As students near the last leg of the high school race, a sense of anxiety kicks in about whether you’re truly prepared for the college you plan on attending. First generation students and especially those going to elite or ivy league universities question their preparedness and their place at universities where the majority of students are from affluent areas where minorities are excluded. The majority of incoming students worry if they are prepared to handle  the academic rigor of their university and sometimes psyche themselves out of doing well their first year by thinking that they aren’t prepared to compete on a college level against their peers. However, if the admissions officer that examined your profile believed you were qualified enough to be admitted, then you should have faith in your abilities since they’re being paid to evaluate who will succeed in the university climate. I never doubted how well my high school prepared me for college since I got into programs and universities on my own merit. The AP and honor courses I took in high school were indicators of how prepared I was for college being that I consistently excelled on every assignment and exam to the point that my teachers still use my writing samples to illustrate perfection. The only challenge I have faced so far at Boston College has been taking courses that weren’t offered at my high school and courses I don’t have an interest in.  Going in, I wanted to study Economics even though my high school didn’t offer economics. After one semester of microeconomics, I realized that I had no interest in economics and learned more about the political, social, and economic factor of society from sociology. First generation minority students feel as though they have to strive for a 4.0 or take challenging classes in order to prove that they truly belong, but such self imposed academic pressure is neither healthy nor beneficial since statistically even minority graduates from institutions like Harvard have the same likelihood of receiving job offers as Caucasian graduates from less prestigious universities. I know that there will be classes that I may excel on the level  I’m accustomed and don’t force myself to get a perfect score at the risk of my own physical or mental well being. As I’ve focused more on my career path and gaining invaluable experience for when I apply to jobs, I decided to take courses that still interest me and foster learning but don’t require me to skip all social engagements or become an insomniac in order to succeed. Employers know most freshmen don’t do well their first semester since they’re trying out new things which is why students shouldn’t concern themselves too much with their gpa. As you progress into your sophomore year and later, students should become more strategic with the courses you decide to take and whether or not something is a good fit. Instead of questioning how prepared you are for college, a good question for incoming students to ask themselves is how to take academically challenging course that I where  I’ll excel without putting my health at risk.