Yesterday was my first day up at the school talking to the Juniors and Seniors. The guidance counselor and the teachers seemed very excited. They constantly referred to me as “the real life college student!” My public speaking skills are a little rusty since moot court ended, but I warmed up as I went along and saw a couple friendly faces in the crowd. I spoke to three groups answering as many questions as I could, and I made it very clear that the students could ask me anything. The first group had eleven seniors who were very concerned about alcohol, drugs, and dorm life. They seemed pretty undecided about going to college. The second group had mostly juniors who were very focused on the academic aspects of the experience, but to the point that they ignored anything having to do with the rest of college life. They did devour the packet of materials that I had prepared, so hopefully they’ll come to see that there are more aspects to college than just academics. The third group was composed of juniors who were interested in what kind of soft skills you could gain from college and what life was like for a first generation college student. I was happy to share advice about making friends and living far from home. Of course, this group wanted to know what was my most embarrassing moment at college (fyi Sexy Training) and how I handled it. After the room died laughing, I explained that although college can be crazy and a lot of fun, you have to make sacrifices — time, money, family — because ultimately it is all about your future and what you want to do. I overheard the students talking about me in the halls, pointing out to others which room I was in, saying: “You could go there if you want to talk about college.” I hope they’re just as enthusiastic about attending the rest of the workshops. I’ve arranged a few topics to start with: Campus Visits (to discuss social life and financial aid), Time Management (to give ideas about new ways to manage academic and other responsibilities), Interviews and Resumes (to help with scholarship searches, work-study jobs, and networking), and Choosing Classes (to explain the very different procedures in college and help them choose an advisor and a major). I was exhausted when I arrived home yesterday after spending seven hours up at the school. With a lot of effort and some luck, maybe this will all work out.