Dear Ashley, Brad, Caitlin and Justin:

It has been a joy to work with you and your families as you have traveled along the college search journey.  In a few months, you will start your college career and I just wanted to share a simple thought with you.

You will meet new people and make new friends.  You will join new groups.

Trust your gut.  Respect yourself.

I had a whole long blog post written about the wrongs of hazing, with artfully crafted metaphors, references to recent events and deep thoughts about the value of life.  But, I think the whole topic is too simple to complicate with unnecessary wordage.  Simply…

Trust your gut.  Respect yourself.

If it seems wrong, sounds wrong, looks wrong, smells wrong…it’s quite likely to be wrong.

Trust your gut.  Respect yourself.

Almost 30 years ago, I listened to a woman describe how her son died and what she was doing to prevent others to suffer her son’s fate.  There are too many other mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, girlfriends and boyfriends who could give similar presentations.  I was proud to be part of the fraternity that sponsored that event.

Bonding with peers is a wonderful thing.  Forcing people to consume large amounts of alcohol, physically and mentally abusing peers, locking ‘friends’ in trunks is not.  The two are not connected and anyone who sells you such information is to be avoided.  Period.

But, I know that you already know that.  Just don’t forget it when the time comes.

Trust your gut.  Respect yourself.

As always, I welcome your comments and questions.  Please feel free to email me at info@cc4therestofus.com, call or text me at 908-403-3819, join me on Facebook on “College Counseling for the Rest of Usand join me on Twitter at @MichaelCCR.   And now on YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/user/CCRMichael?feature=mhee.

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