You won’t regret taking your parents’ advice


Jason Nordstrom

After just completing my senior assessment and being a non-trad at the ripe old age of 27, I feel I would be doing a great injustice if I did not impart this final bit of wisdom before graduation: Your parents are smarter than you.

At one time I, too, was a fresh out of high school—a hormone-enraged, beer-hungry, self-righteous jerk, just like many entering college for the first time.  

I started off college here at Missouri Southern as a freshman thinking that I was too big for the University and wanting something more. Wanting more girls, more beer and more fun at a bigger school.  I sat down with my dad and told him I planned to transfer to Mizzou for my sophomore year.  I can still hear my dad’s voice in my head eight years later.

“Son, you will have to take out loans to attend this school.  You don’t want to start your life off in debt,” Wise Father Nordstrom said.

Those foreboding words didn’t have a chance to go out the other ear; they never even made it in.  

I transferred schools that following semester and got exactly what I was looking for—more girls, more beer and more fun.  Not to mention worse grades, academic probation and, you guessed it, much more debt.  I have nearly $25,000 worth of debt from three semesters at Mizzou, and I couldn’t tell you where most of that money went.

That amount could have paid for my whole schooling and then some at Missouri Southern.  I was such a jerk.  

Money doesn’t last forever, and it surely doesn’t grow on trees.

I had to return to Joplin and lick my wounds for five years until I was able to return to school in the spring ’10 semester.  In those five years I was able to look back at that conversation I had with my dad in 2003.  If I had been able to quit being self-obsessed and listen to the education he was handing me, I would already be through graduate school and on my way to starting out my life.  

It won’t always be like this, but as of right now you need to understand that your parents are smarter than you.  I’m telling you right now that you will never regret taking your parents advice, but you may regret not taking it.  They know what they are talking about.  They, too, were once those fresh-out-of-high-school jerks.