To New Beginnings

Being a teenager is all about making the best and brightest future possible. If you haven't figured it out by now you might be a mess, because the entire point of high school is to get you ready, both academically (I joke), and socially (there's like so much like drama) for life after high school (as in college, y'all). As a senior, that's what this entire year has been about, making my way and choosing where I'll be spending the next four years of my life. Can I get a drum roll please ... I'm for sure attending the University of Vermont (cymbals crash, and I hear some applause). But before I board my final plane and chuck the deuces to the bipolar hell hole that is the Nasty-Nati, Cincinnaughty, or plain old boring Greater Metropolitan Area of Cincinnati, it's time to prepare the rest of you for the journey of your life. Arms in the air, and to the new beginnings.

First of all, how the heck do you decide on a college. Let me tell you, start  the summer of your junior year, go to every college website you're even the slightest bit interested in and fill out those information request forms so they can start mailing you tons of informative stuff. Then narrow down your choices to between 6-8 colleges you're going to apply to. 2 of them should be reach schools (hard to get in to, but you can still dream); 3-4 should be good fits (you're on their level and you're pretty sure you'll get in) and 2 should be safety (as in, you're a shoe in for these colleges). Top schools with a little cheaper price at the Public Ivy League, and for a well rounded private college experience (with great chances at scholarships) Liberal Arts Colleges. Let it be known that going to college is one of your only chances to leave home so apply out of state if you're looking for a change in scenery, that's what I did; if you're set on staying in-state, that's fine too. Head over to these 3 websites and do their college searches, they have tons of information, and you can put in all the things you're looking for in a college and give you a list of places you should look at - if a college appears on more than one of them, take a second look and it to your list. Cappex College Board Matchmaker College Confidential SuperSearch - three great resources, cappex lets you know your pretty accurate chances at getting in, so it's worth it to sign up. Then take your ACT (easier than the SAT), score well and if not take it again. Start your applications early, I'm talking about first week of September, to open an account on the Common App or if your college has it's own application. Pay your fees, get your recommendations in real early, submit your ACT scores, and burn through the ridiculous essays. Get them in and get them done, most college deadlines are New Year's Day or early February, keep a calendar of those dates so you don't miss them. Start your financial aid process by filling out the FAFSA with your parents, and the CSS/Profile (if necessary).  Stay on top of financial aid deadlines, they greatly differ, and I missed a few of mine, so be wary. Hear back from your colleges, at the latest the end of March, then decide where you'll go. Check out College Prowler for student reviews and grading, including the hotness of the girls/guys on campus, drugs/alcohol, partying, and basically everything you'd ever want to know, get on there ASAP. Choosing a college should be the place that has your major, you can afford (which includes scholarships/loans), and that fits you (location, weather, lifestyle). I choose UVM, because it's kind of like where I go to school now, very little diversity (which I've learned to handle), it's super eco-friendly (which I love), it's a great school with top notch education, it's small but large (about 11,000 undergrads), the city is amazing (Lake to the left, mountains to the right, 2 malls and close to other cities like Boston and Montreal), and it's easily accessible (international airport 15 minutes away, train station, and buses). I got in to the Honors College, which means better dorms and special treatment, and I got a $12,000 scholarship to knock away at the $47,537 out-of-state price tag. Do not choose a college because of friends, or gf/bfs, it'll ruin your life - college is for you to branch out not stay the same. It works for me, and I'm deff ready to say to new beginnings.

Now that you've chosen your college time to prepare for the rest of your youthful life. My ideas of college before were based on Beverly Hills, 90210 - Greek (get the DVD set for college, it's worth it and will help) and the Best Years (short-lived TeenNick show, but was literally amazing, episodes online). So excited for 90210 to go college for season 4 this fall #score. Fill out your housing forms (learn about residential programs, or traditional (bathroom down the hall) or suite (group of single gender share a bathroom between 2-8 people usually); choose a meal plan (better get to eating, but no Freshman 15); get your immunizations and fill out health forms and insurance (get those shots ASAP); take foreign language and math placement tests all before heading off to orientation. Orientation is where you'll get your crash course in everything college, and register for fall classes. Whenever you have free time it's time to start shopping for dorm stuff. First of all, start with this overzealous list of everything you could possibly ever need for your dorm room, let me tell you, it's amazing What To Bring to College. From there start bookmarking stuff, but check these sites for great deals on dorm things. Everything you ever wanted and more at Dorm Co and the prices are reasonable. Head on over to PB Teen Dorm for lots of great and classy stuff to make your room yours. Bed, Bath, and Beyond, Target, Wal-Mart, and the Container Store can pretty much round out your college needs so prepare yourself. Buy things as you can, don't wait until the last minute or else you'll be a mess. This site Design Your Dorm gives you 3D (and accurate) layout of your room, and you can place things in it like futons, tables, mini-fridges etc. and they'll ship it your dorm on move in day (plus you can let your roommate help too). Speaking of roommates, I recommend a random search, fill out your form and be truthful, it really helps you find someone like you. You can always move, and it's better to meet new people than play it safe. If you want to have more control check out Room Surf to find future classmates and be matched up and figure out who you are compatible with through facebook. From here, you're pretty much set for college and your to new beginnings.

College is all about discovering who you and finally getting to do what you want to. It's about being yourself, and finding where you really fit in. It's a place to further your studies, but to greatly widen your circle of friends, to experience new things, and to understand the real meanings of all nighters. Head on over to Spark Life: College (the people who helped you not read boring books in high school, now have a guide to college life #winning) to read up on what you need to get yourself ready for college. No mommy and daddy will be around and you'll have to be a responsible young adult. But I'm sure you've been keeping up with the youthful life and that will get you in the right mindset for college life. The school year is winding down, so figure out who you'll still make an effort to talk to after graduation and get yourself ready for the whirlwind about to sweep us all up. Graduation is right around the corner people. To new beginnings.

Being a teenager is about making choices and deciding what course to take on the walk of life (woah getting deep there buddy). It's serious, like on the real, and it's coming fast. Prepare yourself for a wild summer and a grand ole time. Graduation parties galore, freedom, and the blank canvas that is college. To new beginnings y'all.

My blog post question for the day is ... what's your dream college and why?
Mine was Yale, (they're just the best, hands down) but that didn't happen so NBD, but it looks like I'll either be heading to the West Coast to Stanford or the East Coast to Columbia University for medical school (wherever my sister goes to college; life plans people).


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