08/25/2014 03:48 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

College Will Be a Blast, Just Say Yes!

I wish I was about to begin 12th grade next week.

Starting over... what a great opportunity. If I could wave a magic wand I would become a high school student one more time... especially with all I now know!

Of course I'd do a few things differently.

I wouldn't spend 11th and 12th grade freaking about the SAT's or the ACT. Did you know there are studies that indicate little if any correlation between your scores and success in life? Perhaps they're valuable in helping you gain entrance to the school of your choice... but even that's changing. Read this Washington Post article!

I'd stop obsessing over gaining entrance to one particular college. The reality is there are lots of great institutions that can meet your needs and many are much less expensive than the "big reputation" schools. $60,000 a year... I think it's ridiculous.

And if I were starting college:

I wouldn't fret over figuring out my major. At 18 I had absolutely no idea what I wanted to do with the rest of my life. Heck, I'm still not sure. Nowadays people shift careers so many times that unless you're interested in a specific profession like medicine or law your choice of undergraduate major isn't all that important. And guess what, lots of doctors and lawyers give up their practices and change careers.

There's no question that some majors ensure greater work opportunities. If immediate job security upon graduation is vital to you then study a discipline that offers almost certain employment. Ask your advisor for suggestions.

On the other hand, if you're not sure what you'd like to do, and you're willing to accept you might not find a job right away when you've completed your studies, then follow your heart!


C.B.K. via Marketing Network, Inc.

Nothing is forever and no decision you make at 18 or 20 is irrevocable. You are going to be faced with lots of great opportunities for many years to come. If your parents don't agree, have them e-mail me and I'll fill them in on some interesting statistics.

Here's something to think about: your parents may be footing the bill, they certainly want the best for you and often offer great advice and support. Most will be there for you through the good and tough times... parents are great even if they are occasionally annoying.

However you are at an age where you have the opportunity to seize the reigns and make informed choices based upon wishes and desires. It's great to listen and act upon the advice of well-meaning others when it makes sense. Yet you must be true to yourself and open to uncovering and discovering what you really want out of your college experience as well as life. The power resides within you!

This will keep changing as the years go by. Life is organic, it doesn't stand still and your college years are particularly important ones as you get a chance to spread your wings.

Adrianna Bach via Marketing Network, Inc.

One thing for sure, it's totally natural to be both excited and very apprehensive about starting college. For many you'll be away from home for the first time... of course that may be part of the appeal.

This is a great time to create a plan for seeking out positive new friendships, some of which will last your lifetime.

Just say yes to new opportunities, experiences and personalities.


Here's a quick Mind Acrobatics exercise to get you started.

"I Like My Best Friends Because..."

Part 1:

Time Needed: 10 Minutes
Materials: Pen and Paper


This is a pure stream of consciousness exercise.
Don't over think anything.
Simply write what pops into your head.
Smart phones and all communication devices turned off "You can do it!"

  • Compile a list of the friends who make you feel the best about yourself.
  • Write down those with whom you most enjoy texting or hanging out.
  • What about these individuals makes you feel good?
  • How often do you communicate with them by text?
  • Pick the top 2, 3, 5 or however many and write the one word that best describes them.
Great, you've just completed part one of a Mind Acrobatics exercise designed to help you identify qualities you like and to bring more friendship, opportunity and good feelings into your life.

Part 2

Time Needed: 10 Minutes
Materials: Your mind


  • Take a look at the list you compiled.
  • Pay particular attention to the "qualities" of the friends you enjoy the most.
  • Look at the word you used to describe them.
  • Make a plan to find three new friends who match this criteria.
  • Don't worry if it takes time... simply be open to rewarding new relationships.
Students and parents take heed. Twelfth grade can be a year of great family stress or present an opportunity to work together harmoniously as you prepare for the excitement of college. Read here!

You are about to embark upon one of the great journeys of your life. As with any trip there will be obstacles, hurdles and perhaps some bumps. But there will also be independence, freedom, empowerment, choice, fun and the opportunity to experience life in a whole new way.

For those of you who haven't enjoyed high school, don't have many friends and feel powerless don't fret. There's lots of others that feel the same way. They just don't admit it.

In fact that's exactly how I felt as a Senior. I couldn't wait to graduate high school. Yet the first day of college seemed as if I'd walked through a magician's door. Everything was so different and I was able to reinvent myself. You can too!

Remember: worry and stress are of no value. Being open to new friendships that make you feel good about yourself is empowering. This coming year as a high school senior or college freshman will be the best yet and there will be even better ones to come.

Just say yes to exploring the power you have to shape your future!

Adrianna Bach via Marketing Network, Inc.

Good luck and thanks for reading this article.

Dave Kanegis is a Certified Professional Coach and Educator. He may be reached at:

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