This is the time of year when everyone doles out advice – to graduates of high school and college, to the newly minted and soon-to-be-initiated, to sun-worshippers, everywhere.

And so, I thought it appropriate to hand out a few gems of my own, gratis, for those still bright-eyed high school juniors/rising seniors, as well as their already angst-ridden parental units, just now beginning the journey through the college application and admissions maze.

 So, without further, and in no particular order, here we go:

  1. Start early. Have a game plan. Keep an open mind. Create your own rankings of colleges that are “best” for you.
  2. Listen to what others say, but remember: God gave you two ears for a reason – in one, out the other.
  3. What matters most is not where you go to college, but what you get out of the college you go to.
  4. Going to college is fun. Getting in should be at least half as much fun. Enjoy the ride!
  5. Choose and apply to colleges that are affordable, and always, always, always complete and submit FAFSA.
  6. Search and apply, apply, apply (did I mention, apply?) for scholarships, large and small. Go for financial freedom. Not student debt.
  7. Yes, college is worth it. Liberal arts are alive and well. It’s okay to be undecided (and, in many instances, preferable)!
  8. Don’t sweat the small stuff. And remember, it’s almost all small stuff.
  9. Forget rankings, ROI, and all the attendant silliness. The one true barometer of success in life is happiness!
  10. Relax! You are going to get in to a college that is a great fit for you.

 I think I’m supposed to say something about sunscreen at this point… 

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Plan. Prepare. Prevail!

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