Louisiana State University and Agricultural & Mechanical College Top Questions

What should every freshman at your school know before they start?


When I was in high school my dad went to jail. Because of this, I went through a rough patch where my grades and test scores were the last thing on my mind. I had to go to LSU because I had to stay close to my mom and younger siblings. When I applied, my grades were so low that I needed to perform exceptionally on the ACT to get into LSU. My father valued education so much that he paid for me to go to the best and most expensive high school in Baton Rouge. Not getting into LSU would be a waste of all that money my dad worked so hard to make to secure my future. That was a wakeup call for me, I studied hard to raise my ACT score and it paid off. Before I got to LSU, I told myself I would never be that irresponsible and that school should always come first. The point of my story is that I don’t need to go back and tell my self anything. My wakeup call then, made me reach the path of success I am on now.


If I were able to give my high school self some advice I would be sure to tell myself to think more about what I wanted to pursue in college. I spent the first two years of college trying to figure out what major to pursue. Even after making the decision I would ultimately go on making, I am now not a 100{4a082faed443b016e84c6ea63012b481c58f64867aa2dc62fff66e22ad7dff6c} sure it was the right choice. I would also be sure to advise myself to make more financially smart decisions with regards to tuition. One of the biggest mistakes I made when looking at colleges was not considering the opportunities for scholarship provided by the universities. I strictly focused on the academic merit of the institutions. It probably would have been best for me to choose an in-state college.


If I could go back in time and talk to myself when I was a senior, I would have a lot to say. First I would start out with finances, advising myself to start working immediately and to budget myself instead of spending so much. Then, I would have myself take an ACT class so my score would reflect my potential as a person, and because every point on the ACT could be worth thousands in financial aid. I would council myself to apply to more schools other than my top three schools, so I would not end up at a school that did not fulfill my academic needs. After this, I would sit down and talk to myself about my depression, and the importance of seeking professional help. I almost lost my life this past year due to my battle with depression, and I wish I sought help much sooner. If I had sought help my senior year it would have been easier to manage and accomplish all the advice I’d given above. Finally, I would tell myself to not be hard on myself for failure, to learn and to work hard to fulfill my dreams.


First off, I would tell myself to take college and the scholarship and application process more serious. I would tell myself to stay on top of the game and be foucused no matter what. All through high school you heard about "Senioritis" which was when you became a senior you just slacked off, became lazy, and felt like everything is already fiinished and set in stone. I would've especially told myslef not to give into "senioritis" and do everything needed to do because you're not finished yet.


Dear Tayla, I know that you want to go to a university as far away from your mother as possible once you graduate, but there are so many things I need to inform you about first. For starters, I know that you feel trapped and you want to be on your own, but you cannot go through college alone, trust me it's impossible! Your going to need money to eat and do all those other uneccessary things you'll want to do, someone to help you with your work because not all teachers can teach but more importantly, your going to need a shoulder to cry on. All the heartbreaks, financial headaches, and friendship ruins will feel like the end of the world. Your going to feel alone and your going to have nights where you just cry yourself to sleep. Don't think that graduating from high school means that you don't need your parents anymore because Tayla, I promise your going to need them more now than ever before. I hope this helps.....


SAVE MORE MONEY. Out of state fees are high. Your gonna have a great time. Dont drink and drive ever. The girls are great, dont date and waste your time. Youll never wanna miss a football game. Go to as many away SEC games as possible. Have fun. I'm above ground and an American, what more can you ask for?


I would say to my high school self, consider expenses. I cannot do stuff around the state because I don't have enough money. Get a job, save for a year or so, then go to school. Or stay in my state, not go out of state to school. Consider meal plans, dorms, living expenses, and transportation costs. I made really good friends at my college, and I can't stay unless I can get more financial aid next year. I want to stay but my parents can't afford it and they don't want me to take out loans that I can't pay back quickly after I get out of school. My sister didn't get a good job until five years after she got out of college. That's the recession for you. I would say to myself consider everything.


