Tag: personal growth

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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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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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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It’s Never Too Late to Get Back on the Right Track in High School

So you messed up. Maybe misbehaving with friends got out of hand—and into the hands of the authorities. Maybe personal, family, or social problems distracted you from preparing for college. Maybe you’ve never taken school seriously, but you’re realizing that your low grades or lack of commitment will limit your choices when it comes to life after high school.

Ready to turn over a new leaf? Good for you! You can’t change the past, but you can decide what you’re going to do next, and that choice matters. Here’s what you need to know to make a real change and set yourself up for a brighter future.

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Introverted And In College: Choosing Confidence Over Reserve

I’m an introvert, and a shy one. There’s no questioning that. But for a while, I didn’t understand what being introverted actually meant. The thing is, I had always equated introversion with shyness and extroversion with confidence. I envied extroverts for their outgoing personalities. To me, it was their extroversion that had given them success.

It wasn’t until recently that I realized I had got it all wrong.

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Opportunity Doesn’t Always Knock: Making Your Own Chances to Shine in High School

Once I started college and got to know my classmates, I realized that some of my peers had done things in high school that seemed absolutely incredible, from high-profile internships to national-level competitive titles to long lists of independent projects. Some were things I never considered for myself; others were things I never knew existed. I was somewhat baffled to find that these otherwise-ordinary people had had such amazing opportunities at such a young age.

Years later, I realized that I had been holding onto a lot of misconceptions about how people accessed exceptional opportunities. I learned some important lessons, which I’d like to pass on to you. Read on for my personal advice on seeking out special opportunities in high school, asking for what you want, and most importantly, believing in yourself enough to turn an idle wish into a solid plan.

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When Do I Start Adulting? Navigating Between Childhood and Adulthood When Preparing For College

Being a teenager can be an exercise in contradictions, and that fact becomes particularly visible as college application season looms. How can you pick the college that’s best for your intended future career when you still have a curfew? How can you ask for help when it seems like you’re supposed to be working on your independence? When it comes down to it, are you an adult or a child?

As with many other issues, the answer to this question is far more complicated than one or the other. Even though it’s uncomfortable, the reality is that when you’re in your late teens, you’re somewhere in between. Read on for how to get more comfortable in that middle ground as you get ready for your transition to college.

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Fake It ‘Til You Make It: How Acting Confident Can Help You Become Confident

You’ve probably heard the line “fake it ’til you make it” before. It can be used to describe a wide range of different scenarios—for instance, you might think of it in terms of buying the trappings of financial success before you can really afford them.

When I think about “faking it,” however, the first thing that comes to mind is less about specific markers of success and more about my intangible self-improvement goals. In this case, I’m using “fake it till you make it” to refer to a different kind of “making it”, one that’s much more personal. I’m talking about self-confidence— developing it, maintaining it, and how it appears in your interactions with others.

I’m not the most confident person on Earth, and chances are, you aren’t either. Pretty much everyone struggles with self-confidence in one way or another. (For instance, sometimes it takes effort for me to believe that I can give good advice to high school students!) However, it’s clear that being confident comes with benefits in terms of what you get out of life and how others perceive you.

Fortunately, I’ve found that it’s not always necessary to be confident. Frequently, acting as though you’re confident is enough to garner some of the same benefits. Here’s how to fake confidence before you really feel it, and how projecting a confident attitude can give you space and practice to develop a truer sense of confidence in yourself.

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Things To Do Before You Leave for College

The summer before you leave for college is a busy time. You have to fill out paperwork! You have to choose your classes! You have to buy a laundry basket! Alongside the practical necessities, however, there are a number of less tangible things that it’s a good idea to take care of before you leave town.

Here are a few tips to keep in mind as you contemplate the end of your senior year, your summer break, and the process of getting ready to transition to college.

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