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College Students: Connecting Past, Present, and Future

College students enter that long awaited transition into adulthood facing the unknown. Whether you are living away from home for the first time or may be going to school locally, there are major changes happening in your life. During the first twelve years of schooling that are now in your rear-view mirror, your parents, guardians, and other respected elders either made decisions or offered guidance that governed your plans for…The Future!

Like life, college requires venturing on life's lonely highway - image courtesy of iStock
That future is at long last the present: your here and now.
And that can be both wonderful and a more than a bit scary, even when you are well prepared. You are operating independently, making decisions about what to do, or not do, every single day. That is very different than when you were in middle school or high school. You are making new friends and developing a network of relationships that in some cases will be a part of your personal or professional journey for the rest of your life. Some of you will have known what you want to do with your life forever, while others look in the mirror wondering what the [heck?] is going on and what’s next.

Share your unique qualities to the world - image courtesy of iStock
The most important element of all of this is to:
  1. find people you like

  2. who earn your trust

  3. hang out with them and begin building lasting friendships.

The best way for this to happen is to be true to yourself and do the things you like to do. Of course you must explore and try out new activities, but being a little bit
thoughtful while being impulsive will help keep you out of serious trouble. Mind you, you can and should be daring and be willing to make some mistakes. You must take some chances if you are going to both have fun and evolve into the person you want to be.
There are plenty of folks offering advice online including Society 19, College Confidential, and Big Future among many others. Each offer their perspective based on the business model behind the website, whether they are for-profit or non-profit entities. You should be mindful of how that may influence the information they share or the agenda they are promoting. Here is the one piece of advice that I share with you for free: Party Hard, Study Harder!
I even have a formula that can help you. Strive to maintain a 1.5 to 1 “Study vs. Party” ratio. That means that if you plan to go to hang out with your new crew for two hours, you have to study for three hours within 24 hours before or after. If you manage to commit to this, you will do well in your classes, and have all of the fun that you are supposed have during this so called "best time of your life.”
Finally, please remember that you are not alone. Life is tough, often complex, and filled with opportunities for incredible experiences. Be sure to stay connected with friends and family when things look bleak, as well as when everything is great.
“Change is inevitable. Growth is optional.” - John C. Maxwell
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