An Open Letter To Students Choosing Their Dream College

An Open Letter To Students Choosing Their Dream College

High Anxiety - Awaiting the Acceptance Letters
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For many high school seniors, the anticipation of receiving college acceptance letters is such an invigorating time; however, for many it is a time of high anxiety. In a Perfect World, you get accepted to your dream school, without a second thought to opening those other letters. But for those living in the Real World, having a Plan B and Plan C, can be the answer to the anxiety and is also the smartest game plan.

The challege really becomes finding the right fit among your options. Like your favorite pair of jeans, that one perfect fit is never questioned, but we all know you have backups, and it’s the same when picking a college.

First, when considering a college to pave your way to a successful future, consider the class sizes and student/teacher ratios, and always check the reviews from Niche and Rate My Professor. If you think you might need some one-on-one time with your professors, just skip the large state universities; those probably are not for you. And please consider your potential major. If you’re planning to be an English major, a school whose focus is largely on the sciences probably won’t satisfy your cravings for challenging coursewor, especially as you move into the upper level coursework.

While it may not seem like a big deal in the grand scheme of things, housing and meals are vital to your college success. As it turns out, dorms and food are very big reasons stated for those wishing to transfer mid college career. As Freshman, it’s most likely that you will have no choice but to reside on campus. Residential Life is key to the success of most students, and many schools require living on campus for at least Freshman year, while many others require two or more years. Living on campus in residential housing almost always requires the students to particpate in the meal plan a/k/a dorm food. There are many positive reasons for these requirements, citing that typically students do better in their studies when living on campus and dining in the halls, too. They claim it boosts the students’ involvement on campus, and takes the pressure off the student from haiving to shop for food, prepare meals and clean up after themselves to allows for more study and social time during their Freshman and Sophmore years.

For all that good news, just take this advice and research the meal plan options by looking for student reviews about the food. College students are generally brutally honest when it comes to critiquing their school’s food, and you will definitely know if your prospective school’s meal plan includes mystery meat and pizza every day of the week with no other alternatives.

And now for the practical advice. Location is everything when it comes to picking the right college. Consider that this will be your “home” for the next four or more years of your life, so take careful consideration of the location and what is offered nearby. The campus may be amazing, but are you in the middle of nowhere if you venture off? Or worse yet, if you cross that border, are you walking into something uncomfortable? Will you feel as though you are stranded if you don’t have a car on campus? Keep in mind that Freshman are generally not allowed to have thieir own car on camput, because parking is always an issue. Most likely if you can have your car, it will come with added expenses, like parking passes, gas, parking tickets, and friends mooching off you for free rides. As bizarre as it sounds to be at school without your wheels, consider that student parking at most colleges and universities is minimal at best, and fills up quickly. So driving to class, may become a nightmare. You may end up circling the campus looking for a parking spot before class only to end up having to to go off campus to find a spot. So, if you have to have your wheels, budget for parking tickets, as it is rare that those fines are successfully disputed.

Most importantly, verify the quality of your school’s professors. Websites like Niche and Rate My Professor will give you insight into the professors from the student’s perspective. At a small college, it may be more difficult to be selective of a professor for a “required” course, where at large univerisities there may be 5 times the choices. Regardless, do your homework before signing up for class. For the most part, the ratings are not false news on the Internet. Remember, if the students are rating professors with high marks and commenting that the professors are accessible and interested in helping you succeed. then definitely consider the school. If you read otherwise, heed the warning. Comments like “professors do not put much effort into teaching their classes,” should tell you to strongly reconsider your choice for that school.

And the same goes for advising; you need to be able to access your advisor and have a relationship that will enable you to eb and flow as your learn your way through your college career. As a college student you will be relying upon the guideance of your advisor all four years, and you will want to create a bond that you can rely upon. Check out the school’s advising department, and definitely proceed with caution. The last thing you want to feel is abandonment when you reach the fork in the road, only to find there’s no one there looking out for your success.

The college selection process is a challenging and exciting time of year. There is more to picking a school than football and frats. With careful consideration, you will find the college of your dreams.

Cover Image Credit: http://bit.ly/2nBzS2M

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8 Reasons Why My Dad Is the Most Important Man In My Life

Forever my number one guy.
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Growing up, there's been one consistent man I can always count on, my father. In any aspect of my life, my dad has always been there, showing me unconditional love and respect every day. No matter what, I know that my dad will always be the most important man in my life for many reasons.

1. He has always been there.

Literally. From the day I was born until today, I have never not been able to count on my dad to be there for me, uplift me and be the best dad he can be.

2. He learned to adapt and suffer through girly trends to make me happy.

I'm sure when my dad was younger and pictured his future, he didn't think about the Barbie pretend pageants, dressing up as a princess, perfecting my pigtails and enduring other countless girly events. My dad never turned me down when I wanted to play a game, no matter what and was always willing to help me pick out cute outfits and do my hair before preschool.

