My younger brother heads off to college in just a few weeks and between all the excitement of moving in, making new friends, concentrating on classes, and living on your own for the first time, my family and friends have made time to talk about all the new things happening before he leaves. As an older sister, I find that it is my role to step up and have one of the toughest conversations with my brother. If anyone else has the talk about drinking, drugs, rape, and sexual assault, it might not have the same effect as it will when I open the conversation with him. My father has always said to us, “Remember your last name”, and this is true, but sometimes away from the people behind your last name can mean next to nothing to a young adult.
The topic is quite easy to explain, don't drink too much and don't rape someone, simple enough right? The problem is, there are so many factors involved in the two issues and even more when the two are combined that it tends to be too much to tackle with a simple sentence, however, it can, and must be made easy to understand. So to my younger brother, be a good person. Any situation you find yourself in at college, whether you are in the classroom, in the gym, or at a party if you remember to be a good person, the correct decisions will be made.
College is fun, everyone knows that, so go to parties! but you must understand that there will be consequences for bad actions. For example, if a girl wants to sleep with you, if she has had any alcohol to drink, any at all, she cannot give consent, so be a good person and do not have sex with her. I do not care if this is Kate Upton, do not have sex with her. Be a good person. Easy right? Remind yourself of this when you see and hear of other people doing the opposite. Sometimes college will try to push you away from the simple morals you have always learned (from those people who share your last name), but you must remember to be a good person.
The concept goes further than just looking out for yourself, granted if you take care of your own actions, you will most likely influence others anyways, but take it upon yourself to look out for all people. Tell guys to “knock it off” when they are being aggressive towards a girl, tell someone who is intoxicated that you will walk them home to a safe place before they are in any danger, or if someone looks to have alcohol poisoning, call 911 every time. No one ever regrets doing these types of things, but people regret not helping someone who ends up in danger every single time. It might seem like you must be a super courageous person to be able to do this stuff, but you really do not have to be. All you have to do is be a good person.
So to my brother, be prepared for this conversation, and to other siblings out there, have the tough talk with your brother or sister finds themselves in a lot of trouble. Enjoy college, soak it all in, but always always always, remember your last name.