Underdog here. How to prepare for a prestigious college?

<p>In a jist, I was raised by my single mother practically raising three younger siblings. My mom didn't spend a lot of time challenging me academically or teaching me in general.</p>

<p>What I want to know is what I can do to be prepared for college (between now and when I arrive)?</p>

<p>I will hopefully be going to MIT or Wellesley next fall and I'm really really worried about being surrounded by such intelligent, sophisticated people and appearing stupid and less able.</p>

<p>PS. I'm not one of those kids that took the SAT for the first time and scored really well.. everything I've done I've worked really hard for... Went from a 1700 >> 2170.</p>

<p>I've been keeping up with current events, studying lots of vocabulary, and reading a lot (classics, math books, scientific theories, etc). Any other suggestions?</p>


<p>You'll be fine. Not everyone at MIT or Wellesley is a super genius. Just make sure you are doing all these things because you like to and not to impress random college kids.</p>

<p>You're worried about being perceived as an idiot by the presumably more intelligent people around you. </p>

<p>I perceive you as an idiot for that.</p>

<p>In all seriousness, no one will really care if you haven't read classics (Chapman is probably turning in his grave) or polished your word bank or found the New Yorker to be relevant to your life. </p>

<p>My best piece of advice is you don't want to be looked upon as an idiot: Don't let your courses overwhelm you.</p>

<p>I'm sorry if I sound annoyingly anxious or anything. It's just that I'll be the first to go to college and my mom never even finished high school... going to college is a huge deal for me in general and I guess I just feel less prepared than most.</p>

<p>You will be fine. Just be yourself. Not everyone is sophisticated at these colleges. The colleges will also only take you if they know you will do fine which I am fairly certain you will (based on your motivation).</p>

<p>My suggestion: relax, enjoy your senior year, and then be yourself when you arrive on campus in the fall (wherever you end up).</p>

<p>Some of the most intelligent people I know were first-generation college students and/or came from a single-parent home. Stay motivated and don't be discouraged -- No two students are exactly the same. Good luck.</p>

<p>Just out of curiosity, do you know where you will be going for sure next year?</p>

<p>I'm sure wherever you go, as long as you don't try to hide behind a wall of books for the entire day and at least make an attempt to socialize, you will have a wonderful years. The key is to keep up with your schoolwork but don't let it engulf you're life.</p>

<p>No one will think you're stupid and no one will think you're less able. Wherever you go, you'll be surrounded by a lot of wonderful people who come from a wide variety of backgrounds. But these are college students we're talking about - I wouldn't call most of us "sophisticated" :). You'll be with other people your own age and you'll fit in just fine.</p>

<p>If you're really worried about the academic adjustment, then you could perhaps start looking over some introductory course materials (ex. OCW stuff). It might be helpful for subjects that you're less comfortable with. But, if you were admitted to a school, it was because the admissions office thought you were academically prepared, so don't worry too much about it.</p>

<p>No I don't know for sure where I will be going. I have turned in all my applications and am awaiting responses! I'm a really social and outgoing person btw! Thanks for all your advice; it's really comforting.</p>