Preparing for College: Advice from a Teenager

I am thrilled to have my first guest blogger! Francesca McDaniel is a senior in high school, and like many young women she is preparing to go away to college. Francesca will be writing for Precocious Bee about the excitement and nerves that often accompany leaving home, friends and family for the first time. 

Without further ado, introducing Francesca! 

By: Francesca McDaniel

I don’t know about you, but I have spent the majority of my life thinking about the future. Where/if I am going to college, what I am going to major in, who am I going to marry, am I going to get married, where do I want to work, do I want to move back to my hometown or go to a big city?

There are so many things you have to decide when making the transition from a high school student to a responsible adult. And unfortunately that is an almost instant transition. There isn’t any time to figure things out - you’re a teenager one day then, boom, graduation happens and you’re shipped off to reality. You’re in the midst of an eighteen year long routine that is about to be dramatically altered (maybe I am being a little bit dramatic).

Francesca

Here I am as a high school senior, getting ready to graduate, and I still feel like it’s the first day of my 9th grade year. It sucks because there isn’t anything I can do about it. I can’t slow down time or change the past, but here are some things I have learned during college application season:

1. YOUR GRADES MATTER!!!!!!

I’m one of those people who claim I’ve had “senioritis” since kindergarten, and to some extent that’s true. Most of my high school years were spent slacking off and focusing on things that were “more important” than grades. There is not anything more important than grades. High school is just four years. The stuff that seems important now really will not matter ten years down the road, so focus on your grades. As I am filling out countless applications, my 3.67 GPA is not looking nearly as pretty as a 3.95, which only would’ve taken a little less lazy time and a little more elbow grease. The SAT matters, the ACT matter, your grades matter.

2. The future is not as grim as most adults make it sound.

Of course it’s scary to have to take full responsibility in every aspect of your life; but your future doesn’t just have to be all about paying bills or driving your kids to sports practice; your future is what you make of it. It only sucks if you let it. I know, I know it’s cheesy to say “follow your dreams, do the things that make you happy”, but it is so true. College is a time where you have the complete freedom to discover who you are as a person and develop into who you want to be as a person. Seize the day, be who you are, follow your dreams; I don’t even care if I sound like a total cheeseball. The older you get, the faster life seems to fly by.

3. Go to the college you want.

Everyone seems to have an opinion about where I should be attending school in the fall. It is so easy to let the opinions of others persuade you, but ultimately you should be focusing on your happiness. That being said, do what you want, but be realistic about it. Don’t go $100,000 in debt for a degree in agriculture. If you want to go out of state and you have the means to do so, DO IT! If you want to attend community college, go for it! If you think an Ivy League school is calling your name, apply! Always follow your heart, and always have a backup plan, because life isn’t always rainbows and unicorns, and sometimes things don’t work out – and just because things don’t always work out, it’s not an excuse to stop pursuing your goals.