Ellen Freeman Roth                      

September 2, 2010

And don't forget...

What advice do parents have for college freshmen?

Mom and dad have doled out advice to Little Johnny for 18 years (and for the past few, Little Johnny often rolled his eyes in response). As students head to college, what nuggets do parents consider the most important? Go to the library? Follow the Golden Rule? Use protection? Freshmen and their parents around the city (and far beyond) shared their parting wisdom as they: bought dorm necessities at Bed Bath & Beyond in Framingham and the Container Store in Natick; moved into dorms at Babson College; walked through Harvard Yard; and headed into the Boston University bookstore.Tennis champion Serena Williams does. Olympic gold medalist and two-time Boston Marathon winner Joan Benoit Samuelson didn't, and still doesn't. And when actress Katie Holmes crossed the finish line of the recent New York City Marathon, she may have, judging by some photos.

“Go to class and do the homework and keep an eye on the damn Mac we just bought.’’ Paul Cincotta to son Alex, who’s at Champlain College, Burlington, Vt.

“Smile and make eye contact; compromise with the roommate.’’ Ellen Debiase to son Evan, who’s at Babson College

“The psychiatrist in me says really listen to your gut. . . . The mom in me says don’t put everything in the dryer.’’ Gail Saltz to daughter Emily, who’s at Brown University

“WWDD: What Would Daddy Do?’’ Anthony Cioffi to daughter Amanda, who’s at Babson

“My dad decided to pull a quote from ‘Hamlet’ and said, ‘To thine own self be true.’ ’’ Kalyn Saulsberry, who’s at Harvard University

“Think smart, academically and socially as well.’’ Kathy Hudson to son Chris, at Roanoke College, Salem, Va.

“My dad called and left me a message on move-in day saying ‘Be brave.’ I’m trying very hard.’’ Adrienn LaChance, at Harvard

“Don’t forget us.’’ Sundeet Sibal to son Mohit, at Babson

“She needs to make sure the water level is high enough for her load when she does laundry. That advice stems from the time . . . the motor of the washer was burning because the water level was too low for the amount of clothes. It took five large, fully uniformed firemen to explain to Alex the finer points of doing laundry!’’ Ellen Gandle to daughter Alexandra, at Boston University

“Follow the path that God’s placed him on. I’m a single mom and he’s got a scholarship here, so it’s a blessing that this came about.’’ Susan Darling to son Andrew, at Babson

“The best piece of advice that my mom told me is that you have opened up a window into this world of endless opportunities so take advantage of it because not many people have such an amazing chance.’’ Danielle Rabinowitz, at Harvard

“Don’t drink too much.’’ Takumi Yamamato, at BU

“Don’t get behind.’’ Matthew Irmas to son Aaron, at Babson

“Try everything. You don’t know where you belong and what your passion is unless you try.’’ Michele Clopper to son Eric, at Colgate University, Hamilton, N.Y.

“There’s a lot you can do and a very small price to be paid in terms of failure, compared to other times in your life.’’ Bobby Samuels, at Harvard

“My dad said stick to the salad bar. I’m an athlete here and the freshman 15 isn’t fake.’’ Tess Rubega, at Babson

“My dad told me that I should always leave my door open in the dorm because people treat it as an open invitation.’’ Matt Megan, at Harvard

“Clean up after myself, be responsible, organized.’’ Kyle Fong, at BU

“Do the right thing. By now you know what that is.’’ Brien Daly to daughter Katy, at Colgate

“Appreciate being here. We live in Virginia and the environment can’t compare. Here you’ve got kids from everywhere. His roommate is from Turkey. So even when he’s in a grind and has a lot of work, he needs to appreciate it here because it’s unmatched.’’ Cliff Coppola to son Paul, at BU