Advice to My 16-Year-Old Sister

Hey sis. I know that you are stressing out. Junior year of high school and all. But you’re almost done. You only have a couple months left and then it will be summer. Your AP classes and exams will be done, and you will soon have two months of bliss and freedom to sleep late, stay up late, and binge watch all of your favorite shows. I don’t have much advice to offer regarding those AP classes, but I will say this. You are one of the smartest people that I have ever met. You have very informed opinions on the issues facing you, your family, and your community. Don’t let anyone ever tell you any different. I can offer you advice about some of the other stresses plaguing you now and in the months to come.

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First, take the whole college thing seriously. I regret only applying to one college, a college I didn’t even end up attending. I thought that I knew where I was meant to be, but I decided on community college which allowed me time to figure out where to go. I wish that I thought more into where to go to school. Take it seriously. Senior year is approaching quickly, and you don’t want to have any unnecessary stress.
Try and enjoy your last year of high school. You might remember that I was a part time student and that I took some college classes. Try and take some college classes, if possible. I know your schedule will be busy, but at least take some classes that will prepare you for college. AP is good, but don’t forget to enjoy being a high schooler. I know you aren’t the biggest fan of that school, but one day, you might feel otherwise. Take pictures to help remember your Year of You.
Have a productive summer this year. Yes, summer is supposed to be about taking a break from school and relaxing, so do that. Don’t forget that you still have a year of high school left. Do try and take a class or two over the summer. Do use the various online course websites, like Khan Academy, to keep up with things like math or to learn something that you don’t have time to take a class for during the year. Also, start organizing your college materials. Summer is the time to start categorizing schools. Trash the materials from colleges you know you would never attend. Make a pile for colleges that you might apply to, and make one for your top picks. This way, when you go to fill out applications, it will be a lot easier. You won’t have to stress as much because you will have already prioritized the different schools.
Get your name out there at the schools you apply to. When it comes to after filling out your application, go online and look up the emails for the department heads of interest at the schools of interest. This way, you can introduce yourself (as much as possible through the Internet) and maybe ask some questions that you still have. This is good to do whether you did a campus visit or not, because you have time to think about how to best phrase a question and if you forgot to ask something during a visit, you can ask it now!
Lastly, enjoy your time at home while you can. Our parents may be embarrassing, but they mean well, and they are very helpful. You don’t have to worry about doing your own laundry or cleaning up your general living space. You won’t have those luxuries in college, unless you stay local. Also, spend time with the family dogs and cat, because, sadly, they won’t be allowed in a college dorm room.
So sis, I hope these tips were helpful and maybe a little bit interesting? Don’t worry, you will be okay, no matter where you go or what you do. Everything will work out for the better. I promise. If you have any questions, don’t be afraid to ask. I’m here to help. I’ve done this college thing before.
Thanks for reading, and let me know if you need anything else!

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