My letter to Kayli, or things you should know before starting college.

Kayli is moving to college this weekend. CONGRATS KAYLI!!! So, here’s my advice to her before she gets to college… And to anyone going or that knows someone going to college… Things I wish someone would’ve told me…

Dear Kayli,

OK…. Things you should know. And all in one email so you don’t need to worry about remembering. Just don’t delete it, cause that defeats the purpose. hahaha!!!

1. Click this link to go apply for a student Discover card. When I applied I researched and it was the best one to get then. I still think it is. Has the lowest interest rates. Sooner you do it the better… I have really good credit now and it’s because I applied for a card in 2006. Two years into college…. So if you start now, yours will be better. Then when you get out of college you’ll be able to buy a house or a car easier. When you get your card… ONLY USE IT FOR THINGS YOU ALREADY HAVE THE MONEY SET ASIDE FOR… Trust me. Just do it. I racked up a HUGE amount of credit card debt in college… and it took me til after I graduated grad school to get that down. Buy something. Pay it back. But use it… If you don’t use it, it won’t build your credit.

2. Speaking of being careful with your money and credit… I had an account going to school too… I didn’t balance my checkbook and REALLY pay attention to how much money I had. They have that fancy little overdraft protection that will SCREW you. BALANCE your checkbook. Sure, you can go online and look at what you spent and what not… But stay on top of it before then. Otherwise you might think you have money when you don’t because it didn’t show up online yet. Then one day you go online and you’ve over drafted $200. Boo. And really, it only takes a minute.

3. Get a little planner. Or use your Iphone if you want. But I like to actually WRITE in a planner because then you get the satisfaction of marking things off. 🙂 Then. Figure out how much money you’ll have each month. Divide that month in two and figure out when bills are due. Then SCHEDULE your bills into your planner EVERY month. Half at the beginning of the month. Half toward the middle. Next month you just copy from last month. You really only have to figure it out once. As you pay a bill, mark it off. Then you know how much money you have left over to do fun stuff with. Let me know if you need help with this. I do mine and Nate’s. 🙂

4.  Speaking of that planner. Pencil in your homework. Set deadlines. Meet them. Sure, your teachers told you that in college you are in charge of yourself. Mine did anyway. Your professors won’t make you turn in homework. Most won’t accept it late. You can’t get through without doing the work. That’s crap. You can get through classes without doing the extra homework. Without really studying. I did. That’s how Nate graduated. Ask him, he’ll tell you. But if you don’t you won’t learn it. Then when you go into the next class up, you’re behind. So just learn it the first time. I’m lazy when it comes to studying. Honestly I always did just enough to get by. And sure you learn stuff, but not as well and as much as you should.

5. So you’re worried you chose the wrong major? Surprise! Most people do. The thing that matters is that you try it, realize you don’t like it, do something else. Don’t just stick it out. Sure you’ll get out of school faster, but with a degree you won’t use. In middle school I wanted to do something like interior design. Somebody (who I can’t remember) told me… You can’t do that. Where will you work around here? Have you seen that quote…

Source: via Kassi on Pinterest

6. Are you still paying attention? Good. Just checking.

7. Try new things. Really though. I am super sad at myself for never taking the wine tasting class. haha. Take a jewelry making class if you want. They have those. Or something fun if you want to. Sure listen to your adviser… but if you wanna take something else, take it. College. Real college. Only happens once. Live it up man! Join a club. Or two. They’ll look fancy on your resume and introduce you to people you wouldn’t have met otherwise.

8. Girls are dumb in college too. It’s not just high school. But in college, if you don’t like them, or of they’re mean or whatever… You don’t have to be friends.

9. Call mom. A lot. It’ll make her feel better.
But after you’ve talked to mom, ask for dad. He gets his feelings hurt if you don’t. Really.

10. Call Kassi. Cause I said. Do it. Even if it’s 2 am and you have a test tomorrow and you just wanna cry and someone to listen about how stressed out you are. Call me. If I don’t answer call again. I’ll wake up sooner or later… Or Nate will… and elbow me to turn it off… haha. But I’ll listen. Sometimes you’ll need that. OR if it’s late and you’re alone and scared. Call me. I’ll talk to you while you search the closets for a boogey man. Be careful with mom though… that stuff really freaks her out. 🙂
photo with our mother, mother and daughters

11. Man, I could go on and on here.

12. Don’t be scared. This is your time! You are ready for this! I did it and I’m a weiner. haha. You know what’s right and wrong. You know when something is off and you shouldn’t be there. Just listen to yourself and get the freak out. Don’t stay somewhere because some other friend is there and wants you too… If you want to leave, leave. You’ll save yourself a lot of trouble by just going home. Don’t let anyone push you around. Don’t try to save or help someone at the risk of you getting hurt. Just don’t. Mmmkay???

Ok, good. That’s it. For now. If I think of something else I’ll tell you Saturday. At Harry. Or maybe after… Cause interrupting the final Harry movie would be a travesty.

Love you.

Anyone have any other advice for a miss (or mister) about to head off to college?? Please leave your advice in the comments!! We would love to hear!!! We’ve gotten some great ones on twitter today!!! 🙂 Check those out here or share yours there as well!

Kassi @ Truly Lovely


  1. Ladybird Ln says:

    How sweet are you! Great advice! I was sad I did not take more FUN classes! I think college is all about discovering you, it is a time to be selfish, learn about yourself, and new things… Because believe me after college, especially when you have a family, it is hard to find a spare second for yourself! Take advantage of the time you have at college to make your best self!


  2. TexaGermaNadian says:

    This is so sweet, Kassi! I bet you are excited for her to go to college and will probably miss her just as much. I can only imagine how great of a sister you are to her! 🙂

  3. This is great advice! I totally agree about paying credit card bills in full every month. We do the exact same thing and after 7 years of marriage + 4 1/2 degrees, we have ZERO debt. It takes a lot of discipline, but totally worth it!

    • Kassi @ Truly Lovely says:

      True story! It’s really hard to forgo that fun thing to pay of your card, but it’s worth it!!! 😉