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My name is Hailey Ross. As a graduate of a greater Fredericksburg area high school and a current student at the University of Virginia, I have a lot of experience to share. In high school, I managed a very busy life playing two varsity sports, taking rigorous courses, holding the office of NHS Parliamentarian and Historian simultaneously, handling several friend groups and dating—all while trying my best to keep straight A's.

It was hard, and I certainly didn't handle everything the right way.

Looking back over the past couple of years, there are many things I wish I would have done differently or known about before it was too late to make a better decision. It's my goal that with this column, I can help you to avoid making the same mistakes that I did or at least become a little better informed.

On the other hand, there are many choices that I'm glad I made. Those choices have made a positive impact on my college career and on my life in general. With every decision that we make, even the smallest ones, we are molding some part of our journey through life. That's why it is important to be able to choose wisely. For me, the decisions that I made landed me at UVA which has always been my dream school. I'm planning to double major in English and Global Development Studies, and if everything works out, I should be able to complete a minor in Spanish, too.

I am beyond blessed to be where I am today. I can't promise that by taking my advice you'll end up in the same place doing similar things, but I can promise that hard work and determination will take you so much farther than anything else. Never let anyone tell you that you can't do something, and to paraphrase Winston Churchill: "Never, never, never give up."

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Pouches' Community Corner

2018 FredParents' Family Favorites

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You all voted and the results are in! Congratulations to all our 2018 winners!