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Words of Wisdom for High School Seniors

Seniors — are you excited and a little nervous about your college adventure next fall? Wondering what to expect? We asked our former recipients to share their best piece of advice with you. Below is a sampling of their thoughts on how to succeed in your college years.

I think the most important thing about moving on after high school is not being afraid of new experiences. If you hide from new things then you can never expand your horizons. Meeting people and creating memories and connections is the best thing you can do to start the next chapter of your life in the right direction.

Learn to discipline yourself to do what needs to be done, whether it be schoolwork, going to class, hitting the gym, or accomplishing any goal that motivates you, because when you actually get that thing done, it's incredibly fulfilling and that's a feeling to chase throughout your whole life.

Be sure to get a planner or something like it to be able to manage your time well so that you can accomplish all the things that you both need and want to do. Don't be afraid to try new things and always try to make new friends. Make contacts in your classes and get their numbers to be able to work on homework together and to remind each other about assignments, etc. Make a budget and be dedicated and committed to sticking to it. Take advantage of any tutoring, especially if it’s free!

Taking care of your health should be your number one priority. Get adequate sleep, exercise, and learn how to cook and make real meals. If you aren't healthy then everything else in life becomes more difficult.

Reflecting back on my time as a senior, I was so nervous for college not only because I was a first-generation student, but also because I did not know many coming to my university with me. If I were able to give some advice to a senior, I would tell them to pursue confidently their passions. Ultimately, even if your family would like you to pursue a certain career, you must choose what you would like your future to be. Do not be afraid to stand up for what you want because being your best advocate is the best skill one can have.

Get involved on campus! Find a supportive network of friends and an organization. That helps a lot!

There will be times, you think about giving up. DON'T, because it will get better if you believe in yourself. Have patience, courage, and open to learning the differences with your college classmates. You will get to meet people around the world in college and it definitely will change your perspective to deal with any issues in the future. Good luck with your future endeavors!

Make sure you contact your school about your outside scholarship information ASAP. Some schools take longer than others to process these requests.

Don't procrastinate! College is fun, you should enjoy every aspect of it, but your work needs to be done on time. Aim to get each assignment done a day before the deadline.

If I had to give one piece of advice to a recipient I would say to just make sure that you focus really hard on your studies. You're paying for school now so every moment counts. Also, get really close to your professors because they are there to help you.

Have a goal or a vision and make sure that it never gets blurred. College is not easy. When times get tough remember that goal or vision and remember why you decided to pursue a higher education in the first place. For me it's my desire to help others through public policy, to better myself, and to make my family proud. The world is rooting for you! Don't forget that!

Try new things and explore. College is about finding what you like to do and doing it.

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