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In honor of Father’s Day (June 19… you should start looking for gifts) I asked my dad, U.S. Navy Commander H. Leon Archibald what advice he’d have for college students.

My dad has seen five children through college. He holds a bachelor’s in liberal studies from Regent College, a master’s in computer information systems and technology from the University of Phoenix and a master’s of strategic studies from Air War College. Basically, the guy knows his stuff.

Pearls of wisdom from my dad…

  • Grab the wheel. College is a new experience. It is also YOUR journey to travel. I can not chauffeur you to your destination.  At times, I will be a confidant and a voice of reason but for the most part I am a limited observer. Take this leap of independence. Knowing that I will always be here to support you.
  • Make wise financial decisions. College is expensive. Tuition has been drifting upward for years, with little relief in sight. Find the most sensible and affordable way to go and stay in college and let’s make this work. Be productive.  Apply for scholarships. Work. Save money. You’re grown now, remember? Take charge of your education and especially grab those financial reigns.
  • Never forget why you left home. That doesn’t mean that you won’t change your major. It means keep that degree in mind at all times and make sure you are always working towards attaining it. There will be plenty of good and bad distractions along the way but don’t delay your destiny by always taking the scenic route. Nine times out of ten the straight route is the best route.  Life is short and this undergraduate experience is but a mere fraction of the great things that you are to accomplish.
  • Value the friendships and the relationships you make. Do you remember your best friend from 1st grade? Me neither. It’s time for you to establish networks of people, both professional and personal, that are going to support you and hold you accountable in this stage of life.  These people will be your reinforcements when the comforts of home are not available to you. Sure your friends from high school are wonderful and some of them will remain but the adult friends and colleagues you meet from college will be your primary buttresses during this time. Learn to lean on them.
  • You may change, but I will not. Sure you’ve gone off to college and maybe you don’t need me to help you with your homework or give you an allowance. But, I’m still your father and I will always have your best interests at heart. I raised you to be the independent person you are today, but I take pride in knowing that you still need me. So call/text/tweet/facebook message home from time to time  for reasons other than to ask for money. I have a vested interest in your life; after all you are a by-product of me.

Happy Father’s Day!

Give H.O.P.E. Live H.O.P.E.

LaToya Archibald
Community Alliance Coordinator
The H.O.P.E. Scholarship