By unigooffice5 Musings of a Senior, Jonathan Jackson As a senior, I often find myself looking back at my academic career, and asking where all the time went. It has been a journey, but I never thought it would move this fast or I would grow this much. These are the top 5 things I wish I had known when I was exiting senior year and starting my freshman year of college. 1. Relax…you do not get this time back. After the applications, the essays, and the acceptance letters, you will look back at the process, and see all the time that is gone. Do not squander it. The moments in your life, and how you remember them, are important. The application process will end, but your life will continue. Take advantage of it. You do not get more time in your life. You will have time to work for the rest of your life. Make sure you cherish the moments and reate lasting memories now. 2. Where you go to college, DOES NOT dictate what you can be or do with your life. My biggest concern for most of my application process was making sure the school I got into was “good”. I was too busy defining it by the standards I thought I wanted, that I almost missed out on what I needed. It is easy to conflate what you think you want out of a school, but not taking the time to see what your goals are for yourself. Your education is important, and where you get it is relevant, but it will not dictate your place in life unless you let it. There are great schools everywhere, but what makes them great for you is a unique thing that only you know. Take time to really search about what you want in a university and a place where you would thrive the most. 3. Be mindful of the friends you keep. College is about new experiences, and learning about yourself in an environment that you have not been previously exposed to. These friendships you form will be important in your development in college, and even after you leave. Who you allow into your circle, is just as important as who you don’t. Your friends reflect a lot about who you are and where you want to be, 4. Listening requires more than just your ears. You will hear lots of advice about where you should go, what you should major in, and even what classes to take. What you might not hear however, is that all he advice you get, many not be good. Learning to evaluate information that has to do with your personal future, is a skill that does not come easily, but is necessary for continued development. Your learning will take place in and out of the classroom, but you can easily let it pass you by if you are not actively engaged. 5. Make Goals. Write them down. Look at them consistently. You hear this a lot, but it something that can mean the difference between an idea and a reality. When you commit to doing something, you write it down, and you continually look at it, it ceases to be an idea, and because a concrete goal for you to obtain, Similar to how you would practice memorization, continually referring back to your goals will help keep you on track, and make you accountable to yourself for the things you want to achieve. It is much easier to say no to a distraction when you ask yourself, how does this help me get to my goal? Trust me, it becomes more necessary the further you get along in your education. Many things will call for your time, not all of them a worthy of it. *Jonathan Jackson is a Junior at Washington University in St Louis studying Writing & American Culture Studies.