College Advice Students Didn’t Follow

Washington Square Park aerial photo. (WSN File Photo )

Before leaving for college, every student is drowned by advice from their parents. Some of it is definitely useful and worth taking note of — like how to do laundry or how to budget expenses. However, our parents aren’t always a wealth of wisdom — sometimes they give some pretty questionable advice. Here’s some college advice that students didn’t and shouldn’t listen to.

“Stay in your dorm after 8 p.m.”

Before CAS first-year Jessica Meng started at NYU, her mom warned her not to stay out past 8 p.m. Meng agreed that returning home before dark was a good idea — after all, who knows what dangers lurk in the shadows of the night. So, Meng promised her mother she wouldn’t risk her safety by staying out late.

“The fact is that I actually go back to my dorm at 2 a.m.,” Meng said. Some promises are meant to be broken.


“Don’t make friends”

Worried that friends would distract from her daughter’s studies, CAS senior Bhavini Kakani’s mom told her not to make friends before she went to college. Kakani’s mom was worried that friends and social life would distract her from her studies.

“[My mom] is always really overprotective,” Kakani said, “But I never take her advice that seriously. It also seems counterintuitive — come to a big college and not make friends? I just ignore [that advice].”

Instead, she has met a lot of good friends throughout her four years on campus.

“Don’t spend too much time with your high school girlfriend”

Tisch sophomore Kaniskh Pandey’s parents told him not to avoid hanging out too much with his girlfriend, who he came to NYU with. Pandey’s parents were worried that if he only spent time with his girlfriend, he wouldn’t make any other friends.

If only Pandey had listened to them.

“I didn’t follow that advice [at that time],” Pandey said. “So my advice [for incoming first-years] now will be: Break up with your high school girlfriend. You don’t go out. You don’t meet people. And also your personality you introduce to people is often based on that person.”

“Don’t get into cars alone”

According to Steinhardt first-year Iris Wang’s dad, you can’t trust Uber drivers.

“He always told me to give him a call as soon as I got into the car by myself after 8 p.m.,” Wang said. “I think safety is a topic most parents [are concerned about] when their children start to live in a new environment alone.”

Steinhardt sophomore Allie Hauser received the same advice from her parents. She rolled her eyes when her parents first told her this, but she still follows their advice.

“I still don’t get into cars alone,” Hauser said. “But not to be mean, I usually don’t listen to what they say.”

“Don’t have sex”

“My mom straight up told me not to sleep around,” Stern junior Annie Tan said. “That is the one thing I remember she said. I laughed very nervously and said ‘yes sure.’”

Although parents don’t always hit the mark with their advice, they’re usually well-intentioned, with experience backing their words. So keep what they say in mind and don’t stop listening to them altogether.

Email Sherry Yan at [email protected]