I would tell myself not to take things so seriously and relax. I used to be very uptight and felt like I needed someone there for me if I was going to succeed, and that's obviously not true. I would also tell myself to refocus my energies more so on school than on my social life, which was failing miserably (and making me depressed). I was young--and still am--and should enjoy what I have, but I also think that I should have taken my academic career more seriously if I wanted to suceed later on in life. Now I have to work much harder. Finally, I would tell myself to pursue my dreams of traveling the world. I didn't study abroad until my final semester, and I loved it. I need to tell myself to do that! Everyone should have an opporunity to go on an adventure like that, and I know high school me would have loved it, too.


If I could go back in time to my senior year, I'd warn myself about the financial burden. It's extremely tough to pay for schooling these day, and everyone knows it. I would have warned myself to start looking for scholarships, and applying; however the biggest piece of advice I would have given myself has to be, study as hard as you possibly can. In highschool things are simple, you look over notes a few times and boom you have an A. College is about applying concepts, not learning terms. College teaches you how to think, not how to repeat something. On your first college test you learn that looking over your notes a few times isn't going to cut it, you have to actually expand on that and understand the material. You have to know each little nook in the information presented to you. Your professor will ALWAYS throw curve balls at you during a test just to see if you really, truly understand the material. My advice is to keep your education first.


"It is more easy to be wise for others than for ourselves." Francois Rochefoucauld If I could go back in time to give my high school self persona advice, I would have many points to cover. Always remember that every grade counts form ninth grade through twelfth grade. Also, it is very important to take not only honors and advanced placement classes, but also college courses that are offered through the high school. Many of them must be taken through the computer, but there are teachers at the high school to help one. Similarly, one should not get too involved in high school "drama". The people that are classmates now will not be around when it is time for college, so do not let them distract you from your goal of making all A's. You must also write a resume of all your accomplishments. You will be able to use this when applying for scholarships. Learning to write thank you notes is critical. After asking your teachers to write letters of recommendation, you better write them a thank you note. Finally, do not burn your bridges for your high school teachers can tutor you when you are in college.


I would first tell myself to breathe. Not that I needed reminding to complete an essential function for human life, but the thought of starting college made me quite anxious. My life was about to change drastically, and I could not figure out how to emotionally prepare myself. Immediately after I moved in with my roommate, we became friends. I met people in classes, participated in intramurals, and attended sports events. So, I had fun. I wish I would not have worried so much and trusted that I would be just fine. Second, I would tell myself to not be afraid to be me, to have confidence that I am a smart woman with a bright future. My first few years at college, I would get wrapped up in school, and I would forget that this was a unique experience that I would always remember. School work is important, but so is being happy. The truth is, even if I could have given myself advice, it probably wouldn't mean as much as if I was learning it through my own experiences. Ultimately, I think college is about finding yourself and finding your own path in this world.


Going back to the days of being a high school senior it's easy to think you know everything that's coming your way once that diploma is in your hand. Because of the resources I had such as the Internet, social media and MTV I was sure to have everything I needed to know under my sleeve. I was wrong. Knowing what I know now about college and making the transition, the first thing I'd tell myself is, "It's really not as easy as you think." Writing papers, short deadlines, and understanding all the material taught in class was never on TV. All the work and expectations put on you as a college student doesn't begin to compare to the work given in high school. Giving myself another piece of advice, I'd tell myself to stay focused. In college there's so many different things going on it's almost too easy to get side tracked. I know this because it happened to me. It is so important to keep your goals in mind at all times becuase once you mess up getting everything fixed becomes a nightmare when it could've all been avoided.


Drop a class instead of taking the chance at failing. The poor grade is worse than a W.


