Dear High School Me,
You're pretty smart but there are a few things you don't know. College is a big opportunity to grow and learn about yourself and your chosen field. However, it is not a good idea to go to college unless you are really ready. I know, that college prep school drilled into your head: "Go to college right away, or fail at life." That is not true. Take the time to really think about what you want out of your college experience.
Trust me; you might get more out of your first college experience and not get distracted by weird drama. Don't let unexpected changes decide your outlook on life. Roll with the punches, and allow yourself to see the good in wherever life takes you. Even without waiting to decide where you go, it is very important to not let yourself get caught up in the political dramas of your school and social life, you are there to learn and it is your responsibility to do just that.
In short, think before you act, and accept the challenges that those decisions may bring. You'll do just fine.
As a high school senior, I already had more responsibility than most people my age. I worked a part time job, and lived on a ranch with my mom and stepdad, who regularly employed me to take care of things while they were gone. This gave me the knowledge and wit to embark on my own journey when I went to college. However, one of the biggest pieces of advice I would have given myself would be to make friends. I had the most difficult time making friends and branching out when I first attended college. The other piece of advice would be to explore the city. I travelled the same routes, and avoided new areas out of fear. I got better at it after a little bit, but I would definitely encourage the younger me to explore the city and make friends. Those two things can strongly enrich a students experience of college life, bringing happiness, and helping boost self esteem and confidence.
If I were to go back in time and give myself advice, I would tell myself to follow my passions no matter what other people thought. I would say that every college has something to offer and to not be afraid to take your time figuring out what you really enjoy. If something isn't working, make a change and know that no choice determines the rest of your life. Each class, instructor, and student has something to offer you and you should take the time to absorb what is around you instead of just doing enough work to get by. You are paying to learn so take advantage of that opportunity while you can. It is a rare and unique chance to be able to devote so much time to learning. Don't waste it.
If I could travel back in time and talk to my self as a high school senior I would give myself some advise. I would tell myself to keep an open mind and go with my heart. I would tell myself the only thing that matters is determination to follow through with ideas and inspirations. I would encourage myself to think outside the box of my small rural high school and start dreaming. I would advise my younger self to relax and accept that I did not know what I wanted to do. I would reassure myself that everything would turn out well as long as I followed my intuition and did not give up my hopes and dreams.
If I had the opportunity to talk to my high school senior self, I would tell myself to follow my heart. As a high school senior, I was accepted to a prestigious art college and turned down my acceptance because my family and friends convince me that not only was it the wrong choice, it was a waste of time, money and an education. Now, 16 years later, I am enrolled full time in art school and realize that without a doubt doing so has been the best decision I have ever made. I wish I could go back and tell myself that I was making the right choice and to not listen to or believe anyone but myself. Only I can truly know the right decisions to make for my own life. There is so much time and I could have saved and so many interesting things I could have done in the time it took me to realize my original choice to attend art school was the right one. I am just so thankful that even if the decision is a little late, I still made the right decision.
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