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College freshman

This is advice for the distressed girl who wrote the letter this week:

First thing’s first: TAKE A YEAR OFF!

Everywhere but the United States this is customary. You need a year to discover yourself, chill out a bit, and explore. Given that you like to be outside, I would recommend checking out (world wide organization of organic farmers), which would give you room and board in exchange for 4-6 hours of work a day. This would be a great cheap way to explore. Also check out I know that there are a few ranches listed, so you might even be able to work with horses!

Also, look into working at outward bound or doing a NOLS trip this summer, so you can talk to people who do what you want to do, maybe even try it out, and see how you feel about it when you’re in it.

Secondly, don’t take the college thing too seriously. The brother’s had good advice in that. Take advantage of this opportunity to have fun. After taking some off, I would recommend looking into transferring to a different school. Places like the University of Vermont and Hampshire College are places that really emphasize personal growth rather than just academic. Furthermore, nowadays a bachelor’s degree really won’t do much, and you’ll have to eventually go to graduate school if you’re concerned with getting a “real job”. But seriously, get out of the bubble of snootiness, at least for a little while. YOU CAN DO WHATEVER YOU WANT and you sound bright enough to find ways to make that work for you. If you end up getting a 9-5 that you don’t love, you’re wasting your life, and you won’t be as good at it because you don’t really want to do it.

So take a breather. Explore. Find opportunities that don’t pay much but you love for now. Now’s the time to do it. You can do the school thing when you’re ready, but you’re not there yet, and that’s okay.

Good luck, and have fun!!!