Deena, I know that you're busy with prom, senior week, and cherishing these last moments with your close friends, but remember to not slack off this year. Yes, you got accepted into college, but you still need good grades for scholarships and to keep up your G.P.A. A transition is coming and it might be scary at times, but it might also be a fun time to learn from. More responsibilities await you and it is time for you to step up to the plate and start thinking about your career. You will meet lots of people that will touch your heart and help you along the way. If you ever need help while in college, there are always people to turn to. You will need to adjust to living with others, working on group projects, and being organized. Make sure you get involved with events on campus!! Make use of your time wisely while at school, because these years are going to go fast! Make smart choices, and grow and learn. Take in everything, have no regrets, and create life-long memories! Just keep up the good work and you'll do great!
Dear Kiara- I know you are stressed about your future right now. Heck, you've always been stressed about your future and that's not a character trait that is likely to change. However, it might sooth you to know that you are making the right choices. Life is takng you where you need to be, even if the path is unexpected. I know that right now you are really only concerned with the 'Big Name' schools. They look good to employers, but are they what you need? You choice in education should not be based on a name. It should be based on the school that will give you the most it can. Yes, Big Name School X and Y can give you a pretty diploma with their names scrawelled in cursive next to their school seal, but believe it or not, Arcadia University will end up providing for you more than you can ever imagine. Stop thinking about schools based on how they will look to others and start thinking about what they can do for you. Besides, the big name schools cost a fortune anyways! Would you rather have debt or a school that helps you grow?
I would tell myself to try harder and achieve higher grades in my senior year because once your done high school your done for good. There is no going back to change your grades just as there is no reset button for life. As a quote that I state to myself "The choices we make today affect our tomorrow." College life can be a dramatic game changer, some or not ready for it and others have been preparing for it since the time they stepped into 1st grade. Acquiring the good grades while in high school, especially in your senior year, can affect how smooth or how rough the transition into college can be. The transition into college can be tough but in the end, after 4 years of hard work and dedication, the rewards can be great, and the time you spend there can be great too. The more focused you are coming into college the better the transition will be and maybe the better life might be for you. College is what you make it out to be, you get out of it what you put into it. So pour your heart into it and recieve your rewards.
Firstly, it really helps to know what you want to study. The last thing that anyone wants is to spend money at school for one major, change majors, and find out that your school doesn't have a program for it. Second, know what kind of atmosphere that you want. Are you more comfortable in a large campus, or a smaller campus? Do you want large lecture-type classes where the professors don't know your name, or a class with 10 or so students? Do you want a party school or a school focused on academics? Would your rather attend a school where everyone goes home on the weekends, or a school with a lot of programs over the weekends? Lastly, consider the price. Remember, there is plenty of money out there for students if you know where to look. Consider your current budget, but also remember that you will have a decent job in the field of your choice when you're done with college. College really is a wonderful experiece. I am in my second year and it has flown by, so most of all, treasure the time that you have at school.
I would say that visiting various colleges is very important to the process of choosing the right one. I did not tour too many colleges, however I knew that the out of the ones I visited I'd be able to be happy at whichever one I was accepted. I also suggest asking a lot of questions; ask anything that comes to mind which you need clarification for. Questions are the best way to find out more about a place and the ability of the guide, or the administrator, to answer the question will also tell you a bit about them which will give you more insight into students, or faculty. As for making the most of the experience, I'd say the best way to do that is to challenge yourself. If you are interested in something, don't be afraid to go out and try it, as long as it isn't harmful to you or someone else. For instance, Arcadia has the first year study abroad program and through it I spent my first semester in Scotland. It was the best experience of my life because I learned about another culture and travelled, my two loves!
In high school I was very conflicted about which college to choose to go to. Eventually I chose Northern Arizona University, but when I tried to study abroad through them it ended up being a big mess, so I transferred to Arcadia. Looking back now, I would tell myself to just stick with my first choice. My heart was in it and I never should have left. So what if I couldn't study abroad? I could always take the initiative and travel on my own. There are chances for a new experience around every corner. However, transferring to a small school where the friend cliques are completely formed from week one (as I've done now) hasn't proven to be fertile ground for many good opportunities at all. I would tell myself that no matter how homesick or out of control I felt at the beginning, it would all end up being a great journey in the end, one that made me stronger, more independent, and most important of all, happy. I would make sure I understood what an amazing chance I had, and how I should have never let go of it.
If I was able to go back to my high school self, I would tell her first off to save up. There are so many fun things to do in college, go out to eat, go see concerts, go on weekend road trips with friends, that are so much more worth my money than all the lunches and silly things I bought in high school. Secondly I would tell her to be involved in more clubs, take more fun classes instead of free periods, and be more active in the school community. It would have been great to have even more experience going into college, and to have more things under my belt when applying for scholarships so that I could for sure keep attending this amazing school. Then lastly I would tell her not to worry about the petty drama of high school, because college is right around the corner and those friends she will meet and experiences she will have are worth the wait. I would not take anything back though, because all my struggles and challenges in high school helped make me a better person for college and the rest of my life.
If I could go back a semester there is not much that I would tell my high school self in regards to work ethics but, there is a lot of social advice that I would give. I remember being terrified of going away for school. I was petrified about the idea of meeting hundreds of new people and having to create a whole new friend group. I spent several sleepless nights worrying that my current friends would forget about me when we all moved. However, there were several things I failed to realize during my teenage angst that are now clear to me. I would like remind my past self that all the new people I would be meeting during orientation were in the same position as me; they would all be moving into a new area and they would all be scared, lonely, and homesick. Had I realized this, I wouldn’t have lost so much sleep due to my nerves and I could have focused on enjoying myself. I would also assure my younger self that my friends would never abandon me and that they were worried I would forget about them as well.
Ana, you're what, 18 years old? Listen to me please. Before you graduate and attend MECA, read this. I know you're sick of studying, and writing papers. You think art is easy and fun. But art school is not all work and no play. Art is a way of life that is not for you. I lived through the ups and downs, the struggles and the victories of adulthood. I was there when you decided to go to MECA because of "dreams of becoming an illustrator". That dream was an unrealistic expectation. I'm 22 right now, been on my own for a while, worked dead end jobs, struggled to put myself through school, spent many hours studying and writing papers because it's what I love. What you need to do is to narrow down your purpose. You always loved to help others. You always loved to learn. Art was a romantisized idea. But it's not for you. You're a rhetoritian, a guide, a helper. Stop living in that fantasy world of "starving artist", and be the Socrates you're meant to be. Love, Ana at 22. P.S remember to learn, learn, learn.
College life is full of freedoms that have yet to be experienced. There is the freedom to eat what you want, exercise when you want, study when you want, and also the option to make bad choices. The best advice that I could give myself would be to rememeber that attending college will shape my future. I'd advise myself to continue to make good decisions and not follow the crowd. Each and everyday at college is a chance to grow more independent and to do so in a positive manner means making smart decisions as well as trusting my instincts in unfamiliar environments. The biggest misunderstanding that students have is that college is similar to high school in the classroom, when really it's a totally independent learning environment. I'd stress that courses taken in college are to be taken very seriously everyday and one bad test grade can ruin your GPA that semester. Most importantly, I'd remind myself that these are the best 4 years of my life, and I should enjoy every activity that I possibly can.