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Lessons from the past

Advice for college students today

As a country music fan, one of my favorite artists is Brad Paisley. He wrote a song that I thought was so true to life, titled Letter to Me. He imagines what he would write to his 17-year-old self. Every time I hear that song, it makes me think of what I would say to the younger Chris Perry preparing for college.

First, I would say to learn to set the right priorities. Have you ever been guilty of not focusing on the right things? It is so easy to get focused on what happens day to day, or, get distracted by today’s time consumer—cellphones. I would say, remember to always tell the people you love what they mean to you. Spend time with them while you have time. Time is fleeting and before you know it, you miss the important moments.

Second, I would tell the college student Chris Perry to stay ahead in your classes and prepare early for the exams. It is easy as a college student to have too much fun when you are exposed to new friends and new experiences. When you leave the small town and enter the college environment, it can be difficult to adjust. Remember to embrace the new environment, but don’t forget the deep roots that made you who you are.

Third, I would say to take this time in your life to ask questions and understand that you don’t have all the answers. The famous physicist Stephen Hawking said, “The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge.” One of the best lessons that I ever learned was that everyone has a great story and I can learn from them. I wish I would have learned that earlier.

The last thing that I would say to me is to enjoy your life. There will be good times and bad times. But, if you have faith, put others first, and tell people that you care about them, this life can be very full.

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