As a high school senior I believed I knew everything there was to know about making the transition to college and I always told myself how involved I planned on being. The summer before college started I did what most girls do and started filling out forms and getting letters of recommendation to hopefully become part of the Greek System. This process was tiring, exciting, scary and time consuming all at the same time. I went into college with an open mind and expected everything to be okay. However, after the first few weeks I stopped getting involved and kinda just waitied for opportunities to present themselves to me. If I could go back in time the most important thing I would make clear to myself would be to stay involved. College is a great experience and I have had both amazing and terrible things happen while experiencing this transition. However going out of state not knowing anyone can be VERY lonely at times and if you stay involved your mind will stop thinking of all the negatives and you will be able to focus on all the positives that are happening at this current time.


You are not going to believe how easy it is to get lost in the crowd. LSU is big and trying to find friends seems daunting but make a few they will help you. Those late night study sessions are lonely when it is just you but with friends it is always a little easier. You need to go to as many residential life events as possible, they seem lame but you can meet great people at them! Don't sweat the small stuff in college no matter what people say just look to the next task and always try your hardest because everything counts. You may decide to change majors during your first year and lose a scholarship or two but don't worry money will makes its way to you.


Dear High School Self, Remember that it is okay to remain "Briana" and that you should never change for anyone no matter the situation. Hard work always pays off and do not forget to hold on to your wonderful study habits. It is always good to be involved, as you already are however keep a list of your main priorities posted somewhere near as a reminder. Continue to challenge yourself and never second guess your decisions no matter what happens, more than likely you are right. You may have a difficult time being an African-American, young lady, and majoring in Engineering, however do not let that deter you from your dreams. Accept it! You may not be able to receive help as often as others and you may build a wall to make sure others do not see your fear. When you start to build the wall, KNOCK IT DOWN! You are wonderfully MADE and SUCCESSFUL, do not give up! You will do great and will succeed no matter how long it takes or how hard it may turn out. Continue to stand for what you believe in and encouraging others to be the best! Love, College Briana


Change is not something to be afaid of. It means that you are ready for the next stage in life. Every challenge you have overcome is an achievement in and of itself. Have faith in yourself. Don't be afraid to try something new. Go out and meet new people. You know the old saying," The early bird gets the worm"? It's true. Get things done as early and as well as you can. Do not be afraid to use a schedule or a checklist.


I would tell myself to stay away from certain people and stay focused on my course work when I got to college. I would tell myself to change roommates as soon as I got to school. I would tell myself to get involved early in the school year.


Well...since i didnt start yet, i would tell myself to be early on doing things for college like applying.


If I were to travel back and speak with me, I would make sure, by all means, to get four major points across, along with a bunch of smaller things. First of all I would tell myself to save money, and by save, I mean approximately 10-30 thousand dollars. Secondly I would tell myself that every girlfriend that I have up until pharmacy college fails, and to avoid all of them on the intimate level. Thirdly I would tell myself to start studying Biology’s core concepts, and learn them in great detail. Fourthly I would stress watching and understanding cultures, heathcare, and governmental type information as much as I can. If I were to know these four helpful tips, I could’ve saved time, money, and stress/heartbreak. Also, I would have been able to tackle through some golden opportunities that I had to pass up; such as: different colleges, and living quarters. By having enough money, not worrying about intimate female relations, understanding biologys core concepts, and getting familiar with societies dealings, I would be in a supreme position throughout my whole AA, my BA, and especially my Doctorates.


Hey Melvin, Be sure to hold onto this letter because I'm going to prove that I'm your future self. That girl you're talking to right now, Emily, she's going to dump you to go back to her old boyfriend. She's not worth your time, you've got other things to focus on. Now that we have that out of the way, let me explain the situation we've put ourselves in. Remember how you're so smart in high school and never need to study? It's still true, to an extent. The only reason you don't need to study is because you're attentive in class, stay true to that and you'll be able to keep yourself afloat. When you get to this position, you'll have a big opportunity to achive more, all you have to do is try. It may seem like I'm asking for a lot, but only I know you better than anyone else. As with the way we always are, what you choose to do is your own choice, it's not the best place here right now, it could be better, don't forget that.


