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.

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When You Make A Girl An Aunt, You Change Her World In All The Best Ways

When you make a girl an aunt, you make her the happiest girl in the world.


My brother and his wife recently blessed our family with the sweetest bundle of joy on planet earth. OK, I may be a little bias but I believe it to be completely true. I have never been baby crazy, but this sweet-cheeked angel is the only exception. I am at an age where I do not want children yet, but being able to love on my nephew like he is my own is so satisfying.

When you make a girl an aunt, you make her a very protective person.

From making sure the car seat is strapped in properly before every trip, to watching baby boy breathe while he sleeps, you'll never meet someone, besides mommy and daddy of course, who is more concerned with the safety of that little person than me.

When you make a girl an aunt, you give her a miniature best friend.

There is something about an aunt that is so fun. An aunt is a person you go to when you think you're in trouble or when you want something mom and dad said you couldn't have. An aunt is someone who takes you to get ice cream and play in the park to cool down after having a temper tantrum. I can't wait to be the one he runs to.

When you make a girl an aunt, she gets to skip on the difficulty of disciplining.

Being an aunt means you get to be fun. Not to say I wouldn't correct my nephew if he were behaving poorly, but for the most part, I get to giggle and play and leave the hard stuff for my brother.

When you make a girl an aunt, you give her the best listening ears.

As of right now I only listen to the sweet coos and hungry cries but I am fully prepared to listen to all the problems in his life in the future.

When you make a girl an aunt, you make her the best advice giver.

By the time my nephew needs advice, hopefully, I will have all of my life lessons perfected into relatable stories.

When you make a girl an aunt, you make her a number-one fan

Anything you do in life sweet boy, I will be cheering you on. I already know you are going to do great things.

When you make a girl an aunt, she learns what true love is.

The love I have for my nephew is so pure. Its the love that is just there. I don't have to choose to show love every day, I don't have to forgive, I don't have to worry if it is reciprocated, it is just there.

When you make a girl an aunt, you make her the happiest person in the world.

I cannot wait to watch my precious nephew grow into the amazing person that I know he is going to be.

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The One Thing Everyone Should Do Before They Graduate

Why I wish everyone could have shared in my end of school adventure.


The end of freshman year was filled with the abundant stress of final exams, teary-eyed goodbyes, and last looks at my dorm room on South Campus. The academic year was overwhelmingly busy, and I tried my best to soak in every single moment as a first-year college student. But as I'm sure many of you can understand, it's not always possible to make time for the adventures we so desperately desire. I found myself saying "I want to do that!" all year long, and here it was the last week of the year and my bucket list had barely been touched. All those Philadelphia excursions, dreamy coffee shop dates, and campus explorations that I looked forward to never ended up panning out…

… until last Thursday night.

With about half the freshman class moved out of South Campus, everything felt a little strange. There was barely a dinner rush at all in Donahue Dining Hall, and my room looked so empty it almost made me sad. Naturally, I called up a couple of friends. Within minutes, we met in the lounge, and we were off for our adventure.

Every single day on the way to labs in Mendel Hall, I walked past the beloved Falvey Fountain. It had become such a consistent part of my routine that walking past it felt like it was a necessary daily occurrence. But this time, we didn't walk past. In fact, we stopped dead in our tracks and admired its color changing beauty for a brief moment.

And then we dove in!

Yes, we jumped right into the fountain. First the daring adventurer of the group, then his sidekick, then the skeptic, and finally myself. This was definitely not allowed, but no one was around, and more importantly, no one cared. Being knee deep was freezing, but the adrenaline rush was too much to suppress. So we submerged further, dunking each other and splashing the icy water literally everywhere. My wet hair made way for the most epic hair flip of all time, and we all laughed joyously.

All the stress of looming final grades and the completion of projects, the bittersweet goodbyes to our newfound families, and the hassles of packing up for the year were washed away in that fountain, drowned in the euphoria of the moment. We were officially baptized in summer as it dubbed us the kings and queens of adventure.

Afterward, we wrung out our soaking clothes and snapped a quick pic of our drenched selves. Trying to escape the scene hastily, I dropped my bag of M&M;'s. They spilled everywhere, leaving streams of melty chocolate and food coloring running through the aftermath of our fountain dive. The scene looked like a bit of Willy Wonka's chocolate factory had exploded from the fountain and into the night.

I am far from kidding when I say that adventure is a must for everyone, at any stage of life. Whether it's fountain diving at Nova, or sky diving in New Mexico, something about us as human beings needs the unusual, exciting, and even hazardous experiences. This one was particularly cleansing and absolutely unforgettable.

So I implore you: go forth this summer and be adventurous! Explore hidden places, try new eats, shuffle a stranger's playlist, introduce yourself to someone on a whim, or just get in the car and drive with no destination in mind. This summer is for the bold; this summer's for you.

Happy adventuring!


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