Category: Perspectives

Choosing a Study Abroad Program in the Middle East.docx

I thought I’d take this opportunity to talk a little bit about the process of choosing a study abroad program in the Middle East. It’s a lot harder to study in this region than on other continents simply because of conflicts in Syria, Yemen, Israel/Palestine, Egypt, and Lebanon, so there are a lot of considerations for students looking to spend a semester in the Middle East.

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What I Wish I Did in High School

When I think back to high school, there are a lot of things I’m proud of myself for—things I would definitely go back and do again. Of course, there are also regrets. If I were to do high school over again, there are a few things that I would do differently, and there are a few things that I’d never take back.

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I Got Lucky: Making Peace with the Role of Chance in College Admissions

How did I get accepted to my dream school? The answer to that question is more complicated than many of us might like to admit. Certainly, my own hard work and talents mattered a great deal, but I’m just as certain that another factor played a role: sheer luck.

There are no guarantees when it comes to college admission season, and acknowledging this fact early on will help you to keep your expectations for the application process realistic. Here’s how to make peace with the role of chance in the application process without letting it discourage you from pursuing your dreams.

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High School Holiday-Itis. You’ve Got It. Now How Do You Get Over It?

The holiday season is upon us! With Christmas trees lining shop windows and strings of lights in the streets, Christmas break feels so close, I can almost taste it. But only almost. There’s still one thing that’s keeping me from jumping full length on the couch and staying there for a week. You can probably guess what, since it’s the very thing we’d both rather not be doing but we have to do anyway. That is, of course, homework.

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In Which Bulldogs Become Blue Jays

In the beginning, Johns Hopkins was off the list. “No, it’s a medical school, Mom,” I pointed out when my mother first mentioned Hopkins, at the very start of my college search. “I don’t want to be a doctor, I want to be a lawyer. Besides, I don’t like the ‘s’ in the name. It’s kind of like they meant to write John but messed up and accidentally added an extra letter.”

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Why College Orientation is the Best Social Opportunity You’ll Ever Have

Your college orientation presents an especially rich opportunity for you to socialize with others who, just like you, are looking for new friends and new experiences. There’s a very good reason for that: colleges actively engineer these orientation activities to help you meet and bond with your classmates. Here’s how they do it—and how you can make the most of this unique season of your life.

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Graduation-Related Tasks You Might Not Anticipate

It’s the spring of your senior year of high school, and graduation is near. You’re likely very busy juggling final exams, AP tests, award ceremonies, prom, and everything else that comes with being a graduating senior.

On the CollegeVine blog, we’ve covered the academic tasks you’ll need to take care of around graduation, like sending your final grade report to the college you’ll be attending. Here on the Zen blog, we’ve also addressed some activities that you may want to try to fit in before you leave for college, from organizing and packing to spending time with friends.

However, there’s another category of tasks to consider: practical, everyday tasks related to your transition out of high school. I don’t want to overwhelm you, but I do think it’s a good idea for you to keep these needs in mind as you prepare for the end of high school, so that you can plan to fit them into your busy schedule.

Here’s what you need to know to get your practical affairs in order before college—in particular, the things I wish I’d known when I was doing my own planning.

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