If I had to advise prospective students about the transition from high school to college, I would tell them a couple of things. First, enjoy the time you still have living at home, because once you go to college, it won’t be the same. Second, when you do get to college, it is important to meet new people so that you aren’t by yourself and constantly missing your family. You’re supposed to meet new people in college so don’t be afraid to put yourself out there. Finally, I would recommend talking to your parents once a day. It could be a simple text message, or a long phone call. Your parents just want to keep up with what is going on in your life, and it’s easier just to talk to them than it is to fight it.The worst thing you could possibly do is push your family away. They will always be your family, and they are your support system. You may not realize it when you leave for school, but at some point in your college career, you are going to need them.


If I had a chance to go back and tell myself something about college, I tell myself that I need to improve on my study habits, and not be afraid to ask for help. Teachers are willing to help they are just waiting for someone to come up to them and ask them. I would tell myself to have better study skills because at Louisiana State University I have to study, there is no way I would pass a test if I did not study. I think I would also tell myself to make sure I make friends, because they will be there for me with whatever I may need, whether its school related or not. I think if I would have known this before I came to LSU my transition would have been so much easier than it was my first semester here.


I would tell my high school self to make a certain decision before committing to a major and to explore ALL career possibilites. When I applied to college, I was very close-minded and only looked at career opportunities and classes within the business college, it was only once I was in too deep that I realized my interests lie elsewhere. Basically I would tell myself to explore all options before being so quick to commit to one because it is an incerdibly important decision and making the wrong choice definitely causes complications later in life.


It's difficult to some up everything. I was told that as long as i got good grades in High School i could attend the college of my dreams. Well that is a big miss communication. A four year college/university is very expensive and although you might not be the wealthiest family not everything is going to be paid for. I would have also told myself that applying for scholorships doesn't garanty your going to recieve them, saving also has to be part of your process. Applying for things early is also important, room and board waits for no one, its first come first serve. I would also tell myself that although you need loans you might not always get approved. Sometimes due to credit your parents can't help you either. And lastly, i would tell myself never to give up because although college maybe hard to manage coming out of High School there are always people willing to help. I would tell myseld not to be shy and seek for help because there are people out there who kyou will need help from.


If I had the chance to give advice to my 17-year old self, I would tell myself do NOT take your first year of school for granted. Try your hardest in every class and be grateful for your experience because not everyone gets the same." Now that my college education is in serious jeaopardy because of family financial crisis, I feel gulity for not realizing how fortunate I was in the first place. Unfortunately, going back in time is an impossibility and learning not to take your blessings for granted is a lesson that comes with maturity, just like many other life-lessons that one learns upon begining their higher education.


I would tell my younger self to do everything the same way I did excpet for two things. I would tell myself to not take the second level of calculus as a freshman and to take the first level to get an A and help build my GPA sooner. The second thing I would tell myself is to take Physics first semester instead of Art History. I began as a Mathematics major in the beginning of my Freshman year and swithced to Mechanical Engineering after Finals of my Spring semester. I do not regret starting out as a Math major. I only regret not taking Physics because I am now behind almost an entire year because of it. Also If I had taken the first level of Calculus instead of the second level, I would have been able to spend more time focusing on my other classes instead of Calculus and end my first year with a much higher GPA.


I would tell myself to choose Child and Family Studies as my intended major. I would tell my senior self to attend all classes and not to procrastinate on any assignments. I would also tell myself that it is okay to put yourself out there, so that you can make new friends and enjoy new experiences that you will remember for the rest of your life.


Take advantage of all of the opportunities that college has to offer. Focusing on your schoolwork is important, but there are so many other activities and opportunities that college has to offer that will be just as beneficial to your future. A good GPA isn't everything to future employers; a variety of experiences and involvement in different activities throughout school are just as important to employers. These activities also help you to discover who you are and what kind of person you want to be. That's what college is about - learning who you are, who you want to be, and what you want to do with the rest of your life. So use your time wisely, and take full advantage of your college experience.


