Embrace your scars. When you have something to offer you'll be sought. The person who wants something least holds the stronger position. Living the dream is never giving in to adversity -- hold ground, then bounce back.
There is no limit to the amount of times you can reinvent yourself so be open to change and stay alert for the opportunity to do so. Write stuff down - inspiration never comes when it's convenient so capture it wherever you can.
One million students will not have the same opportunities their graduating peers will have. This is a national emergency that needs to be addressed for the sake of America's prosperity and competitive edge.