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Mom's advice: on toilet seats, men & exit plans

Now that my daughters are halfway to age 21, I've started to think a lot about what kind of street-wise life advice I should be giving them. Because the time never seems appropriate to dispense these pearls of wisdom, I've started collecting them for just the right moment. What would you add?

· When you walk alone, keep your head up. Don't look like a victim.

· Avoid dirty toilet seats, smooth-talking men and raw meat. They often carry diseases.

· Beauty and the Beast is a fairytale. If he's big and acts like he wants to hurt you, don't stick around, even if he has a lot of money and a really big house.

· Don't dawdle in parking lots. Get in, lock your doors and drive.

· Avoid pack mentality. "Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups," George Carlin said. He wasn't joking.

· Keep pushing yourself outside your comfort zone. It's the only way to grow.

· On the worst of days, the only thing to remember is that a good one will eventually follow.

· If you have the chance to travel or study abroad, take it.

· Always have an exit plan.

· No girl gets left behind. When you go out with friends, never let one go off with a guy she doesn't know.

· Live alone for awhile. Give yourself time to discover who you are.

· If you marry your first love, you will never know the exquisite pain of a broken heart – and the amazing euphoria of discovering love again.

· Don't date your girlfriend's ex-boyfriend. Ever.

· When you're someone's guest for dinner, don't order the most expensive or the cheapest item on the menu.

· Always have your own money, checking account and credit.

· Be sympathetic to people who are less fortunate and work hard to include them.

· Take pleasure in small things: a swim in the ocean, a good book, a juicy peach.

· Learn how to forgive – yourself, others and especially your mom.