If I could go back in time the advice I would give myself as a high school senior would be to stay focus. After staying forcus don't let nothing distract you. Always put God first in everything you do. You should always study hard and ask lots of questions. Sit close to the teachers in class, get extra help if you need it. Don't party alot and college helps get you ready for the real world, go to summer school or work for the summer at the college and save your money if you can.


My advice to myself would be to learn how to study now and don't slack off in the beginning of the semester. One test grade makes a big difference in your overall grade so if you fail your first test it is less likely you will get a decent grade in the class. Have fun your freshmen year it only gets harder.


As a senior I needed most to hear that while I was by then tired of school and not excited about the idea of going to college it is nonetheless vitally important to pursue higher education goals and gain new skills. Despite protest from my family I decided to put school off to travel abroad. Working, volunteering and traveling in nearly thirty countries was a great education but not the type of education that necessarily translated to tangible success. Yet, at the time, I thought travel would make me "cool" and worldly. And it did, a bit, but if I were able to talk to my younger self I would say that not only is it essential to get an education for material reasons but it's also cool to be knowledgeable and skilled. I would relate my college experiences as an adult, particularly those gained in science and math courses, and how I'm a better person now due to my knowledge about the natural world. I needed someone to tell me that not only is higher education important for one's future but more importantly it's interesting, fun, empowering and cool. I didn't know that.


If I could go back in time and talk to myself as a high school senior I would tell myself, " get involved in organizations and a church, smile at everyone you walk past, go to every home and away football game, study at least 3 days in advance for every science or geography test, perform random acts of kindness daily, make friends with the folks that work in the dining halls and dorm rooms, always take care of your friends, go to hear live music every once in a while, exercise, play an intramural sport, support local causes and other campus organizations, go to class (you are paying for it and it's respectful), thank everyone who supported you along the way, never give up on anything (we are more powerful than we think), and work VERY hard at all you do!"


I would tell myself not to rush it. Enjoy every minute of high school because once it's over, the real hard work begins. Enjoy the time you have with friends because chances are once you graduate high school, you won't see them. Take every opportunity you are given to be involved in extra-curricular activities and study every day, even when it isn't necessary. Also, choose a college that is better suited for your personality and needs, not one that your family and friends want you to attend. For me, I would've chosen to go to a smaller school straight from high school instead of a school as big as Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, being that I graduated in a class that was only 31 students.


Be more independednt and realistic. I was so wonderstruck by the big brick buildings at the pretty schools with the cobblestone roads and I didn't even consider the financial costs. I studied and got into my dream school but my finances ended up leaving me at a community college right by my house. I advise my previous self or anyone in college to really think about the money. Get a job. Apply for as many scholarships as you can. You can go to your dream school and you can afford it, no matter how much money you have. The key is to prepare yourself. Work for your money and earn it. It's all worth it in the end.


College is about choices, and now it´s the time to take charge of you´re own life. Don´t be afraid of responsability. It might seem frightening at first, but it´s really rewarding to become a little more independent. If you really wish to succeed, you must stay focused on your goals. Many people are going to try to bring you down, and they will certainly attempt to influence you onto a wrong track. That´s why you always must stay true to yourself. Aim high, it´s worth the try; and please never slack down. I know it may all sound as a cliché; that you have heard it all before. But, that in fact is what most college students seem forget. This old advice it´s the real guide to make a fresh start in college.


Don't be afraid to ask for help. I know you're trying to be independent in this new step in your life, and you are, but everyone needs help every now and then and you shouldn't pass that up. Study hard but don't let it consume your life. Going out and having a great time with your friends is good way to blow off steam every once in awhile. Make friends and keep in contact with some old ones. Even though your best friend is attending another college, it doesn't mean you two can't have a weekend of bumming off on another's campus to catch up. Take classes that you've never taken before, even ones you might have only a slight insterest in, you could be surprised with how quickly those become one of your favorites. Go to class. It's best reading notes that you have taken, and not someone elses. And finally, participate in the college activities. It not only can make you friends, but it gets your out of your cramped up room for awhile and in most cases, it's usually free.


