Quotes about adventure for a college freshman
August 16, 2014 9:34 AM   Subscribe

Mr. Squirrel and I are taking our lovely nerdy introvert daughter to college tomorrow, and she is very anxious about leaving home. I want to write an encouraging note to leave in her dorm room for her to find after we drop her off. I'd like to include a quote about the ideas of having adventures and trying new things and how you never know what may happen next.

She's an only child and we are really close, so leaving her family and hometown (not to mention her friends and pets and video games and books) is very hard for her.

Any ideas? Is there anything from the Harry Potter or Doctor Who canons that would work? She's a big fan of those, plus superheroes and cowboy country music singers and horses.
posted by SuperSquirrel to Grab Bag (21 answers total) 17 users marked this as a favorite
10 Life-Changing Quotes From Albus Dumbledore

Can I suggest though that you mail the letter to her rather than leaving it? I was very clingy to my parents when I left for college, and felt very lonely, but having a letter immediately would have made the situation much worse. Getting mail is so much fun when you're in school.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 9:37 AM on August 16, 2014 [6 favorites]

So it's very old school, but I fell in love with the line "Come, my friends,‘Tis not too late to seek a newer world" from Tennyson's Ulysses when living away from my family in high school, and it was a line I still loved in college.

Some of these helpfully-illustrated Doctor Who quotes might help.

I also love postcards and getting mail is the best in college-- maybe consider some little updates with thematic postcards?
posted by jetlagaddict at 9:48 AM on August 16, 2014 [3 favorites]

“Our lives are important — at least to us — and as we see, so we learn… Our destiny is in the stars, so let’s go and search for it.” – First Doctor Who William Hartnell

Rainbow Rowell's Fangirl is a funny and sweet book about an anxious introverted girl who writes Harry Potter-esque fanfiction going off to college.

posted by haunted_pomegranate at 9:55 AM on August 16, 2014 [1 favorite]

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did so. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.

~Mark Twain
posted by humboldt32 at 9:56 AM on August 16, 2014 [3 favorites]

How about something from Lord of the Rings? Frodo, talking about Bilbo in Fellowship, says, "He used often to say there was only one Road; that it was like a great river: it's springs were at every doorstep and every path was it's tributary. "It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out of your door," he used to say. "You step into the Road, and if you don't keep your feet, there is no telling where you might be swept off to.""
posted by lharmon at 10:01 AM on August 16, 2014 [1 favorite]

You now have my permission to talk to strangers.
posted by sexyrobot at 10:16 AM on August 16, 2014 [4 favorites]

Ask an older student where the the most popular hang out spots and places to eat are and then get $10 gift cards to all of them. This will encourage her to get out and explore her new home. Include a map with the place marked on them. Tell her, in your note, that if she goes to all the places within 2 weeks and reviews them, you will reward her with more gift cards. Remind her that her roommate will want to get out too and suggest that they check some of the places out together.
posted by myselfasme at 10:17 AM on August 16, 2014 [4 favorites]

This could be super cheesy, but you could make a template for a Marauder's Map for the map myselfasme suggested-- she could add in updates of newly favorite places.
posted by jetlagaddict at 10:25 AM on August 16, 2014 [2 favorites]

I raided my Pinterest board of encouraging quotes for you! :D
Expecto Patronum - JK Rowling

The BEST journeys answer questions that in the beginning you didn’t even think to ask. - 180° South

We cannot become what we want to be by remaining what we are. - Max DePree

Courage, dear heart. - C.S. Lewis

The scariest moment is always just before you start. - Unknown

There are far better things ahead than any we leave behind. - C.S. Lewis

We must be willing to let go of the life we had planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us. - Joseph Campbell

Don't be afraid to fail. Be afraid not to try. - Unknown

You can never cross the ocean unless you have the courage to lose sight of the shore. - Unknown

She stood in the storm, and when the wind did not blow her way, she adjusted her sails. - Elizabeth Edwards

Congratulations! Today is your day! You’re off to great places! You’re off and away. And will you succeed? Yes! You will indeed (98 and 3/4 percent guaranteed.) Kid, you’ll move mountains! Oh! The places you’ll go! - Dr. Seuss
posted by Hermione Granger at 10:32 AM on August 16, 2014

If you use humboldt32's Mark Twain quote, be aware it was actually written by H. Jackson Brown, who attributed it to his mother.
posted by Pater Aletheias at 10:32 AM on August 16, 2014 [1 favorite]

I'm pretty introverted myself, and I often think of John A. Shedd's line "A ship in harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are built for."
posted by Pater Aletheias at 10:34 AM on August 16, 2014 [20 favorites]

What we had, we gave. What we kept is lost forever.
posted by 724A at 10:59 AM on August 16, 2014

I really like Life's a Dance by John Michael Montgomery--he's pretty country, if not all that cowboy.
Or The River, by Garth Brooks
posted by Ideefixe at 11:00 AM on August 16, 2014 [1 favorite]

Your question reminded me of the final Calvin and Hobbes strip.
It's a magical world. Hobbes, ol' buddy... let's go exploring!
posted by Snerd at 11:42 AM on August 16, 2014 [1 favorite]

You guys, these are great, thank you!!
posted by SuperSquirrel at 12:43 PM on August 16, 2014

"No matter where you go... there you are."

Buckaroo Banzai.
posted by escabeche at 12:51 PM on August 16, 2014

I read here on the green, years ago, a quote that I still have tucked away as one of my favorites.

"The only possible way to fail at this life is to refuse to participate, I think. Don't ever be tempted to go that route." (full comment here)

- AbnerDoom
posted by kellygrape at 2:08 PM on August 16, 2014

I don't have a quote, but you can tell her for me that when you get old and look back over your life it's the adventures that make you smile - the times you just jumped over the cliff and plunged forward. Life without those times would be incredibly dull.

Wishing her a surprisingly delightful time in college.
posted by aryma at 2:32 PM on August 16, 2014

"The only way to discover the limits of the possible is to go beyond them into the impossible."
--Arthur C. Clarke

"I look to the future because that's where I'm going to spend the rest of my life."
--George Burns

"There is no end to the adventures that we can have if only we seek them with our eyes open."
--Jawaharlal Nehru

"Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it."
--Ferris Beuller.
posted by Mister Moofoo at 10:59 PM on August 16, 2014

In Northanger Abbey, Jane Austen writes, "If adventures will not befall a young lady in her own village, she must seek them abroad."
posted by ricochet biscuit at 6:35 AM on August 17, 2014 [1 favorite]

"Life is a daring adventure or nothing at all." Helen Keller. Helps this panic-ridden introvert chill out and get motivated (when I can remember to think of it).
posted by msbadcrumble at 7:17 PM on August 17, 2014

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