Month: October 2017

Should I Choose a College for Present Me or Potential Future Me?

One of the best parts of the college application process is that it gives you the opportunity to imagine multiple exciting futures for yourself. Maybe you’ll attend a college with an exceptional study abroad program and launch a glamorous career as a travel writer. Maybe you’ll get into biochemistry, study with an esteemed researcher, and someday find a cure for cancer. Who knows? In that moment, it seems like anything is possible.

When imagining these possible futures, however, it’s possible to get so wrapped up in fantasy narratives that you lose touch with your existing interests, needs, talents, and limitations. This can cause problems down the line if you later realize that that career or life plan isn’t right for you—especially if you chose your college based more upon that dream future than upon what you know about yourself and need right now.

It’s tempting to choose a college based upon who you wish you were, the figure you see in these potential futures, but given the probability that you’ll change and develop over your college years, it’s wisest to focus instead on your current needs, along with finding a school that will offer you room to grow. Read on for my take on why these priorities matter.

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Dealing With College Acceptance Guilt

When you think about the emotional impact of receiving your college decisions, your mind likely jumps to the possibility of rejection. It’s true that getting rejected from a college you loved is upsetting and discouraging, and you might find that experience particularly emotionally difficult.

However, rejection isn’t the only outcome that can cause emotional upheaval. If you get accepted to a school you’re really excited about, you might encounter jealous or mean-spirited reactions from others, start worrying about the school’s expectations, or wonder whether you’ll fit in on campus. You might even get to feeling like you don’t deserve to attend your dream school. When I was accepted Early Decision to my first-choice college, I certainly experienced all of these.

The transition from high school to college is a major one that touches upon multiple aspects of your life, and it’s normal to experience mixed feelings, even when you get exciting news. Still, there’s no need to beat yourself up or feel guilty for your good fortune. Here’s some advice for dealing with college acceptance guilt, balancing confidence with realism, and maintaining strong relationship with friends who are going through the same difficult changes.

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An Ode to Sleep: Why High School Students Really Do Need Their Rest (Even When They Don’t Want It)

Sleep is a beautiful thing. I have reason to know that more intimately than most people. I’ve struggled with fatigue, insomnia, and assorted sleep issues myself, and even went through an all-night, fully monitored sleep study looking for answers. I learned that, while specific health problems were the underlying cause of much of my fatigue, I was also allowing problems to persist—and making them much worse—by not prioritizing quality sleep.

Several years after this medical adventure, I watch my sleep like a hawk, and I’ve seen marked benefits from doing so. Maintaining good sleep hygiene can be tough, and I’m far from perfect in my habits, but the improvements in my life have absolutely been worth the work. I’ve found myself becoming something of a sleep evangelist, introducing others to the power and joy of better sleep habits.

Now it’s time for me to share what I’ve learned with you.

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College Classes in High School: Are They Worth It?

Looking at which classes to take next year in high school, your eyes might have scanned over the options like AP English and AP Calculus. Maybe you paused at Dual Credit Physics, Chemistry, or Spanish, but you’re still not sure whether or not to take them. AP and dual credit courses seem like good options, but you know they won’t be a walk in the park. Are they even worth the effort?

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