"Dear High School Senior Aron, Before you toss this aside, as you have so many other pearls of wisdom, and decide to continue learning the hard way, take a moment to ponder this letter. Though you may see yourself wise beyond your years never forget that reality holds no regard for your so-called wisdom. There is no more humbling an experience than realizing your own lack of wisdom, especially when others are there to share in said experience. Be patient and be attentive. As much as you may hate to hear this, education will most assuredly open more opportunities than you could imagine. Commit to this now. Being frugal doesn't mean your cheap. Being impulsive is exciting, but think before you act. Trust in people. Invest in yourself. Don't be afraid to ask for help. Learn from every experience. Be confident while at the same time possessing humility. Take these invaluable words of guidance and practice them each day. Trust me, you'll thank me later. Now, I've got to get back to my time machine Delorean before I miss the lightning strike. -Your Elder Self P.S. Avoid business men named Madoff"
Dear Megan, You've waited your whole life to graduate high school and begin college. Your parents' house has been oppressive and your school has been restrictive and college means one thing above all else: FREEDOM! Oh sure, an education also, but you're a smart kid and you've always taken that for granted. College means no rules, parties, and ice cream for dinner if you so desire. I come from the future to tell you that freedom will be your downfall. You will overcompensate for the past eighteen years by staying up all night, drinking excessively, and rarely going to class. You will have a blast, but it will be short-lived as you are going to flunk out. Your parents will cut you off, and it will be 10 years before you will be able to get back into school. It will be worth it when you do, because you will be able to appreciate it. But I am hoping to save you the anguish and the wasted years. Enjoy your freedom-in moderation. Be responsible and remember that you are in college to LEARN; class must come first. You will thank me when you're thirty.
Knowing what I know now I would tell myself to not be blinded by grades and emphasize that learning the material is the most important aspect of college. It can be challenging on a quarter system but it is so much more valuable to understand the material than to memorize and forget once the quarter is done. There are so many choices that can potentially affect your entire life following college graduation. I would also advise myself to take advantage of eveything that my college has to offer. There is an office full of people that are there to advise you as part of their job. They know about all the programs and all the opportunities that the college has to offer. Lastly, I would advise that I do several internships. Real life experiences is by far the most useful aspect to becoming a successful adult. In college imany times it appears there is a right and wrong answer, in real life, there are many more "gray" areas versus being just" black and white". Internships are also so useful because there is a beginning and end date. More experience the better!
If I were to go back in time I wouldnt have to tell myself anything. College, work, and life is what you make it, no one is going to hold your hand, or help you. To be successful it takes time, and devotion, with out one or the other success is unattanable. After I graduated from highschool I followed this mindset. No one said the road to success was going to be a smooth one, there is going to be alot of bumps, curves, and even some unfinished patches along the way, it is your job to saty focused and perservere through the tough times. Without these obstacles success is unkown.
Looking back, and knowing who I was in high school, I would not have wasted my breath on giving myself advice. I would not have listened then. Instead, I would have stood by as a mentor and when I screwed up, I would have said to myself, "I know. It's really hard sometimes." The only advice I would have given myself would have been, "You know what it takes to be healthy and happy, just remember to practice those things."
I would tell myself to push through. That it gets harder and I have to put forth the effort in order to get the result I want. College is hard and College professors are hard on you. College teachers aren't asking you if you did your homework or giving you extensions on your homework or test. Study, Study and Study for homework and tests. And most importantly buy yourself a day planner.
Take at least a year off and travel outside the U.S. During that time, think about what will make you happy but also generate some income. Then formulate a good education plan, one that doesn't involve graduating with a huge amount of debt.
stick around in school kid. do not drop out of school again and life will be good.