Juniors (& certainly seniors too!), it's that time in your high school career: the time in which you start looking at colleges for yourself. You sign up for more information from a couple schools, you visit the websites of a few others, & you attend a lunchtime meeting at school with a college representative. After all that, as well as after reading an informative pamphlet the representative handed you, you're left with a great sense of knowledge about a lot of different schools. But what about having a particular connection to a college?
After the last finals are completed & the term papers are turned in, the students of Mississippi College leave the comfort of campus & head off to do big things all over the world. Some slip on their Chaco's & head to camp, while others decide to work a new job or learn through an internship. There are even others who get passports & head across an ocean or down the continent to study abroad or do summer missions. A select few of us though are lucky enough to land the best summer gig (in my opinion). We get to stick around Clinton & party with all of you at orientation! Trust me, nothing could possibly be more fun!
So then, knowing that there are so many incredible colleges to choose from, how on earth do you get started with picking just one? That's a valid question & one that I asked myself more than once in my high school career. There are so many possibilities that it can be difficult to even begin looking for the right college fit. By the grace of God, I found my way to just the right place for me & today I'd like to share a few tips I picked up along my own college-search experience.
Once upon a time, I came to college as an overly confident, lazy, and mediocre student who had never had to try too hard in school. I was quickly overwhelmed by college academics, unsure of how to navigate the heavy course load and high expectations. I tried harder in school than I ever had, but it still didn't seem to be enough. At the end of my sophomore year, I was exhausted and discouraged. I had a lower GPA than I ever wanted and I had no idea what to do.
College and scholarship essays can be incredibly stressful to write. It often feels as if so much rides on the words you pick to represent yourself in front of a committee. Why, let's be honest, it can feel as if your entire future rests in how well you can write an essay. We as writers, however, want to give you some advice to hopefully make this time less stressful.
I've watched, year after year, as we all seem to feel like we have to overcommit. It's like there's something telling us that we aren't allowed to say "no" to opportunities. It's as if we believe that if we aren't busy, our time here isn't being well spent. We walk around campus, wearing busy like a badge of honor, priding ourselves on our packed schedules and endless commitments.
Before coming to college, I assumed that my professors would be too busy to invest in my life, to hear my ideas, or to care about my future. However, this idea changed my Freshman year when my professors gave up their time to help me work through problems or to listen to my ideas for a paper. Now that I'm in my Senior year, it's hard to me to imagine what these past four years would have been like without the support and guidance of my professors.
The semester is a month in, and it seems as if all of the projects, parties, and papers are coming in one huge wave. With midterms right around the corner (Yes, they are happening sooner than you think), it's easy to feel overwhelmed by school, work, and personal events; however, you don't have to let this stress overtake your life.
Being a freshman is so fun because you're experiencing a plethora of new things while also learning how to grow up. You have college level courses, equip with college level home work and exams. But, you also don't have parents to update on your constant whereabouts or a curfew to honor. You have classes everyday, but you have a number of free skips. You have free weekends and friends across the hall to adventure with, but you'll have tests on some Monday mornings. You have responsibility and you have freedom, and in my opinion, in order to have a successful freshman year, you need to learn how to balance the two.