At Galin Education, we focus on getting students into their dream schools. We strive to figure out what schools will be the right fit for them, while the students spend countless hours putting in the hard work to make their dreams a reality. This fall, so many of our students are off to chase that dream, including my own son, Justin. So I thought I would take a moment to offer some words of wisdom, not only to Justin, but to all the parents and kids who are beginning this next great adventure.
Born with the last name Best, I have heard all the jokes. Seriously though, I strive to be the best dad to Justin as he heads off to study clarinet performance at Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music in Houston, Texas. It seems like yesterday that my own dad sat me down to talk about my next chapter in life. He was nearing 50, I was turning 18. Now my son is 18, and I am turning 50. Though my dad isn’t here today to help me give his grandson advice, I can pass on his words as best I can — not only to Justin, but to all students getting ready for their first days of university.
One of the most important things my dad advised as I prepared to journey from Long Island to Bethlehem, Pennsylvania was to pick my friends carefully. We talked about how my new friends would reflect on me and potentially influence me. Dad was confident that I would surround myself with classmates I would be proud to call friends. He knew how loyal I was to my friends, so those were wise words.
Justin is going into music at Rice, so I have music and Houston on the mind. But this advice could be translated to any program, to any major, to any path a child chooses to pursue. So here is my heartfelt advice:
- Orchestrate a program of amazing musical and academic experiences
- Collaborate with the best musicians around you
- Leverage your secret power as a listener
- Adventure throughout Houston and all it has to offer
- Discover intramural sports, school government, religious groups, and other campus activities
- Recharge your batteries
- Always stay authentic to who you are
So as you head off to university, keep the dreams big, stay focused, and continue to impress and achieve success. Find that best friend who can be a wingman — or wingwoman. Have legendary college adventures together.
And to Justin: we love you and will always support you. Your grandfathers are smiling down, so proud of your talent, dedication, and passion to become a professional orchestral musician. You already know to surround yourself with great people.
Mom will try not to cry, and I will try not to embarrass you. You know we never say goodbye. #We’reWithJustin