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Work hard. Have fun. Do good.

These six words are the motto of Classic City Educational Consultants. In full disclosure I didn’t come up with them, they came from my husband, Trey. After the years of him hearing me talk about applicants and what makes one successful over another, he boiled the college preparation process down to six simple words.

Work hard. You probably assume I’m talking about academics and you are mostly right. Your high school classes are the foundation of your academic preparation, so it is important to do your best. This means challenging yourself to the best of your ability, putting in the time and effort to learn and be successful in the classroom. But, work hard at whatever it is that you are involved in – give it your best; run the sprints, learn your lines, greet the customer; do the hard work and you’ll reap the benefits in the long run.

Have fun. The proverb “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy” was first recorded in 1659, which meant that the lack of balance between work and relaxation would render a person dull and stunted from a holistic standpoint. And, this remains true today. It is important to find joy, laugh, relax and recharge. Be in the right mindset to embrace fun, hang out with positive people and don’t be afraid to be silly.

Do good. This seems like the easiest one of all, but often is most forgotten. This isn’t about you, it’s about doing something for others. Return the shopping cart to the holding area. Pick up the trash on the sidewalk. Share your notes with a friend who missed class. Sit with the new kid at lunch. Hold the door for an elderly citizen. These simple acts help create a person that cares about others, looks beyond themselves, gives back and is a part of their school and community.

Students who Work Hard, Have Fun and Do Good are ones who will contribute to and gain from a college environment. They are the ones colleges are looking for.

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