Consider advice and make strong connections

As a junior signing up for next year’s classes, I have a lot of questions I wish people would just answer straight out instead of giving me the whole “It’s your life and they’re your choices” spiel I’ve gotten from just about every counselor, teacher, and friend that I’ve asked for advice. But I can understand why I keep receiving that response, since we’re all going in different directions.

It gets me sad thinking about going to college and separating from the people I’ve been in the same classes with since third grade. Time is going by fast whether you’re ready or not. I can’t even imagine how seniors are feeling right now.

Ask a lot of questions

I’m glad I’ve gotten the advice and information about college I have from adults at school, family, and my city’s community center. That’s what I think everyone should do: talk to people, consider everyone’s advice, and make connections.

I’ve learned that there’s no harm in asking many questions, especially if it ultimately results in being ready and/or making deeper connections with important people.

If I had gotten over my insecurity about asking questions, I probably would have taken the SAT earlier and I’d know about prerequisites and internships and such way before stressing about applying to colleges in the fall. Transitioning out of high school is the most important time to be communicating with others to know the ins and outs of career opportunities, freshman college life, and taking the right classes.

Listen to advice, then use what you can

Everyone has something you can learn from -- everyone. Even if you don’t take it, listen to advice that someone is willing to give you. Your teacher who nags you about SAT or personal statements may know something -- probably because he or she has attended college and gotten a degree in teaching. Your grandmother who grew up in a different country might know a thing or two about struggling to find work.

Not every piece of advice that’s given to you will apply to you, which is why you need to listen to all of them and pick out the ones that will help you.

Building strong connections with people is key to gaining future support, whenever you might need it. You have a teacher for about nine months, and that’s all the time you have to get in his or her face and make a good impression. Use the time wisely.

If you build foundations for good friendships, you’ll never really lose those people and you can use some support once you start branching off into college life. As you grow up and get busier and busier, you might forget that your parents are also growing older. Don’t let your own career overshadow the importance of family.

All four years of high school are prime time for preparing for the great change you’ll have to go through. To make the most of it, you shouldn’t wait until junior year to start thinking about where to go. Pass up the stress and anxiety and start thinking about the transition early.


Princess De La Cruz

Princess De La Cruz

Rancho Verde High School, Moreno Valley, Calif.
Hometown: Perris, Calif.