Don’t let size dictate anything.
  • Learn to budget: money, time, energy
  • Learn to save.
  • Find a tribe. Have as many acquaintances as you want but invest in some really special friends.
  • Be responsible
  • Be young
  • Listen to your conscience
  • There is a life outside this small bubble you know-explore it!
  • Sometimes it is the principle!

You have a foundation. I hope you have the tools you need–if not ask for them. Measure twice and cut once. And if the cuts not right once or twice-improvise.

I am proud of you. I am hopeful about who you will be. Go out and build something you will be proud of!


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