It's crazy to think that I was you just two short years ago. I know you feel so old, getting ready to graduate (hopefully!), realizing that you may never see your friends again after this year, freaking out about college, thinking about jobs after graduation; but the truth is, you are so young. There will never be another time in your life when you have as many options ahead of you as you do right now. This is the year of you. In that spirit, I have a few bits of advice to share with you.
- Don't sell yourself short college-wise. Apply everywhere you want to go. Have reach schools, have realistic schools, and plan for a fallback school as well. If you don't know if you want a big campus, small campus, close to home, or far away, apply to a variety. When you're making cuts and you have lots of options you will thank yourself for not tying yourself to one school that gave you crap for financial aid, has terrible dorms, or is in a town you hate.
- On that note, after you receive your letters, visit several schools that you were accepted to. I only visited one and I had been to another, and while I feel like Blackburn was a good choice for me, I also wonder if I would have felt differently after seeing other campuses.
- If you haven't picked a school by March, April, or even *gulp* May, DO NOT PANIC. Many schools don't require you to send in your acceptance of admission until mid to late May or June. I waited on word from my first choice school (where they ultimately had to close the waiting list) until just a couple weeks before I graduated. It was nerve-wracking, yes, but I would have been upset had I jumped to a choice and then gotten in to my first choice because I was too stressed to wait.
- ENJOY THIS. This is the last year where your education is free (or paid for by someone else). This is probably the last year you will be with most of your friends. This is your SENIOR YEAR.
- Get involved. Go to the stupid pep rallies and the sports events you never went to. Join the musical, get up stupid early for show choir, go to homecoming, go to the prom.
- Don't slack off on your classes. Seriously. I know how tempting "Senioritis" can be, but take it from me: had my GPA been .08 points higher, I could have qualified for a full-ride scholarship to my college.
- It's never to early to start networking in the field you want to go into. That guy who is in graphic design that you meet on the train could be your future boss.
That's about all I've got for now, except for just one last thing: Don't ever be afraid to ask questions. At a point in your life when so much is changing, now more than ever you should be taking advantage of all the wisdom around you!
Love, Peace, and Chicken Grease,