3 Important Life Lessons My Grandfather Taught Me

3 Important Life Lessons My Grandfather Taught Me

Because grandfathers truly do give the best advice.

Ever since I started living with my grandfather my freshman year of high school, he’s heard almost all of my complaints. Especially when it comes to school. He’s seen the stress I had over chemistry sophomore year to the tears I cried from physics junior year. He saw me leave the house in the morning, dreading the pre-calculus test I was about to take that day.

He could see the weight on my shoulders I could not see myself. Throughout all of this, he’s never failed to give me advice. At the time, I would simply nod my head and let out a heavy sigh—not realizing just how true his words really were until I finished high school.

I find myself applying his little worlds of wisdom even more into my own life each and every day. While college is stressful, it shouldn’t dictate the way we live our lives.

1. Don't sweat the small things— including classes.

As cliche as it may sound, one thing he truly emphasized was not to worry about the little things. One thing he would always say was, “Are you gonna be a chemist? Then don’t worry about it!” when it came to my tears over chemistry class. While it is small, that mantra still stays with me. (Even though I don’t plan on taking chemistry anytime soon!)

A bad quiz grade, a missed homework or pre-exam stress seems like the end of the world in the moment. It’s almost all your mind can focus on and we, as high school and college students, become so hard on ourselves. We wonder what we did wrong, we criticize ourselves for making a mistake and we get so caught up in it.

We’re so caught up in it that we don’t realize it doesn’t matter in the long run.

Understanding that concept is one of the hardest parts and I still find myself struggling to realize that today. Yet the more I practice this, the more it sticks.

2. Always start your morning with positive thoughts, no matter how early your alarm goes off.

Something I always admired about my grandfather was how he manages to wake up close to six in the morning each day with positive thoughts, no matter what is going on in his life. He always starts his day thinking about the aspects of life that truly make him happy.

So when your alarm goes off at 7 a.m., try not to grumble and groan. Don’t let your mind immediately jump to the essay you have to finish by midnight tonight or think about the long walk ahead of you to get to your 8 a.m.

Think about how nice that long walk is going to be in the springtime, and how you’re one step closer to Friday every morning. Think about how you can stop and get a small cup of coffee from your favorite coffee spot. Most importantly, think of the incredible people that surround you and the incredible opportunities you have each and every day.

3. You're never too old (or too busy) for time with your friends.

Each week, my grandpa sets aside time to have coffee or breakfast with his friends. Coffee on Monday’s and Friday’s, breakfast on Tuesday’s, Saturday’s and Sunday’s. No matter how busy his schedule is, he always makes time for his friends.

Classes and assignments may get in the way some weeks. After all, we’re in college and professors may assign an essay due all in the same week. Yet try to take a few moments out of the week to spend time with the ones closest to you. Even if you’re both drowning in homework, head to the library together or even pause for a coffee break.

Schoolwork and exams will only make up a fraction of your life—the memories you make with your closest friends will last a lifetime.

While he hasn’t been to school since 1966, his words of wisdom still reign true. So, thank you, Grandpa, for the words of wisdom that will stay with me for a lifetime.

Popular Right Now

It's Time To Thank Your First Roommate

Not the horror story kind of roommate, but the one that was truly awesome.

Nostalgic feelings have recently caused me to reflect back on my freshman year of college. No other year of my life has been filled with more ups and downs, and highs and lows, than freshman year. Throughout all of the madness, one factor remained constant: my roommate. It is time to thank her for everything. These are only a few of the many reasons to do so, and this goes for roommates everywhere.

You have been through all the college "firsts" together.

If you think about it, your roommate was there through all of your first college experiences. The first day of orientation, wishing you luck on the first days of classes, the first night out, etc. That is something that can never be changed. You will always look back and think, "I remember my first day of college with ____."

You were even each other's first real college friend.

You were even each other's first real college friend.

Months before move-in day, you were already planning out what freshman year would be like. Whether you previously knew each other, met on Facebook, or arranged to meet in person before making any decisions, you made your first real college friend during that process.

SEE ALSO: 18 Signs You're A Little Too Comfortable With Your Best Friends

The transition from high school to college is not easy, but somehow you made it out on the other side.

It is no secret that transitioning from high school to college is difficult. No matter how excited you were to get away from home, reality hit at some point. Although some people are better at adjusting than others, at the times when you were not, your roommate was there to listen. You helped each other out, and made it through together.