I felt as if I was on top of everyone just like a typical highschool senior. Though I was very confident in everything I do, I always had one misconception. The misconception was that fast and accrurate academical success in high school and college mean everything in the world. I was descent academically in highschool. My heart pounded when I realized that I could not go to a research school, even though I was accepted. It felt as if it was the end of the world. Until the first day of my college, I was embarrassed by the fact that I was attending class with people who have lower academical standards than me. I realized that I was wrong on the first day of college. Everyone was trying their best to make success in their life. Since the first day of college, I have changed. One of the changes that I made was my misconception in academical success. I have compared my academical progress as climbing a mountain. If you climb fast, you will be able to do more things after you reach the goal. However, if you climb slowly, you will be able to see more behind you.


I would advise my former-self to go to college for and with the right intentions. I enrolled in college because everyone expected me to go to college. But, I was not ready. I hastily chose an area of study. Had I taken a semester off -- like I'd secretly wanted to do -- I would have been much more clear about what I wanted to study and what I wanted to accomplish with my degree. Fortunately, it is never too late to become who I was always meant to be. I'm going back to school -- for the right reasons this time.


At most high schools, students feel like they do not have to study much to do well. College is NOT like that. Don't underestimate the difficulties you may face. School becomes a commitment and a challenge. It requires hours of your time doing homework and preparing for class by either pre-reading the textbook or reviewing old notes. Tests can be hard. Get to know your professor and ask them what's the best way to study to succeed in his/her class. Take advantage of tutors, professors, and study groups. Befriend someone who understands class material. They will be helpful. Figure out if you are a visual, audio, or kinesthetic learner. Visual learners need to write things out and see them to understand. Visual learners need pictures, diagrams, and charts. Visual learners may even need to come to class to see their teachers teach to fully understand material. Audio learners need to hear someones voice to understand material. Audio learners, when studying, may want to read the notes out loud to themselves or record their professor's lectures. Kinesthetic learners need models and need to physically do the material. If the material is science, kinesthetic learners may need to do experiments or construct a model to grasp the material. Most people are a combination of these learners. I am visual and audio and 0{4a082faed443b016e84c6ea63012b481c58f64867aa2dc62fff66e22ad7dff6c} kinesthetic according to personality tests. I learn best by being taught and hearing someone else explain things. I personally do not learn well from reading out of a textbook unless my teacher is horrible at teaching and the textbook is my last resort. I need to see and hear my teacher teach, and like writing my notes, using flashcards, and making flowcharts if necessary. If you look up sensory preferences tests on google, you may find a quiz that you can take to help you determine what kind of learner you are. Check this website out, hopefully it will help you figure this out. http://appl003.lsu.edu/cas/learningjourney.nsf/selftests/$File/SensoryPreferenceSelfTest6-15-07.pdf


Life begins at the end of your comfort zone. Branch out and meet other people on campus, and get involved! I see too many freshman who don't take advantage of the clubs and organizations on campus and who don't get to know new people! Clubs are a great way to get involved, meet new people, and develop your own community within the large university. With so many clubs offered at LSU, there are many options to meet one's interests.


Prerequisites!! Course offerings for each semester. Which degree plan you want to follow.


I would tell myself to study more. In college, I have had to study way more than in high school. I was not used to studying the amount of time that I have to study now. I would also tell myself not to stress so much over things. It is not very healthy to stress over things. In college, I do not stress quite as much because stressing does not solve my problems. I would also tell myself to be ready to be out on your own.


