This is a wild and somewhat unbelievable story of advice and example and is how I have allowed myself to shine in this competitive and fast-paced world while using many opportunities to better myself and enjoy what has come along the way. I would like to give you a wide arrange of advice about college and the future that will hopefully help you the same way it has helped me.
1. Let Your Interests Guide You
One big thing that I learned while I was in high school and going into college is that life is unpredictable. Many people will tell you the skill sets you need to be successful and give advice, but secretly, we have no idea what we’re doing. The only thing that guides us is our interests and sheer will in what we want as the end goal. I have spent the last three years going to school for something that was a split-second decision for me, and I am happy to say that it has worked out for me. That is not the case most of the time, but therefore, when choosing what you want to spend the rest of your life doing, you want to make sure that is really what you want to do. With the confidence and will, you can face just about anything that life can throw at you; however, you still need to be prepared that alternatives may need to be found.
2. Have a Backup Plan
With the unpredictability of life, you need to make sure that you have backup plans. Even if you feel the plan has no chance in failing, it is always best to have one or two plans just in case that plan falls through and you are stuck with no idea what to do next. I have dealt with this constantly through my life and for most people, when that first plan fails, they just want to give up and put no effort into finding an alternate solution. For example, my close friend and I had planned to rent a house together for my senior year. Well long story short, I had to find my own place as what worked best for us. I would have been in a very precarious place; however, I had found and saved other places that I would have liked to live, and found one that was right for me. This taught me to remember that things do not always work out, but you can be prepared to adjust to what life throws at you. Also, backup plans are especially helpful when finding the right college.
3. Pick a College that is Right for You
When it comes to college, the big secret is that it does not matter where you go if it has your major of choice and you can adjust to the school's environment and culture, then you will get a lot out of your college experience. This piece of advice about college is what I have told my residents during my time as a Resident Advisor at my school. Also, apply for more than one school. I took a very big gamble and applied for only one and thankfully got in, but I don't recommend this. Give yourself several options as each school will have valuable difference and set of benefits. The environment and lifestyles of each school is what makes it unique and appealing to students. When it is your freshman year and you are uncomfortable on campus, just remember that everyone is uncomfortable their first year. This will quickly change once you find friends and clubs you want to join. Though to do this, it will take a lot of personal effort!
4. Don't Wait for Opportunities, Get Out and Grab Them!
The last big piece of advice I would like to give is that nothing in life is a handout and it is up to you to take advantage of the opportunities that are presented to you. The students who wait for things to happen usually continue to wait. The world is wide open for those who are willing to put the effort into what they want to do, and that effort does show. I can personally tell you by putting 100% effort into I wanted to, I have travelled, made it into my college of choice and accomplished so much that I can be proud of. With these three pieces of advice, I believe you can take on the world and be unstoppable. It is up to you to lead your story as long as you have your backup plans and remember that life is unpredictable, you will navigate through anything just fine. Check out the NSHSS Collegiate Council page too!
Since 2002, NSHSS has supported young academics on their journey to college and beyond as they prepare to become the leaders of tomorrow. The mission behind NSHSS is to recognize academic excellence and honor high-achieving students, providing them with the resources and network to excel in college, career and community. In doing so, NSHSS connects members with global events, scholarship opportunities, college fairs, internships, career and leadership programs, partner discounts, and more. Discover what makes NSHSS worth it to student members and how you can get involved.
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