Lazarus has just posted some advice, prompted by his first going off to University.
Which reminded me of a note I wrote to Bernie this time last year, when she left home to study Fine Art:
I am sure that you do not need any words of advice from me. But somehow I feel that I need to offer some. I remember experiencing pangs of guilt when Ant left without any paternal exhortations ringing in her ears...
There are only two things I want to say: one is to enjoy yourself and the other to look after yourself. On the first I have nothing to say except what is relevant in addressing the second. The same applies to your studies: I believe if you enjoy yourself and look after yourself, the studying will fall into place.
In terms of looking after yourself, I think it helpful to consider four aspects: physical, mental, social/emotional and spiritual well-being.
- Physical: this is the obvious bit. Make sure you get sufficient exercise and sleep, a sensible diet, not too much alcohol, and no drugs.
- Mental: keep your mind sharp by thinking about what you do, by taking an intellectual interest in your Art, and by finding friends who have discussions about things that matter to you or them, not merely superficial chat...
- Social/emotional: stay in regular touch with your friends and family. Use music to combat the blues! Use your emotional ups and downs (which are pretty inevitable) to inspire art – if only by keeping a diary. Find people with similar interests, sense of humour etc. but take your time in making new friends really close: you may want to get to know them over time (especially boys!...)
- Spiritual: Have a regular Plan of Life: morning offering, rosary and examination of conscience daily, and weekly Mass (weekday Masses are good too!), regular confession, and get to know some other Catholics. A bit of spiritual reading wouldn’t go amiss, either.
Have a good time - in every sense of the word!
Lots of love
I don't know how good the advice is, but she is doing very well - just going back full of enthusiasm for her second year.