The Best College Advice: Listen to Your Parents!

Author Bio: Giuliana Napolitano (@gnapolitttt) currently lives in New York City while pursuing her Master of Science in Integrated Marketing at New York University. She works as a social media manager for a college website focused on the aspirations and stories of the 18-25 year old demographic and hopes to one day own her own digital media agency.

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Senior year of high school is like the final threshold to the rest of your life, a glorious time when you’re supposed to blossom into an intelligent, poised young adult.

But no, not for me. Senior year was the most frustrating time of my life. The first few months into the school year, I was more concerned about my prom dress and where I was going to take my senior pictures.

Then it finally hit me like a crazed shopper on Black Friday. I had to plan for college.

My priorities quickly shifted and the pressure to get into the college swing of things was getting to me. My whole life, people have asked me, “What do you want to do when you grow up?” And here I am as a senior in high school with no stinkin’ idea.  At least when I was five years old I had a list of things – President of the United States, U.S. Senator, and prime minister. Heck, in my 5-year-old mind I was going to grow up and run the entire government like a one-man band. But as a senior in high school, I had the downfall of being a little more realistic and a little less decisive.

I aimlessly looked through college websites, not fully understanding what I was
exactly looking for. Great, this one offers 32 different study abroad programs and 14 sororities that I will never join. But I needed to pick a major. And that was nothing like picking out a prom dress.

I was about to make the most important decision of my life, a decision that would dictate my future, my career, and my success. I dabbled with the idea of finance and fiddled with the possibility of international studies. But I was at a loss and didn’t have the slightest idea about the type of programs to be looking for. My parents tried to help, but I knew for a fact that I would never be an engineer like my father or go into real estate like my mother. Neither were much help, and my uncertainty grew more and more with each Google search.

Now I don’t like to freely admit this, but I will let you in on a little secret. Here it is.

I listened to my parents!

That’s right! You may not believe it, but your kid probably listens to you more than you think. I had my parents convince me to talk to one of their friends, an associate dean to the journalism school at a nearby university. I came out of that one-on-one with more information than any college fair I had ever attended. It was like the light bulb finally came on and I knew I had found my major.

So if there is any advice I can give to you parents of upcoming high school seniors, it is this. You might not have all the answers for your child. So reach out to your friends, co-workers, even LinkedIn connections. Chances are you know someone that might be able to shed some light and provide some useful insight and guidance to your student.

I went on to complete my undergraduate degree from that nearby school, West
Virginia University
, and graduated Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Science in
Journalism with a Public Relations concentration. Today, I am a graduate student at New York University pursuing my Master of Science in Integrated Marketing with a concentration in Digital Marketing and plan on pursuing a career in the advertising / marketing industry.

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