The co-authors of my new book for teens and young adults, “iAware: Becoming Self Aware and College Bound”, asked a few University of Michigan students for advice on preparing for the college application process. Below is an excerpt from the book where a 21 year old senior college student wrote a letter to their 17 year old self with advice for college:
Dear Younger Me”:
There are four things you need to know. 1. Where you go to college will not significantly alter your future success. 2. Many students at the most elite colleges transfer out. 3. If you have a dream school, you must express interest and reach out. 4. Go to a college where you fit in and can be yourself.
The first and second points go together. No matter where you go to college, if you work extremely hard studying, engaging in meaningful activities, and continuously learning, you will land in the right place. Yes, a college with a good brand name can help, but it won’t be the difference between success and failure. On the flip side, it’s sometimes a blessing for students to not get accepted into their “dream schools,” because the homework and lifestyle would have been too much. It is truly shocking how many students transfer out of top schools. The third point is the reason why most of my college friends got in. If you don’t engage with the admissions counselors, visit the college campus, write an incredibly thoughtful and well-tailored college essay, it becomes infinitely harder to get into a particular college. Expressing relentless interest in a school is a must. Fourth, I went to a school where I could be myself, from the clubs I joined on campus to the students I became best friends with. If a college doesn’t feel right when you step on campus, and if it doesn’t match your vision of college, it may not be the right place, and that is fine. Don’t stress about getting into the perfect school, as all schools have their pros and cons, and enjoy one of the best years of your life.
the authors of this book would be interested in your thoughts about “Jonny’s” letter. What advice would you give your 17 year old younger self. On Friday, April 12th, at the Leaders Connect Breakfast, we will have a panel on “Late Adolescence and the Transition from High School to College”. Click here to register for the event. The panel will include:
Dr Karin Lutter on anxiety and depression in late adolescence
Sylvia Van Meerten on adolescents with special needs
Lauryn Humphreys and Ali Houmani on the stress of the college decision
Peter Michaelides and Ila Dadkhah on the transition from college to work
Moderated by Rob Pasick