I would tell my high school self not to be initimidated by the idea of gaining work experience first, and going the unconventional route to earn a college education. Most high schoolers would benefit greatly from immersing themselves in the working world, before choosing a college major. Besides being able to understand better the material taught in college, they would also have a better idea which career would best fit them, and thus select their major accordingly. I would also suggest that high schoolers take AP courses, CLEP tests, and any other tests that would grant them college credits. These tests will save them time and money for easier topics they could learn independently.


First and foremost I would make sure I got glasses. Growing up I never knew why I was always tired at school when I read causing me to dislike reading or studying. I always had a passion to learn but found my self sleeping at the first chapter. Now that I have glasses my life has really turned around. It's crazy to think that one little factor had such a large impact on my academic career. Other than that I wouldn't change a thing. I would still want to join the army because it helped with my maturity level and I met my wife while stationed in Germany. Life is a bumpy road that makes us who we are so why would I want to give myself any hints when those bumps made me the man I am today.


It is important to study hard and stay active in your academics. If a person plans to go to grad school, keep up your GPA because it it is a very important factor when trying to apply for graduate school.


If I can go back in time and talk to myself as a high school senior knowing what I know now about college life, there are several pieces of advice that I would tell myself. The first piece of advice would be to build up study skills and keep up with coursework and build up a good GPA in the beginning because it is hard to increase the GPA if you let it drop. The next piece of advice that I would give would be to stay involved whether it is through organizations or just through community service. Staying involved in extra-curricular activities helps to build up networks and social skills that will prepare one for life during and beyond college. The last piece of information that I would tell myself as a high school senior is that in everything do your best and give your all, even if you fail, it is an open opportunity to do your best and give your all. It is okay to try and fail as long as you get back up and try again. In closing I would say, never forget where you come from and always do what makes you happy.


I would tell myself to pay more attention to the learning process in high school. I was able to go through high school memorizing material and getting straight As in advanced placement classes. In high school I did not learn how to study, the material came naturally. If I could talk to myself as a high school senior, I would tell myself to prepare more for what LSU would require me to learn. I would tell myself to expect a big change in my social life and not let it affect my attendance to class. Also, I would remind myself that my grades are the most important thing about school, and it is easier to bring a grade down than to bring it back up. In addition, I would remind myself to listen to my friends because they are very focused and successful young women, and they only want what is best for me. Finally, I would encourage my high school self to tell my parents everything. They will always support me, and they only want me to be successful. Everything I do in school affects everyone around me, so I need to take all of my actions into account.


Looking back at my high school self, I see I was far too concerned with always doing well in school. Now, I realize that college is more than just grades. It’s more than tests and essays. It’s also about connections. Yes, grades are important, even essential. However, the friends you make and the connections you make are also vital. Those connections are what get you through the hardest classes. They’re what help you out when you’re feeling like you can’t continue. It’s easy to see now that my high school self was too worried about the future. If there’s one thing I’ve learned in the first two years of college, it’s that sometimes it’s best to live in the moment. College is one of the best experiences I’ve ever had, but it didn’t get that way until I relaxed and let myself rely on the friends I made. As I mentioned before, the grades are important, but it’s equally important to balance a social life. Without one, I know I would be miserable. And even the best grades can’t combat misery.


Start studying a foreign language immediately, and study to become fluent. Knowing at least a second language is essential to traveling abroad, developing your brain, and accessing amazing opportunities for a career and for general fulfillment in life. Spanish and French are widely-spoken languages, but Chinese and Portuguese are becoming important languages for commerce. Additionally, Arabic is important for careers in the U.S. government. Study at least one language, apply for scholarships to complete a study abroad, and make the study period as long as possible. The more time you spend outside of the U.S., the better your competence in the language will become, and the more you will understand a different perspective on life. When you gain insight into different ways of thinking, you gain access to different ways of solving problems, more empathy for other lifestyles, and more confidence in all levels of communication. In summary, devote time to learning languages, traveling, and learn what it means to be a global citizen. These experiences will make your college experience and life more fulfilling.