An Open Letter To High School Seniors For The First Step In Their College Journey

An Open Letter To High School Seniors For The First Step In Their College Journey

Choosing the right college amidst acceptances and rejections.
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Three years ago, at this time of the month, I was anxiously waiting to decide what college I would be attending. I'm penning this letter in hopes of shedding some light and maybe even helping some students who will be first-generation college students. I didn't have anyone in my family go to college here, so the experience was overall extremely nerve-wracking as I sat at my kitchen table with many acceptances (and of course many rejections too).

So let me first address the elephant in the room. Maybe, you didn't get accepted into that one school you had your heart set on. I know I didn't and instead I was placed on a waitlist (which I deem even worse than a rejection), but honestly, life doesn't end there. You probably have many other choices so don't dwell too much on the rejections! It's an exceptional feat even to get into a college so give yourself some credit!

Before you decide which college to attend make sure you review all the programs that are offered and attend the one that you feel will help you achieve your goals. Why do I stress this? A few months ago, I used to work in advising and a student came up to me saying that she wanted to declare her major in zoology. Unfortunately for her, our college offers no such programs! And she would have known had she checked out our website and the list of programs and program descriptions offered. When I asked her if she'd done some research before she enrolled, she admitted that she had not. SO FIRST THINGS FIRST: DO YOUR RESEARCH. The college you select will be your home for the next four years. Make sure you attend somewhere that you truly feel you can find your niche.

Another important thing that I feel is absolutely amazing in helping you decide is attending events such as "Accepted Students Day." During these events, you can mingle with faculty and currently enrolled students, so your best bet is to attend. There's nothing to lose by attending, but what you can gain is valuable insight on student life, programs, clubs, and even specific questions about scholarships and financial aid.

Lastly, and I know this one will sound horrible, don't just attend a college because your friend is attending it! Although that could be a minor factor, it should not be your priority. Chances are you and your friend will have different interests and you most likely won't even have the same classes or breaks.

Now. Take a deep breath. Focus on your acceptances and get to work!

Congratulations on making it here.

Cover Image Credit: Honey Yanibel Minaya Cruz / Unsplash

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Every Time I See A College Tour Group Walk By I Just Want to Scream 'It's a TRAAAPP!'

The tour guide is good - they're just a liar.
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It's officially that time of year - anywhere you walk on campus, there's bound to be a gaggle of parents and befuddled high school students winding their way through building after building. In front of them stands an overenthusiastic tour guide, spouting off statistics about the school so fast they'll make your head spin.

Unfortunately, what the tour guide says doesn't exactly line up with what goes on at the school. Oh, the things we students wish we could shout out to the parents as they pass by.

1. "You'll get sick of the dining!"

It may look like there's something new to eat every single day, but by the end of the semester, you'll be sick of everything except the things closest at home.

2. "I'm only here for the free t-shirts!"

Seriously.

3. "IT'S A TRAP!"

Seriously, part two. You get two of three things: a social life, sleep, or good grades. Whoever said you could have all three is lying.

4. "Welcome to the real world, suckers!"

It's got confrontation, taking care of yourself, and formal emails. (Which, of course, your professor will respond with 'k thnx bai' sent from their iPhone.)

5. "Say goodbye to sleep!"

There are three types of people on campus: tea drinkers, coffee drinkers, and people with energy drinks running through their veins.

6. "THE MODEL DORM IS A LIE!"

Check all of your housing options before you move in. The dorm they're showing you might be the worst housing area on campus.

7. "THE FINANCIAL AID IS A LIE!"

You're getting squat. Free tuition? Try the tune of $13k a year. Or more. Depending.

8. "The library is NOT the best study place."

Depending on your major, there are several places for you to study that aren't the library.

9. "The health center sucks!"

True fact: word through the grapevine is that someone once got antibiotics for a sprained ankle.You may as well sell that leg on the black market to cover the costs.

10. "Believe the roommate horror stories!"

All random roommates are horrible unless proven otherwise. (But be wary of everyone.)

11. "SI (student instructor) sessions are useless."

You will learn nothing . Chances are you'll end up correcting the instructor.

12. "The freshman fifteen is optional."

Some people don't gain it at all, and some people really gain it. It's up to you.

13. "You'll need a car!!"

If, for some reason you can't pay for the overpriced parking pass, find a friend who can.

14. "Hookup culture is real!"

But it's not for everyone. Just because everyone is doing it doesn't mean you have to.

15. "Campus jobs are a myth!"

Campus job? What's a campus job? Do you have work-study? No? No job for you. Have you tried the local coffee shop?

Cover Image Credit: Flickr

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