I first want to give sincere congratulations to all of my High School Grads going on to College this year! What an exciting journey! Education happens to be another passion of mine and I love seeing young people achieve. Sure, I have my thoughts on the school system as a collective whole, but that doesn’t mean it’s all bad. I still love the idea of continuing ones education and if I didn’t have mad student loans, it is something I wouldn’t mind going back to.
So, I was speaking to a niece of mine and I do have a some suggestions for those stepping into this new life:
- Don’t Have Too Much Fun
College is a different world than High School. Partying and drinking all night may make you popular, but your professor will fail you, without mercy and without pity. The decisions you make now are extremely critical and they impact you for life. Don’t be the person who could have graduated but was too busy chasing sex and Hennessy to study. This is your chance to be the adult you couldn’t wait to be. This means maintaining discipline, control, and making wise decisions. College students, especially freshmen, are green lights to those who only want to cause your downfall. This is not High School which means you should always be aware of your surroundings and use logic in every decision you make.Trust for these first years should not be a big priority, get to know people first or they will take advantage of you.
- Be Sure to Choose a Major that is in Line With the Career Path You Want to Take.
Political Science sounds good on paper, but you’ve been into math your whole life, why not accounting? Some actions don’t require research, just common sense. Make sure your majors line up with your career path and goals. Don’t just pick anything because it sounds cool, but make sure it will lead you to where you want to be. Beware also of majors that won’t get you anywhere after you graduate. For instance: Unless you are trying to be a preacher, a major in Theology’s not going to do much for you. Philosophy is another one that sounds deep, but won’t take you anywhere in the real world. Make sure your course of study is in an area that is strong, where there are plenty of careers in that field.
- Don’t Choose Your School Just Because of its Prestigious Reputation
Don’t believe the hype. I’m sure we would all like to go to Harvard but there’s a good chance you can save a lot of money going to a smaller school and receive the same level of education. Don’t limit yourself to what you see on TV, but keep your options open and never participate in something because you just heard about it. Do your research and make sure it’s the right thing for you.
- Have Fun!
There’s enough hard work and study to go around for everybody, but don’t forget to enjoy the experience because once its over that’s it. You will never get the opportunity to experience this again. Even as we age, College for the first time is never as fresh and as exciting as it is when you are fresh out of High School. Many of you will have your own apartments for the first time, your own space by way of a dorm room, you’ll get to pay your own bills for the first time and make big decisions on your own. It’s just a different experience at 17 and 18, than 40 and 45 because life is just beginning; so if you have a chance to do it now don’t wait. Take it all in, study but don’t forget to breathe, it’s a wonderful moment and it will disappear before you know it. I started off saying not to have too much fun, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have any. Just balance your time and discipline yourself and you’ll do fine.