3. He sends the cutest texts.

Random text messages since I have gotten my own cell phone have always come my way from my dad. Those randoms "I love you so much" and "I am so proud of you" never fail to make me smile, and I can always count on my dad for an adorable text message when I'm feeling down.

4. He taught me how to be brave.

When I needed to learn how to swim, he threw me in the pool. When I needed to learn how to ride a bike, he went alongside me and made sure I didn't fall too badly. When I needed to learn how to drive, he was there next to me, making sure I didn't crash.

5. He encourages me to best the best I can be.

My dad sees the best in me, no matter how much I fail. He's always there to support me and turn my failures into successes. He can sit on the phone with me for hours, talking future career stuff and listening to me lay out my future plans and goals. He wants the absolute best for me, and no is never an option, he is always willing to do whatever it takes to get me where I need to be.

6. He gets sentimental way too often, but it's cute.

Whether you're sitting down at the kitchen table, reminiscing about your childhood, or that one song comes on that your dad insists you will dance to together on your wedding day, your dad's emotions often come out in the cutest possible way, forever reminding you how loved you are.


7. He supports you, emotionally and financially.

Need to vent about a guy in your life that isn't treating you well? My dad is there. Need some extra cash to help fund spring break? He's there for that, too.

8. He shows me how I should be treated.

Yes, my dad treats me like a princess, and I don't expect every guy I meet to wait on me hand and foot, but I do expect respect, and that's exactly what my dad showed I deserve. From the way he loves, admires, and respects me, he shows me that there are guys out there who will one day come along and treat me like that. My dad always advises me to not put up with less than I deserve and assures me that the right guy will come along one day.

For these reasons and more, my dad will forever be my No. 1 man. I love you!

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The 7 Best Pieces Of Advice I Have Been Given About Life

Some of the best advice I have been given over the years...

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There isn't a central theme among these pieces of advice or sayings. They are all just random things I have been told over the course of my life–especially in the last week. I find these 7 to be particularly helpful in various situations, and try to keep them in mind when I am in over my head.

1. "Don't be afraid to advocate for yourself because there is nobody who is going to help you more than you."

You are the #1 person who can help your own case. No one knows you as you do, therefore no one will be able to help you more than you can help yourself. A lot of things are mental, so once you can convince yourself that you deserve something (whatever it may be) you can convince anyone. Another saying goes along with this, on the flip side: "No one can diminish you but yourself." You are in control of your own self-perception, and you are very much capable of being your own worst enemy.

2. "Stand behind your reputation because you can never get it back."

My mom sent this to me the other day. Be who you are, and do it proudly. Especially with meeting people for the first time, you can never have a second chance at a first impression. That being said, if people view you in a bad light, figure out why that is and fix it. You may not be able to change someones initial thoughts of you, but you can change the way they view you after that.

3. "The best things in life happen unexpectedly."

"Life is what happens when you're busy making plans," also goes along with this. Trying to plan out every little detail of your life is only going to lead to disappointment. Sometimes you find the best things/what you're looking for when you're not actually looking. Just go through the motions and things will work out the way they are supposed to.

4. "Be proud of your accomplishments, no matter how small."

It's important to celebrate the little things. Did you go to class today? Good for you. Did you decide to drink water instead of a soda? That's awesome. How are you going to work up to doing bigger and better things if you don't have anywhere to start?

5. "Whatever you're stressing about now probably won't matter in five years."

As someone who is often eaten away by their own worry and anxiety, this is a mantra that I try to constantly remind myself. While it may seem like a big deal now, you need to keep in mind the bigger picture. Will it matter in 5 hours? 5 days? 5 months? And so on. If the answer is no to ANY of these questions, it's probably not worth beating yourself up over.

6. "Stop being the 'go to' person for someone you can't go to."

Someone tweeted that their pastor said this to them and the tweet went viral. A friend of mine sent it to me, and it really made me think. Something I have struggled with over the years is making excuses for people who don't show up for me when I am constantly there for them. This is a helpful reminder that if they aren't contributing to you and your life, you shouldn't have to bend over backward to help them out and be in their lives.

7. "Two wrongs don't make a right."

While this is often a saying that parents use on their young children, it is applicable to pretty much any stage of life. My parents, especially my dad, have constantly said this, whether it was in reference to fighting with my siblings or dealing with people at school. Even as a 20-year-old, I find myself saying this when I hear about arguments and problems people are having. Everyone wants to get even, to best those who hurt them. While it's important to stick up for yourself, it is also important to be the bigger person and not stoop to their level (and whatever else your parents told you in these situations).

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