For high school students

A high school graduate wrote to me: “I will go to college next year and based on the advice on your blog, I choose to study Computer Science. I hope to find a job when graduate to make my parents proud. Is there anything that I need to do to be successful in college?

I wrote to her: “I am glad that you have selected a good field of study but a college education is NOT only about getting a job but also open your mind so you can mature into a responsible person for your family and your society. I have written many articles about how to succeed in college on my blog, please read them. However, since you ask, I will give one more advice: Besides developing academic knowledge and skills, you need to read as many books as possible to broaden your knowledge.

Reading helps you to exercise your brain, keeps you relax, and prepares you for further study. Today many students do not read much so their knowledge is limited which prevent them from thinking broader and deeper. With mobile technologies, students are distracted by text messages, email, Facebook, and twitter, their attention is divided in many directions and cannot concentrate. However, by reading, you are concentrating on one thing and avoid unnecessary distractions. This ability helps you to study better and effectively.

As a college student, you should stay focus on your field of study but do not worry too much about grades or exams. As long as you do your best and maintain your own progress, you will do well. Everybody makes mistakes but as long as you learn NOT to make the same mistake again, then you are doing fine. Do not be disappointed for things may not happen as you wish but maintain your positive attitude and keep interested in your own learning. Remember that good thing, as well as a bad thing, will come and go but your educational goals should remain the same as you are aiming toward the best career today that will make you and your family happy.


  • Blogs of Prof. John Vu, Carnegie Mellon University

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