This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and LISTERINE. All opinions are mine alone. #BackToBold #CollectiveBias 

To My College Bound Son: I cannot believe that you will soon be headed off to college. From the time you came into my life, I have been preparing you for this day. What I failed to do was prepare myself for this day. I did not consider the flood of emotion that would come along with your embarking on this journey.

There are so many things I want to share with you; things I should have shared before now, but didn’t. Maybe I thought you would think less of your father and me if I shared these things. I thought I had done such a good job of parenting that you wouldn’t fall victim to these predicaments. In either regard, now that the day has come, I cannot let you leave without sharing this love letter from your father and me.


As you know, your father and I met in college. In the beginning, our relationship was characterized by the volatile ups and downs of a typical teenage love affair. I don’t want you to make the same mistakes we did if you meet “the one.” So this is our love letter; our best effort at sharing how to find and keep love.

To My College Bound Son: Relationships Come and Go

Not every relationship you form in college will be a lasting one. I met some of my closest friends in my years as an undergraduate student. Be sure to vet your friends carefully. Choose people that make you feel good about yourself and your goals.

There is a natural feeling to the end of a relationship; honor that. Don’t hold on longer than necessary. If it doesn’t fit [anymore] don’t force it. End every relationship in a way that leaves you with good memories.

My first college relationship taught me this. I held on far too long trying to make it work and just made a bad situation worse. To top it all off, I almost missed the opportunity to get to know your father better. 20 years later, I don’t regret having that opportunity.

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To My College Bound Son: Don’t Be A Jerk

You’re a handsome guy with a nice smile and you’ll be on the football team. Don’t use your charm to take advantage of young ladies, the admiration of others, or to gain opportunities you can work to obtain.

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To My College Bound Son: Shoot Your Shot

Your dad knew I was the one from the moment he met me. But it took him four months to approach me. This may surprise you since you inherited his slick mouth. We had mutual friends and saw each other weekly at the engineering student organization meetings. He had chances. But in his words, “In order to successfully negotiate a deal, you have to have leverage or an opportunity. I waited for the prime opportunity.”

It was a usual day during lunch in the University Center. I was going from table to table proclaiming to those who would listen (and even those who weren’t) that I needed a man. I was pretty brash.

When I got to your father’s table, I once again made the proclamation that “I need a man.” He looked me square in the eye and said, without flinching, “I’m too much man for you.” Well, that certainly got my attention and I was intrigued. He took his shot, and it landed.

To My College Bound Son: Make Sure You’re Ready

Your dad had a strategy for his approach. You may want to be more bold and not wait that long. Everything moves much faster these days than they did back then. We taught you how to be a gentleman and respect young women. Don’t forget that.

I bought you the things every GenZ college student needs. Make sure you use them to keep your clothes clean and fresh and to stay well groomed.

In addition, I am sending you out with a shower tote filled with body wash, lotion, new towels, tooth paste and LISTERINE® TOTAL CARE. It will help to keep your smile dazzling, prevent cavities, and clean and freshen your whole mouth. No girl wants to talk to a smelly guy with bad breath, even if he is a football player.

Click the items in the image above to shop directly from

college bound son

Buy 3, get a $5 Target Gift Card. The offer is good (6/29-9/9) and will be valid online and in-store.

For the same fresh mouth and bright smile benefits with a slightly less intense taste, try the LISTERINE® TOTAL CARE ZERO ALCOHOL. I bought three different kinds at Target and got a free $5 gift card which I am also sending with you. Spend the gift card however you choose.

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To My College Bound Son: Fools Rush In

Long before you were born a pop diva asked, “how will I know if he really loves me?” You will know when it’s love. Don’t rush into it. There will be a line of girls waiting to date a football player. Many of them will be drop dead gorgeous. Beauty fades. Some of the ones who have pretty faces have ugly attitudes. Take your time.

Your dad says that even though he didn’t know what it meant to have a wife, he knew I had what it took once we started to get to know each other. And that made him want to be a better man. If you don’t feel like you want to be a better man when you’re with her, it’s not likely love.

I hope this love letter helps you in your days ahead. No matter what, continue to make your father and me proud by being the man we raised you to be. And if you do meet “the one,” just know it’s not official until I meet her.

How will you help your college student be bold enough to approach “the one?”