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But look at it this way, youve avoided 18 years of me giving you totally un-asked for advice.
Because of that reprieve, I feel completely justified laying this avuncular rap on you now. So here goes.
First, go to school away from home. Yeah, I know, youve already decided to do that but dont waver; stick to your decision. Nothing against your folks; theyre nice enough people. But lifes easier that is to say its easier to find your own life once youve escaped the pull of parental gravity. Trust me, the lure of getting your laundry done for free isnt worth it.
Dont be too quick to decide what you want to major in. True, time is money, honey, but this is your life. Youre probably too young to really know what you want to do and besides this is the good part university isnt about getting a job; its about getting an education only part of which takes place inside the classroom. So enter through the portals of higher learning with an open, inquisitive, self-motivated mind.
Dont look on all the Intro to Whatever courses as dull, meaningless, feedlots of learning. Yes, thats largely what they are, you and 600 of your closest friends crammed into an amphitheatre being taught by a grad student or, worse yet, watching grainy videotapes of some professor sleepwalk through a course shes taught several dozen times before. But overcome the mundane. Take a seat in the front row. Take as few notes as possible and listen to whats being said. If you find it interesting, head to the library and find out more about it because second really good part thats where the bulk of your formal education will take place. Not the classroom or lab.
While were on that particular topic, befriend a librarian. He or she will be invaluable and save you so much time you wont believe it. The Internet is cool and fast but it is to a good library what carob is to chocolate a pale substitute. Let the librarian teach you how to play the library like the fine instrument it is and itll repay your efforts manifold times for the rest of your life.
Take hard courses. Take enough science to either know you hate it or love it; the world doesnt need another psychologist. Take a broad smattering of humanities; if nothing else, theyll make you much more interesting to talk to at a cocktail party. Get involved in radical politics. Hang with liberals; hang with conservatives; engage in something you think you dont believe in; avoid groupthink. Find your inner artist. Avoid sororities.