Four Things to Do Before You Head to College

Whether you’re graduating high school with plans to attend a local community college, or you’re leaving for the other side of the country, graduating from high school and beginning a new life as a college student is a major transition. It’s an exciting time, with many changes about to take place!But, before you dive into a whole new world, check out these four things you should do before you walk across the stage and receive your high school diploma.

Smooth Your Surfaces: Maybe you haven’t always been nice to everybody at school. Perhaps you have an ex you haven’t spoken to all year because things got weird, or you maybe you have a sibling you haven’t seen eye-to-eye with since elementary school. While there’s undoubtedly things you’re eager to leave behind, it does wonders for you and others emotionally to take this chance before you leave to make things right, so you can embark on your journey with a clean slate.

Define Relationships: Transitions can be tough on any relationship. Perhaps you’re leaving for college, but your significant other is still in high school. Maybe you’re planning on attending two different colleges. Before things get sticky, talk about your relationship. Will you maintain the relationship? Will you continue to be exclusive, or do you plan to see other people? It’s better to figure it out now than be surprised and hurt and heartbroken by a difference in perspective later.

Preserve Bridges: Identify the people at your school and community who have influenced you and could potentially assist you in your future. Your English teacher who wrote your letter of recommendation may someday request you sub for her class. Your friend’s dad who got you a summer internship may be the gateway to your first entry level job. Get the email addresses of these people. Send them holiday cards and updates on your life. By maintaining these relationships now, you’ll be helping yourself later.

Decide What to Bring, and What to Let Go: College is often seen as a fresh start. Even if you attend a local college with a chunk of your high school classmates, most people won’t know who you are, what you did, what you’re like, or what you’ve been called. Before you step into a new world where you’ll have to make yourself all over again, decide what’s worth bringing and what’s worth leaving. Bring your personal philosophies, your best qualities, your funny stories, and your dreams. Leave behind your awkward moments, your bad relationships, and your failed tests, because who you were won’t matter, but who you are does.

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Original Post Date: April 18th, 2012

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