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Letter to High School Students Beginning College

Letter to Help Boost Your Confidence

By Rhiannon DeGrayPublished 5 years ago 4 min read
What an Adult College Life May Feel Like — Pinterest — Sponge Bob Humor

Dear high school grad student,

I am writing this letter to inform you on how to survive your first quarter in college. Obviously you’re coming from a high school where they tell you that college is the hardest thing you’ll ever do. The first thing you and your fellow students need to do this quarter is get the high school mentality out of your head. This includes all the bad habits, the drama, and the thoughts of how you’ll never succeed. However, if you're into smoking weed or doing drugs, I will say that that is you decision but if it interferes with your schooling or home life, I would suggest you cut down so you succeed. In reality, college is as hard as you make it out to be. As long as you stay away from all those things that will drag you farther away from success, and seek out the resources you need to be able to succeed, then you’ll be on top.

On the first day of class, I suggest you introduce yourself to you teachers. The more they get to know you the more gracious they are. Sitting in the front row and taking notes is how to make sure your teacher knows that you care. In fact, you should definitely make this a daily routine and for each individual class. Most teachers will mention something about an online source that you must turn your work in on. My school specifically uses Canvas. You may currently be lost, but you can find a buddy to help you through these online courses. There may even be videos you can find to learn how to navigate them.

I thought that in the beginning of the quarter, we were going to be assigned textbooks, books to read and write reports on, and suffer my through college with a lot of note-taking. However, when in college it depends on the instructor you get. Some classes require textbooks, novels, and lots of writing throughout the quarter — when other professors just want you to listen in class, take notes, and pass their quizzes.

In the beginning of my college career my teachers, peers and friends were telling me not to hang in “the wrong crowd,” meaning with the kids who did drugs, drank, partied, etc. I figured as long as I maintained a 4.0, I could still have fun with my friends while managing to be a good example. Yes, I enjoyed partying with my friends each weekend, it was a nice relief of stress — but as time went along I was having more fun doing drugs than managing my own life and college career. I actually ended up in the hospital from doing too many substances at once. My goal was to be a good example for my friends, but instead we all brought each other into a downward spiral and almost failed all our classes.

After eventually distancing myself from those who I knew were causing me emotional and physical harm, as well as encouraging me to do so to myself, I began to distance myself fully from those (people/drugs) who brought me down the most. The best way to stay away from drama completely, is to stay away from the rumors that will eventually begin to spread like a virus. If you hear something, that does not mean you need to spread it, you could even put it to end in that very moment as if you’re the cure to this disease. I often had to do to many of my friends as well as myself. A simple “let’s not talk about this right now,” will do.

It was hard to stay away from the rumors, even if I wasn’t spreading them. All because I wanted to know what was going on in other people’s lives. This was the hardest high school mentality to break, especially when it came down how I thought other people viewed me. Eventually I had to come to the reality that it doesn’t matter, what matters is I came to college to succeed, not to get caught up with a bunch of people with a high school mentality. I then started distancing myself from those who were immature, which sometimes would seem like the entire class. However, there are other students on campus to get to know outside of your classes. Just stay safe and choose your friends wisely whether they’re in your classes or not.

The best piece of advice I can give you is stick with it no matter what, and to check your online database with your classes listed every day. I know I mentioned that before, but I just pretended that you weren’t paying attention earlier, just like you most likely won't in class. I will never forget how much college has taught me, academic-wise and personally. I have grown so much in college versus when I was in high school. I learned how to manage my own personal and academic life while staying completely away from drama. I now know how to communicate without cursing in someone’s face or breaking their fingers. I even managed to get emancipated with the emotional support and letters that were sent into the court by the staff. I don’t know what I would be doing without college right now (even though there are some stresses to it), and I hope you take college as seriously as I am. Good luck to you my friend.

P.S. Sparknotes and Quizlet have been basically the only thing keeping me passing.


About the Creator

Rhiannon DeGray

I grew up in a domestic violence situation. Years after my mom gained custody and began neglecting me. I then became emancipated at the age of 16. These are the stories and poems I wrote about. Abuse, neglect, and triumph.

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