The Wren Building at the College of William and Mary:  my alma mater.  
    Oh, the places you'll go!  For many of you, the whole college application process is well underway.  Have you lost your marbles yet?  Now is the time to take a deep breath and regain some perspective.  Some surprising but true facts:
    • everyone gets in somewhere.  I've never yet seen a student who wanted to go to college who was rejected by them all.
    • where you go matters less than you think.  All colleges are pretty good and you'll have fun and learn a lot no matter which one you pick.
    • your merit is not the issue.  You are fine.  Whether they let you in or not, you're still just the same sweet, sparkling, smart person you were before you got their stupid letter.
    • They can mislead you.  They make their reputations by rejecting you.  Do not fall into Their traps. 
    • you probably don't yet know what you might become.  Very, very few people have found their vocation by the age of eighteen.  Seize your future loosely.  Allow for growth and doubt.
    • it is terribly foolish to decide you want to do some career without talking to people who are already doing it-- talking to them and, ideally, following them around for a week or more.  Why buy an expensive degree that will prepare you for work you either don't want to do or can't get someone to hire you to do?
    • although it might seem that it's a good idea at first when you feel overwhelmed to refrain from extracurricular activities, free lectures and performances, and the whole, rich smorgasbord that is offere to you.  This is a mistake!  Go feast on all those offerings.  Join a club or two.  See plays and concerts and hear lectures.  Go for it!  You will never again have so much available to you as you do now.  Make the most of it.  (including counseling!  this is free on campus.  If you feel you could benefit from talking to a therapist, they will have people all set up ready to talk to you for zero charge).
    • If you decide that you need to break up with your sweetheart to be free to make the most of your college experience, choose your time carefully (definitely not the first week of school) and do it in person with respect.  There is no reason to cause unnecessary pain.  State your feelings in the most respectful terms you can imagine, express gratitude for the happy memories, and wish them well.  And mean it!  You owe it to them to wish them well.  There is no reason to say anything humiliating or denigrating.  Breaking up is painful enough without also being attacked.  Maybe you could make it your creed to go through your days trying to leave others better than you found them.  Why tear people down?  How does that help you?

    For info about how to ask teachers about writing you a college recommendation, click here

    Now, to find your work, you might think about this diagram:
    Find good work.