Shoot for Andromeda!
By Lauren, age 16, California
What's next in your life? Whether it's high school, college, grad school, or even a new career, keep these tips in mind:
1. Overshoot your goal. Aiming for a 3.5 GPA? Reach for a 4.0. Planning on applying to a mid-range university? Set your sights on an Ivy. You'll be thankful later for the breathing room.
2. Make a checklist. If you're starting a new career, decide where you'll keep your business contacts and references. If you're commuting, find a carpool group or track the local buses. Ask yourself what difficulties could arise, and make a safety net.
3. Don't overwork. Think in terms of weeks first, then days. Spread out assignments so that you're not faced with all-nighters. (I'm a list type of person, so being able to check off something every day boosts my confidence.)
4. Keep time free. Who knows when inspiration will strike you? Set aside some time for breaking dishes, researching penguin cartoons, writing symphonies, chatting with friends, being ... well, human!
5. Get some helpers. Is someone in all 6 of your classes? Get their number. Find someone in every environment whom you can count on, because we all slip up from time to time. That annoying roommate who minored in decorating cakes? They could come in handy at a wedding ...
6. Laugh! Humor is vital - we need it in our lives.
7. Love & forgive. As corny as it sounds, an apology never made any situation worse. We spend months stressing over single days. We blow up. It's natural. Being the first to move on saves time, relationships, and self-pity. Empathize.
8. Seize opportunities when they come. A high school poetry competition could turn into a $20,000 scholarship. If you enjoy doing something, run with it.
Success is in your hands. Own it - because you can.