19 of 31

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I just looked at the date. Like really, really looked at it. 19. WHAT. Since when did we already pass the halfway mark of this challenge? But then, thinking back, it feels like forever ago that I was in California. It’s weird how time works.

There’s something else important about the date March 19th besides it being after the halfway mark of the Slice of Life challenge. On March 19th, 17 years ago, my first sister was born. Julia. We have been best friends ever since.

Julia is finishing up her junior year of high school. Some of you might look back and remember your junior years of high school as not that great. It is a pretty stressful time, filled with difficult decisions and complicated questions. It is also the year that you have to start worrying about colleges. Julia is a very, very smart, hardworking person. She’s also a tri-varsity athlete and I don’t think she’s going to have much trouble with the “getting in” part of the admissions process, but instead the “deciding where to apply” and the “deciding where to go” parts. So I’m going to take this opportunity on Julia’s birthday to give her five tips for choosing the right school that people often forget to tell you.

#1) What really matters is the environment the school exudes. Do you fit into this environment? Do you look around and think, “yes! I want to be friends with these people!”

#2) What really doesn’t matter is if the school is a “reach” school. Oh, but it’s an Ivy League, you say? Who cares. Oh, but the average GPA of the students who got in is higher than the school I feel more comfortable at, you say? That’s stupid. And no one cares.

#3) If you go to a school that doesn’t accept people with an average 4.0 GPA and 10,000 extracurriculars and you do really, really well there, then people hiring you in the future won’t care that you didn’t get a degree from an Ivy League school. They’ll care that you’re a hard worker and invested in what you do. I promise.

#4) Julia, you’re an amazing person. No matter where you go, you’ll be successful. Please don’t choose a school for the name or for how you think it will affect you after you graduate. Choose a school because they will support you in doing what you love to do and because you look around and feel a genuine connection to those around you. That is the key to being happy at college.

#5) And when you finally get to school, don’t do things just because your friends are doing them. College provides a whole new world of opportunities. You can do whatever you want. It’s a freedom you’ve never, ever experienced before.

Each school is different for everyone. While one person might love a school, another just as qualified person might hate it. Choose a school for you and you’ll find yourself 100 times more successful than if you chose it for the wrong reasons. Good luck next year, I know you’ll do amazing.

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3 thoughts on “19 of 31

  1. I can tell you are speaking from experience. I hope Julia considers your advice. Sounds like you are very happy with your choice. I remember the decision process you went through last year.

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