Late night talks were never more real.

Remember the first week when we stayed up talking until 2:00 a.m. every night? Late night talks will never be more real than they were freshman year. There was so much to plan for, figure out, and hope for. Your roommate talked, listened, laughed, and cried right there with you until one of you stopped responding because sleep took over.

You saw each other at your absolute lowest.

It was difficult being away from home. It hurt watching relationships end and losing touch with your hometown friends. It was stressful trying to get in the swing of college level classes. Despite all of the above, your roommate saw, listened, and strengthened you.

...but you also saw each other during your highest highs.

After seeing each other during the lows, seeing each other during the highs was such a great feeling. Getting involved on campus, making new friends, and succeeding in classes are only a few of the many ways you have watched each other grow.

There was so much time to bond before the stresses of college would later take over.

Freshman year was not "easy," but looking back on it, it was more manageable than you thought at the time. College only gets busier the more the years go on, which means less free time. Freshman year you went to lunch, dinner, the gym, class, events, and everything else possible together. You had the chance to be each other's go-to before it got tough.

No matter what, you always bounced back to being inseparable.

Phases of not talking or seeing each other because of business and stress would come and go. Even though you physically grew apart, you did not grow apart as friends. When one of you was in a funk, as soon as it was over, you bounced right back. You and your freshman roommate were inseparable.

The "remember that one time, freshman year..." stories never end.

Looking back on freshman year together is one of my favorite times. There are so many stories you have made, which at the time seemed so small, that bring the biggest laughs today. You will always have those stories to share together.

SEE ALSO: 15 Things You Say To Your Roommates Before Going Out

The unspoken rule that no matter how far apart you grow, you are always there for each other.

It is sad to look back and realize everything that has changed since your freshman year days. You started college with a clean slate, and all you really had was each other. Even though you went separate ways, there is an unspoken rule that you are still always there for each other.

Your old dorm room is now filled with two freshmen trying to make it through their first year. They will never know all the memories that you made in that room, and how it used to be your home. You can only hope that they will have the relationship you had together to reflect on in the years to come.

Cover Image Credit: Katie Ward

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

Cancel Culture Is Toxic And Ugly

Stop deciding for me who I can and cannot like.


I was really hoping that canceled culture died in 2018, but unfortunately here we are in 2019 still "canceling" whoever we personally deem "problematic." Whether it's tweeting from six years ago or falsely made allegations, waves of people will grab on to anything they can to bring down whatever celebrity or influencer seems to be doing well at the moment.

Of course, it is important to bring light to horrible things such as racism, misogyny, domestic abuse, etc., but remember these horrible things are still happening TODAY. We need to focus our energy on combating the horrible things people are currently doing and saying; it is truly such a waste of time to bring up the problematic words and actions that someone in the limelight did almost a decade ago.

Let me be clear, there is no one person I am trying to defend here. I honestly don't care much to personally defend anyone who is being canceled by angry twitter-users who found something just bad enough to hold against them for eternity. I truly just find the idea of it annoying and ugly.

The idea that any person is a completely static, flat character is so inconceivable and unlikely that I truly have a hard time understanding why we cannot accept an apology from a matured person.

If we have no evidence that a person has made any recent damaging remarks, then how can we prove they haven't changed since they tweeted something wrong in 2013?

Of course, there are people who have recently or continuously proven they are indecent people who are not deserving of any sort of public exposure, but if they are truly so horrible, people will drop them without you having to tell them to do so. You don't have to condemn those who still remain loyal; they are probably not the kind of people you need to waste your time on anyway.

If the people canceling others were constantly watched like the people they have damned, I am absolutely sure there is something we could find from their past to cancel them as well.

Sometimes it is hard to remember that famous people are still human beings just like us. Anyone is prone to make mistakes, and those mistakes can absolutely be rectified over time.

Nowadays, people love jumping on the bandwagon of finding a new person to hate and don't even stop to think about the damage it could do to that person's life and reputation.

Give people a chance to prove that they are decent human beings before deciding whether "we" as a whole should love or hate them based on such a small amount of evidence.

I am not saying you have to love every celebrity. If you don't like what someone has said or done you absolutely do not have to give them your attention or devotion, but you should not tell me whether I can like them or not.

In 2019 we should put an end to canceled culture, and, instead, learn to take people at their word and accept their apologies for their past wrongdoings.

Related Content

Facebook Comments