Post Graduation Tips To My Son


The countdown is on for my oldest child to leave the nest. I am feeling the twinges of guilt suddenly worried that I didn’t teach him everything he needs to know before he leaves home. I keep reminding myself that this is what our goal in parenthood is all about; we want our children to leave the nest. You see, my son isn’t just going across a bridge and going to college. He is going 8 hours away. Leave the nest I am all for, I just wasn’t ready for the emotional impact it was going to have on me. If you personally know me, you know that I don’t cry. Well not anymore, I have turned into this emotional puddle. I need more honey badger in me and less of the sentimental fool that I have turned into. What is a mom to do? So in order to distract myself I began to write down everything I want to remind him of.


  • Don’t take any credit card offers. There will be plenty of opportunity to get one in a few years. For now use a debit card and perfect the use of the debit card so when you get a credit card, you treat it just like the debit card, making sure that you have the money to pay for what you are buying before you buy it.


  • Pay all your bills on time. Establish good credit early on so that you can buy a car without me cosigning the loan.


  • Go to every class and turn in all assignments on time. By just doing that you will probably be guaranteed to be a “B” student.


  • Keep a copy of your health insurance card with you at all times. An easy way to do this is to take a picture of the front and back of it with your smart phone.


  • If you are taking a car, know how to maintain your vehicle such as oil changes and tire pressure.


  • Have good oral hygiene. Go to the dentist twice a year. Floss. Brush twice a day. You will thank me later when you have great breath and teeth without cavities.


  • Have a yearly physical. It is good to have a conversation with a doctor about what is going on with your body and making sure all the parts are working.


  • Know when you are sick enough to ask for help. Don’t just wait for someone to figure it out. Also, don’t try to be a tough guy and wait it out. Some things you need to see a doctor for, so make sure that it happens.


  • I will keep your room as is for a limited amount of time. It will not be yours to return to live in when things don’t work out. You are smart and you have the confidence that things will work out so you are never in need of your room again.


  • Keep the relationship going with your siblings and your parents. We will always love you and not judge you (most of the time). One request, I would like the random calls and text messages saying that you love me.


  • Know how to do your laundry. And don’t forget to make sure you wash your towels and sheets once a week.


  • Take chances and do things that scare you. As long as they are moral and legal that is!


  • You are in control of your life. If you can dream it, you can do it! So start dreaming!


To Joyful, Simplified Living,

MS. Simplicity

MS. Simplicity, also known as Melissa Schmalenberger  operates her business as I Did it with MS. Simplicity.  She is a Professional Organizer based out of Fargo, ND and her website can be found at


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1 Response

  1. Rachel

    I found this article very interesting and sent it to my son also. Our situations are similar, yet different. My oldest son graduated from high school last May 2011. He joined the Air Force. In Sept 2011 he started basic training in San Antonio, TX for 8.5 weeks then went on to “AIT” (tech school) through April 2012 in Wichitia Falls, TX. He was home for a couple of weeks before he left for his first duty station in Tokyo the beginning of May 2012. He has a 24 month duty assignment there. I then read your article. When he originally left it was a 6 hour plane ride from Minneapolis, to drive I believe it was 21 hours to San Antonio. Now he is in a time zone that is 14 hours ahead of us here in Fargo. When he left from Seattle, it was a 12 hour plane ride to Tokyo. It was also 6 hours from Minneapolis to Seattle. Joining the military is a little different than going to college, but a lot of the advice you gave, I think still applies. It was a very good article.

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